Friday, December 29, 2006

Hats off to Mr. Murphy

  • Murphy’s First Law: If something can go wrong, it will.
  • Murphy’s Second Law: Where nothing can go wrong, something will.

I have studied so many laws of science since my childhood days, starting from Newton’s Laws of Motion to Moore’s Law. But I have never seen Laws which are truer than Murphy’s Laws stated above.

How else do you explain my predicament? Let me start the story from the beginning.

About six months ago, I noticed a slight change in the whirring of my 40 GB hard drive. Being the overcautious person that I am, I immediately bought an 80 GB drive and fitted it to my PC. I partitioned it into four partitions for OS, music, movies and data. Then I carefully moved all my data from the old drive to the new one, and also added a lot of new data to it. I only kept my OS and programs running from the old drive because reinstalling Windows and all the applications would take a lot of time, and if I had to do it, I’d rather wait till the old drive crashes.

Well, it did crash last weekend. There were two loud clicks from the drive and my Windows froze. I tried rebooting but the drive kept failing. So I decided to boot from the Windows XP CD and install Windows in the new drive now. Only problem was, Windows XP installer said my new hard drive contained 80 GB of unpartitioned space. I tried Windows 98, but it said the same.

So I decided to pat the crashed hard drive on the head, and try to boot from it again. And this time it started. And then I got the shock of my life.

My 80 GB hard drive containing a lifetime’s worth of data, music, movies and whatnot had been reduced to 80 GB of unpartitioned space and was completely unreadable!

At that instant I literally felt sick. I felt everything was gone… I would never be able to get those things back again. My years of hard work and carefully collected stuff, a lot of which I was stupid enough not to have burnt on CDs. Just imagine, preparing for that disk crash for six months in advance, and when it comes, it strikes the very place where I have been storing away my data.

However, as I said, Murphy’s Laws are infallible; which means they apply to themselves as well. I soon realized that although I had moved most of the data to the new drive, I had kept a copy of my most important directory on my old drive as well. That was a backup six months old, it is true (as I had not updated the file there after I made the new copy), but half a loaf is anytime better than none. The first job I did after finding this out was to get some blank CDs and taking a backup of everything in sight. Then I made a list of everything that I had lost forever. The most important things among them seemed to be:

· All Flash greetings I had made in the last six months

· Some photos that I had taken in the last two months

· My blog related stuff… the photos, the backups, the template changes, and most importantly, the banners that I had made.

· Some presentations and other documents that I had made in the last six months.

· Some programs that I had written.

Apart from these there were numerous movies, songs, videos, audio books, applications and heaven knows what else. I went to sleep sadly at one in the night.

But strangely, a change had come over my mood by the time I woke up the next morning. The sadness over the loss of data was there, but I had discovered a positive side to the whole thing as well. What was gone was gone, but here I had an 80 GB hard drive good as new, for me to fill up again. And the best part was, there was a lot of junk in it earlier, which I was never finding the time to organize. There was at least several GB of such unnecessary data. All that had been cleaned away by Mr. Murphy. Now I can start life afresh. I have a lot of stuff backed up at office. I’ll start by carrying them home somehow. Then I’ll reformat my hard drive and start storing data afresh in the New Year. This time I’ll have a lot more space to store the data.

Until the next time Murphy’s Laws manifest themselves, that is.


  1. happy new year! hope the new year brings you tons of stuff to fill that 80GB with. let me know if i can help you with filling up some of that space with any music that you may like.

  2. Thanks and wish a very Happy and Prosperous New Year to you and K as well! And sure I'll let you know if I know any music.

  3. Height of optimism::And the best part was, there was a lot of junk in it earlier, which I was never finding the time to organize.

  4. @abhijit: Thanks! I'll need your help for filling it up, of course.

  5. Have you seen the new India search engine
    www.ByIndia.comthey added all the cool featurw of popular productslike MySpace,YouTube, Ebay,craigslist,etc.all for free to use and specifically for India.Anyone else try this yet? First to Blend Search,Social Network,Video Sharing and Auctions Into One Seamless Product for Indian Internet Users.