Select Page



Even up against a UNIX command line

I actually did it, I solved it. I gave up a few times and almost just reformatted the drive–but I would have lost all of my data. I was mostly just annoyed that I couldn’t solve it. I had tried everything I knew–and then several things I didn’t yet know. It’s been two weeks, a trip to Fry’s Electronics, days avoiding it, other days analyzing it, deep into way-over-my-head geeky user forums, and finally I did it.

When I’m challenged, I can be extremely stubborn.

At some point, I didn’t even care about the data that was on there anymore. I’m pretty good with backups, but this drive had files that I didn’t have elsewhere–although I could have recreated them. It maybe would have been 20 hours of “stand by” (not work, but clicking Go and Stop etc.). Worth a shot to try to save it anyway.

My hard drive had a “$UpCase is corrupt” error and I couldn’t get a thing off it. It was dead, corrupt, and I couldn’t access it. Well, not without a System Rescue CD running a UNIX (mini) operating system running only from the CD. A wha? Exactly. I was way over my head. What finally fixed it? A UNIX command (ntfsfix -b) from the command prompt. This was after the so-called rescue CD wouldn’t load, then it said there were errors, but didn’t determine which errors. If you can pinpoint an error, Google is a dream. But I couldn’t narrow it down. I looked into hard drive recovery: at least $500, but more like $1,500 if the drive is corrupted. Hmm. I could also just give up.

In which circumstances do you give up and in which do you go the extra mile?

I’m learning recently that my determination (and corresponding effective stubbornness) is not universally applied. Let’s see, where have I not applied myself lately: I need to sell some stuff on Craigslist. It’s been months. OK, fine, years. If I had spent a fraction (a tiny fraction) of the time on Craigslist as I did in the past few days on UNIX command line forums, the items would be posted, glorified, and sold. But I haven’t done a thing.

What are the rules by which we’re determined? When we like to do something? When it’s easy? When we’re challenged, forced, coerced, or is it just when we feel like it? To go that extra mile, especially those extra 10 miles, requires more determination than you’re usually willing to give.

Why doesn’t everyone go the extra mile? Because it’s hard.
It sounds something like you’d see in a job posting, “Self Starter! Willing to go the extra mile! Determined!” I may have just figured it out by thinking about who gets hired–but who later gets promoted: those who just go the extra mile, no matter the circumstances. They go farther because they’re addicted to getting the job done, to doing it right.

Why don’t we do everything above and beyond? Maybe part of it rests with science versus art. With hard studies (like this computer), it’s either working or it’s not. I can fix it or I can’t. With the article or the painting, when is it perfect? When is beyond what I’m usually capable of? How do I know? Usually I think you’ll know. But what if you feel like you went above and beyond, but it’s difficult to measure?

So what separates those who do what’s required and those who do more? Effort. Pain. Frustration. Will. Desire. Why doesn’t everyone go the extra mile or the extra 10 miles? Because it’s not always fun, it requires thinking, analysis, time, patience. It’s also just plain harder.

I tried everything. Then I tried anything.

Just in case you run into such a dead hard drive, here’s where I found help.


  1. How To Become Your Better Self - [...] He writes every day, because he wants to be a better writer. He’s determined. [...]

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.