Reinstalling the OS on your main computer is traumatising.

It’s not really the “installing” part that gets to me. It’s the formatting part. I know, I know, I can just keep a separate partition for /home and make sure not to format it. I usually do, in fact. In this case, though, I wanted to get rid of a lot of stuff.

I had already thrown out just north of 1.8TB in my spring cleaning project. I had realised that it was probably cheaper to clean all that out than it would be to buy a new hard drive to add to my volume group. So, I deleted away. I then moved everything that remained to my laptop and commenced with the OS install. I created empty partition tables on all five drives, and built my structure how I wanted it. 50GB for the root, 8GB for swap, LVM of about 2TB across three SATA drives for my home dir (/home/tralce) and another 450GB LVM for /home on two old IDE drives. Easy as cake. I had everything backed up. No big deal. Just a routine format. The instant I started I remembered that I hadn’t backed up my fstab (there’s usually some weirdness in there), I forgot to back up my public/private key pair, and I neglected to check for anything in my crontabs. Damn.

Why is it that every time someone goes to run a routine format they panic for a second when they realise the things they forgo to back up? Why can’t these little things get remembered before the format? Is it ever worth it to abort the format and try to recover the files that were lost? I guess I’m getting a little existential (har har) here. Now, I suddenly feel the need to play the theme for Final Fantasy 6 on my guitar. It sort of sets the mood for a time like this; melancholy, with an air of looking toward better days. Days without lost files.

It’s also become apparent to me that I never updated the webserver’s time for the last time change.