# MD5 is Your Friend

My XP box has taken to corrupting large files when they're stored on the external Firewire disk (I haven't checked the USB 2.0 disk yet, but I have a bad feeling...). I first noticed when a large ZIP file failed to decompress, and I was starting to blame the flaky old Linux server I had copied the file from (to the extent of going out and getting the latest bleeding edge Samba release) when I decided to move a perfectly good file from an internal disk to the external one.

The file wouldn't open.

So I did this (Cygwin is your friend, too):

$md5sum /mnt/d/backup-20031123.zip 4fb5f4e545bc474e855e3537ab6f51b4 /mnt/d/backup-20031123.zip$ md5sum /mnt/h/Backups/backup-20031123.zip
a381468de3198a14767c9829005038aa /mnt/d/backup-20031123.zip

...and promptly panicked. The disk holds months of backups, and even though there should be a replica, it does not contain everything. Two hours later I had hooked up the drive to my Toshiba laptop (praised be top-of-the-range laptops for having Firewire ports, even if they're the "mini" kind you misplaced the adapter for - hence the "two hours later" bit) and was doing stuff like:

\$ find . -print | grep -i .zip | xargs -i unzip -t {}

...and greping the result for errors. Oddly enough, it seems that the disk itself is pristine (copying a 400MB file around several times and checking the MD5 hashes yielded no more errors), but that something's definetly wrong with my XP box. It did crash spectacularly earlier on...

Anyway, that should be enough of an explanation for the lack of news today. Er, it's now 2:30 AM on the 28th. Make that yesterday.

Any pointers to Portuguese resellers of (very cheap) Mini-ITX hardware that actually have it in stock in the Lisbon area will be most welcome. I'm considering buying one of these, but only because it has Firewire. I don't need a quarter of the horsepower that thing has, and people are putting 2.4GHz CPUs in these boxes and selling them at exorbitant prices (I wouldn't spend more than Eur. 300 on this).