Public deprived of WS site for two boring days

Brian livingston By Brian Livingston

Power users of Microsoft Windows found themselves with nothing to read but blogs when a disk crash took down the site Oct. 13–14, subjecting Web surfers to 48 hours of utter boredom.

Fortunately, all the site’s information was soon back online, to the chagrin of some of our columnists, who’d hoped that a few poorly chosen sentences here and there would disappear forever.

Being the geeks that we are, the Windows Secrets server is crammed with hardware designed to keep things running 24/7. The box is packed with four separate hard disks, which we imaginatively call Drives 0, 1, 2, and 3.

Because hard disks can crash, our server uses RAID technology. RAID, as described by, instantly switches from a failed hard drive to a second, identical drive. This is supposed to eliminate down time.

A built-in RAID controller on our server’s motherboard mirrors Drives 0 and 1, which contain our operating system and thousands of lines of code. An independent RAID add-in card synchronizes Drives 2 and 3, which contain our database.

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All Windows Secrets articles posted on 2009-10-15: