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Expression 3 crashed

Discussion in 'Lighting and Electrics' started by Amiers, Jan 11, 2017.

  1. Amiers

    Amiers Custom Title of Awesomeness

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    Well today started like any other day coffee and muffins and office work.

    I decided to goto the the arena a bit early to do some clean up. As usual when I get in the booth I sequentially turn on my equipment as per usual. When I notice my submasters are all black. First time. So I shut the board down and chalk it up to faulty boot. Wrong!! The damn thing crashed. Checked the security footage to see if we lost power. Negative!!

    I say to myself no problem I got my handy backup right here. Slide the floppy in run through the process and last min Bad Disk. Sigh... I pull out the backup of the backup and same thing. At this point I'm table flip status as I got a show in an hour n a half. A No Show board and 2 backup disk that have failed me.

    Now I'm freaking out. I got one disk left that had my fixture profiles on it and hope to God I have some sort of show file on it. I pop it in and whala it worked. However it was from 2 years ago.

    Needless to say everyone make multiple backups of everything.

    With an hour left til doors open I had to update roughly 150 cues as the show cues have changed since.

    So now I am at a point where do I turn off the board and hope that it doesn't wipe or leave the board on til I get a chance to get up to Middleton to have it looked at as Tech support said bad caps or battery not knowing til it is cracked open.

    So that was my day today. Thank you to everyone for reading and letting me vent. Today was a stressful one but thankfully because of this board and my constant willingness to keep up on things allowed me to keep a level head even though I was a complete ball of stress inside.
     
  2. sk8rsdad

    sk8rsdad Well-Known Member Premium Member Fight Leukemia

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    Sorry for your loss. The moral of the story is backup, backup, and backup some more. Then test the restore from time to time. The technology is old enough that there's possibly a battery on the motherboard for the CMOS.

    If 'twere me, and I had something that could read floppies I would save to a few disks and confirm I could read in the offline editor before turning off the board. If not I'd leave the board on.

    FWIW (and to rub salt in the wound), my show files are synced to a networked backup laptop that mirrors to the cloud. Then again, I'm on a much newer console that supports that sort of thing.
     
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  3. Amiers

    Amiers Custom Title of Awesomeness

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    I have an external floppy cause in order to edit/make ML personality, ironically the disk for the fixtures just lives in the floppy drive of the external floppy.

    And yeah I wish I had a newer console to send scheduled backups without a reminder. Needless to say I've updated my google calander to let me know to backup the show more frequently than what I had it set at.

    This is the first time I have had two floppys go bad on me though. It was prettty scary.
     
  4. JD

    JD Well-Known Member

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    The disks may not be bad, or may not have been bad. As floppy drives age, they develop tolerance issues. Also, system goof-ups can corrupt data on the disk. Best to have an old PC that has a floppy drive on it and save copies on the hard drive. That way you can keep printing disks if the board drive is eating them.
    If the caps are bad, then keep the board on. When they get flaky, they are less likely to work when cold, so shutting the board down is risky as it may not start back up.
     
  5. MikeJ

    MikeJ Well-Known Member

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    To further what JD has posted. Floppys get out of alignment to the point of only being able to read disks written by that same drive. I would buy a new drive for the console and a new drive for your computer at the same time. I have had to do this a few times in the past. Also ditch older disks, they get unreliable, even new ones still in the package that have sat on the shelf too long.
     
  6. JD

    JD Well-Known Member

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    There is one other trick. Always format the floppy on the device it is going to be used on. (never was a fan of pre-formated floppies) What can happen is that the track/sector data of the format doesn't mechanically align with the data you are recording on the disk because the heads on every drive are in slightly different places. This sets the stage for read errors as drives and disks age. And, of course, unlike USB thumb drives, floppy disks can be erased by magnetic fields so storage away from metal objects is important.
     
  7. lwinters630

    lwinters630 Well-Known Member

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    I have felt your pain having floppy fail 30 minutes to doors open. It is one of the highest stresses I have had.

    In one venue I have an insight 3, besides multiple backups, I use a usb floppy into a laptop for the Etc off line editor. I also keep an old pc tower with a floppy drive.

    I'm hoping you never face that one again! I'm
     
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  8. FMEng

    FMEng Well-Known Member Fight Leukemia

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    Always store a copy of a floppy backup on a computer, or flash drive, or both. Floppies are notoriously unreliable for long term storage.
     
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  9. kicknargel

    kicknargel Well-Known Member

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    I once had a console (Colortran) that was writing corrupted floppies. So, unbeknownst to us we had no backups. Then, at some point 90 minutes before a show, the op restored from disc, and no show. So I like the idea of checking the backups on a secondary device.
     

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