Friday, May 14, 2010

UnDBX v0.20: Recovery Mode

I've released a new version of UnDBX - a tool I wrote for extracting, recovering and undeleting e-mail messages from Outlook Express DBX files.

This is likely to be the last major release of UnDBX, since Outlook Express is defunct. It's been replaced by Windows Live Mail, which stores e-mail messages on disk as plain .eml files.

The main new feature in this release, and the reason for the version bump to v0.2x, is a Recovery Mode for extracting messages from corrupted DBX files. In Recovery Mode UnDBX can also (partially) undelete deleted messages from DBX files.

Other features and enhancements include:
  1. a new GUI launcher, that should be easier to use than the previous launcher script
  2. file names of extracted .eml files are constructed from the contents of the To:, From: and Subject: message headers
  3. the modification date of the extracted files is set to match the contents of the Date: header
  4. fixed crash bugs exposed by zzuf and valgrind


Saturday, May 8, 2010

Busted External Disk

When it rains it pours.

Shortly after my laptop went headless, I started getting weird behavior when accessing files on one of my three external USB hard disk drives.

It's the largest disk (300GB) - the one that holds a backup of most of our DVDs. The one whose contents is not backed up by Bacula, simply because of its size.

I found that if I repeatedly use sha1sum or md5sum to compute the digest of some files, I get a different digest on every run.


So I purchased a WD Elements 1TB External Disk, hooked it up, launched gparted, removed the NTFS partition, and reformatted it to Ext4. And then copied the contents of the bad disk to the new disk using rsync.

Most of the contents on the bad drive is multimedia, and multimedia players are designed to cope with errors in their input, so I guess I can live with the damage.

I wonder what's next to fail.