The last couple of days I have spent too much time trying to rescue a hard drive. This drive was intended for a Windows 10 system, but it would not appear anywhere in utilities. BIOS could recognize it was plugged in, but that was it. Nothing in Explorer, nothing in Disk Management, not even in the command-line diskpart partitioning utility. In fact, just plugging the drive in would cause all of these to hang until terminated.
I went through the whole litany of troubleshooting procedures: BIOS check, memory diagnostics, different slots, direct plug, external connections, a special cloning hardware connection. Nothing.
Finally, after painstaking effort on multiple different machines I was able to get a Linux command-line terminal on one of my machines to see the drive. A couple of hours and several procedures later, I was eventually able to get the drive initialized and partitioned. But it still would not accept a file system of any kind, just returning read/write errors every time a format was attempted, regardless of the partition chosen.
Thankfully, there wasn’t anything critical on the drive, so it is going back still under warranty.
In the midst of this, yesterday I decided to deal with one of my little annoyances that has been around for several months. I have another drive – perfectly good – that regularly drops out of the file manager. This is completely unrelated to the problems with the other drive and it hasn’t been a big problem, since I know a workaround through diskpart. But I figured I might as well take care of it too, while I was at it.
So I created a simple desktop shortcut to open the diskpart terminal at the administrator level and feed a short command-line text program into diskpart to mount the drive. This allows me to mount the drive through a single click whenever I want, rather than having to go through the process manually in diskpart.
I created the shortcut, wrote the command-line text program, made sure the files were in the right location, unmounted the drive to test the program and clicked on the results of my efforts. Nothing.
What could have gone wrong?
I opened the text file. Everything looked good on a quick glance. But with a little more troubleshooting I ascertained that diskpart had indeed been opened and had called the text script and had returned an error before closing in the background, so the error must be somewhere in my text file. But where?
Then I noticed it. A simple mistake. One character mistyped. In one of the command lines I had written “lixt vol” rather than “list vol”. Not a big deal. Just one character out of place. After all, any other programmer would have known what I meant. In fact the two letters are right next to each other on the keyboard. A minor mistake. Nothing but a “slight successive” change.
But it crashed the whole program.
I fixed the typo, re-ran the script, and it works perfectly. So my little annoyance is now solved.
But my thoughts kept coming back to this little incident last night. This example, like a thousand I’ve seen before, shows the importance of information and how precise it sometimes has to be. True, not every communication has to be this precise, not every instruction this clear. But in the world of a 4-bit digital code, information storage, translation mechanisms, and instruction sets, a great deal of precision is required.
I continue to be astonished that people, otherwise intelligent people, are so committed to a materialist narrative or so naïve about systems engineering, that they think complex, integrated, functional systems can be built through random changes.
Nobody thinks this in the real world — not with bench science and with actual applications. They would be laughed out of a job.
But in the conveniently-distant historical context of biology they continue to blindly assert that a highly scalable, massively parallel system architecture incorporating a 4-bit digital coding system and a super-dense, information-rich, three-dimensional, multi-layered, multi-directional database structure with storage, retrieval and translation mechanisms, utilizing file allocation, concatenation and bit-parity algorithms, operating subject to top-down protocol hierarchies all came about through a long accidental series of random changes to the code and the database.
That’s the ticket.