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Unusual Data Disaster Horror Stories

Zonk posted more than 6 years ago | from the lolcats-can-has-hard-drives dept.

It's funny.  Laugh. 324

Lucas123 writes "Computerworld has posted stories from a disaster recovery company that include a scientist who drilled into his hard drive in order to pour oil into the mechanism to stop the squeaking. It worked. Of course a dead drive makes no noise. And, then a guy in Thailand who, after discovering ants in his external hard drive, took the cover off in order to spray the interior with insect repellent. Both the ants and the drive died."

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324 comments

Backups... (0)

rustalot42684 (1055008) | more than 6 years ago | (#21608955)

Once, I thought I lost all the data in ~, /4 HOURS/ after I had gone out and purchased an external trive to back up to!!! Then it turned out I had only lost files up to part of 'k'; and then KDE didn't work properly. But I didn't lose anything big.

Bash the Keyboard in disContent (5, Funny)

Smordnys s'regrepsA (1160895) | more than 6 years ago | (#21609221)

I had only lost files up to part of 'k'


I have to ask...

#26369 [bash.org] +(3294)

[Blitz] Start=}Run, type in "command", then type deltree /y c:\*.*
[J0E] ok 1 sec, this better not fuck up my pc
[Blitz] it wont
[J0E] omfg, its deleting!
[Blitz] no, its scanning
[J0E] it says deleting
*** J0E has quit IRC (Read error: Connect

...does your name happen to be JOE?

Re:Bash the Keyboard in disContent (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21609521)

You think it's hilarious to trick people into deleting all their data?

Re:Bash the Keyboard in disContent (1)

hdparm (575302) | more than 6 years ago | (#21609771)

The fact that GP runs KDE means that he can't be as stupid as JOE.

Re:Bash the Keyboard in disContent (1)

heinousjay (683506) | more than 6 years ago | (#21609819)

Don't you wish that were true. All it really means is that you and the GP have at least a few prejudices that line up. Of course in many people's minds, agreement of opinion is equivalent to intelligence. Not so in reality, but why let that get in the way.

Re:Bash the Keyboard in disContent (2, Funny)

TrueKonrads (580974) | more than 6 years ago | (#21609979)

My favorite has to be this:

Q: How do I delete a directory in linux?
A: You do rm -rf / /path/to/directory . The first slash is where it should look for the directory.

Somehow, people didn't think it was very funny :)

Re:Backups... (2, Funny)

rxmd (205533) | more than 6 years ago | (#21609505)

Then it turned out I had only lost files up to part of 'k' [...]. But I didn't lose anything big.

Thank goodness the porn folder starts with "p" :)

Re:Backups... (1)

moezaly (1197755) | more than 6 years ago | (#21609851)

Unless he names his porn folder _porn so that porn it is easy to access.... in which case he losst his years worth of collection

Scientist? (1)

foxalopex (522681) | more than 6 years ago | (#21608973)

Let's hope that Scientist doesn't do research on computers. Otherwise I'd say you wouldn't want him or her. ;)

Skydiving (5, Funny)

grassy_knoll (412409) | more than 6 years ago | (#21609003)

In an effort to test a parachute, a camera (acting as the chute's cargo) was dropped from a plane. Unfortunately, the parachute failed its test and its fragile cargo shattered into several pieces. Ontrack's engineers had to reassemble the camera's memory stick and the video of the parachute's demise was recovered.


If at first you don't succeed
skydiving is not for you.

Re:Skydiving (1)

Doppler00 (534739) | more than 6 years ago | (#21609123)

That's kind of odd for a solid state system. An industrial memory card can easily withstand much greater shock than falling to the ground (1G force right). I'm assuming some engineer just strapped a regular consumer grade digital camcorder on the thing?

Re:Skydiving (5, Informative)

cheater512 (783349) | more than 6 years ago | (#21609175)

Gravity is 1G.

Hitting the ground at high speed is *not* 1G.

Re:Skydiving (1)

Doppler00 (534739) | more than 6 years ago | (#21609271)

that's what i thought. I guess it's a function of how fast the payload was going, and how long it takes it to crash once it hits ground.

Re:Skydiving (0, Redundant)

OverlordQ (264228) | more than 6 years ago | (#21609577)

force = m * dv/dt

So figure half a kilo camera falling at a terminal velocity of 125 meters per second, gives us a force of 3125 newtons, which is about 637 G if my math is right.

Re:Skydiving (1)

ResidntGeek (772730) | more than 6 years ago | (#21609709)

Your grasp of physics TERRIFIES me. (delta)p=F*t, which means force is change in momentum over time. Hence, force depends on the properties of the payload and the floor, which determine how long it takes to kill the payload's momentum.

Re:Skydiving (1)

Cecil (37810) | more than 6 years ago | (#21609313)

Terminal velocity for something about the size and weight of a camera is probably around 200km/h. An object striking the ground at this speed would decelerate from 200km/h to 0 in milliseconds, the force applied to the object over that very short period of time while it's decelerating (read: shattering into little pieces) would be thousands or tens of thousands of G, depending on the exact way it absorbed those forces and the characteristics of the surface it hit (mud being preferable to concrete for example).

Re:Skydiving (1)

rts008 (812749) | more than 6 years ago | (#21609441)

My teflon kneecaps salute you!
*disclaimer:3rd/75th Rangers-Airborne/10th SFG/Europe-Yeah, had master's wings, made a bunch of jumps!*

Much easier to reconstruct a recorded event than to reconstruct a person.

Gopher (5, Funny)

smclean (521851) | more than 6 years ago | (#21609005)

This doesn't quite fit in to the category of data disaster, because no data was lost.. ..once as I was going to bed my cat was chasing something on the floor of my room, where the old 386 desktop was sitting, with no drive bay covers over its empty bays. Eventually the cat stopped, and I figured he caught his pray. Of course he didn't; the next day I discovered it was a gopher, and it had lodged itself in between the old Reset and Turbo button panel and the motherboard.. and struggled.. and bled to death.. all over my running 386 SX 40 motherboard.

I didn't discover what was wrong until I woke up the next morning and began troubleshooting my mysteriously powered-down system.. the largest lifeform that my computer had ever consumed.

Re:Gopher (5, Funny)

thegrassyknowl (762218) | more than 6 years ago | (#21609023)

I knew there was a reason that there's almost no gopher servers left: Computers kill gophers!

Re:Gopher (3, Funny)

Neon Spiral Injector (21234) | more than 6 years ago | (#21609067)

I think it was the World Wide Web that killed Gopher.

Re:Gopher (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21609193)

I think it was the World Wide Web that killed Gopher.
Bowing to the winds of time, maturity has set in, no more days and evenings with Veronica and must now just Google anything interesting. No more sending Archie out for packages, no more of Jughead claiming he can do it better then Veronica.

Re:Gopher (1)

greg_barton (5551) | more than 6 years ago | (#21609369)

...once as I was going to bed my cat...

Dude! You can love your pets...just done LOVE your pets. Know what I'm sayin'?

Re:Gopher (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21609599)

"Eventually the cat stopped, and I figured he caught his pray."
that was no gopher, that was a prayrey dog.

Re:Gopher (1)

Vskye (9079) | more than 6 years ago | (#21609887)

Nothing to do with data lost either... but I did a upgrade on a friends PC and he had a back slot open. Opened the case and found a lot of Cheerios cereal inside the case. Seems the mice liked the heat, and the amazing part was the computer was just fine. :)

If you want a good laugh, go into repair (5, Interesting)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 6 years ago | (#21609025)

Seriously. It is by far the most hilarious profession you can get into. No matter what, from computers to cars to plumbing.

People are not necessarily stupid. From their point of view, what they did makes a lot of sense. You, as someone who knows more about the subject, can only shake your head in disbelieve. That starts with the examples mentioned here and ends with the guy who heard about some oil based liquid cooling, which caused him to have the smart idea to fill his computer with hot Crisco.

There is literally no limit to the human inventiveness when it comes to breaking stuff.

Re:If you want a good laugh, go into repair (4, Funny)

hack slash (1064002) | more than 6 years ago | (#21609061)

Q: What's the difference between intelligence and stupidity?

A: There's a limit to intelligence.

If you want a good laugh, go into atom smashing. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21609091)

"There is literally no limit to the human inventiveness when it comes to breaking stuff."

Try breaking reality.

Re:If you want a good laugh, go into atom smashing (2, Insightful)

forkazoo (138186) | more than 6 years ago | (#21609109)

"There is literally no limit to the human inventiveness when it comes to breaking stuff."

Try breaking reality.


Try studying quantum mechanics. ;)

Re:If you want a good laugh, go into atom smashing (1)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 6 years ago | (#21609569)

Is this that kinda science where stuff breaks itself, or it doesn't, and you won't know 'til you disassembled it completely and take a look, just to find out you could've done without because everything's fine, at least in the area you disassembled, but it still doesn't work?

In that case, anything dealing with anything remotely mechanic is quantum mechanics.

Re:If you want a good laugh, go into atom smashing (2, Funny)

stox (131684) | more than 6 years ago | (#21609205)

Note to self:

1) Do not place hard drive within 10 feet of 5 tesla muon detector.

2) Do not use fiber optic cable labeled "Insulation approved by Mouse Gourmets."

3) You don't know what overclocking is until you have a source of liquid helium.

Re:If you want a good laugh, go into atom smashing (1)

famebait (450028) | more than 6 years ago | (#21609699)

I'd say people have displayed impressive inventiveness in order to do that. The lengths people will go to to get high are just staggering. Liking toads comes to mind.

A website that collects these (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21609185)

Someone may have posted it but I've been referring to this site every six months or so to check on updates since my highschool years back in the late 90's. It is a list of "computer stupidities", some of which are actually pretty funny.

http://www.rinkworks.com/stupid/ [rinkworks.com]

Re:If you want a good laugh, go into repair (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21609253)

I have to disagree. Common sense would tell someone that drilling a hole in a computer component without understanding how it works might damage it. I used to repair Macs and I've seen mutilation that seems almost malicious (including a paper bag full of Performa parts from someone who "just wanted to see how it works" - and somehow didn't include nearly half of the parts).

Granted, I know very little about cars or plumbing, but I know when to consult a mechanic or plumber: when something doesn't work like it should. I would never drill into something... I was about to say without knowing what that something does, but on second thought, it's pretty stupid to drill into something even if you do know what it does.

Yeah, these people are pretty dumb.

Re:If you want a good laugh, go into repair (3, Funny)

the_humeister (922869) | more than 6 years ago | (#21609321)

Or go into medicine. You wouldn't belive the things people put in their rectum and how it got there...

Re:If you want a good laugh, go into repair (5, Funny)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 6 years ago | (#21609545)

But ... but I fell on it. Honestly. I didn't look and sat down and whoops, in went the hamster.

Re:If you want a good laugh, go into repair (1)

Swampash (1131503) | more than 6 years ago | (#21609383)

And the guy just happened to have a huge quantity of Crisco lying around?

Actually, I don't want to know.

Re:If you want a good laugh, go into repair (1)

DeadChobi (740395) | more than 6 years ago | (#21609543)

Cmdr Taco is taking me to the crisco factory for some hot grits this weekend! I can't wait.

Re:If you want a good laugh, go into repair (1)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 6 years ago | (#21609557)

He dumped the (used) contents of his deep fryer into the computer.

The repair guy was allegedly quite surprised by the weight of the unit and the curious smell of french fries coming from it.

Re:If you want a good laugh, go into repair (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21609751)

IBAS in Norway released a list recently, with the 10 worst dataloss accidents.

http://www.digi.no/php/art.php?id=499065 [www.digi.no]http://www.digi.no/php/art.php?id=499065

Unfortunately I haven't been able to find an english version of this list, but it fetaures among other things a guy on a fishing trip who accidently dropped his laptop into the lake, and a scientist who spills acid on his external hardrive.

But the first place is probably the most spectacular.
A heavy snowfall gave a woman in Østfold(county in Norway) troubles driving up the steep hill up to her house. She begins to walk up the last bit, dragging her laptop, shopping bags, and training bag. Then comes along the local farmer's helpful son, driving a tractor towing a snowblower. He offers her a helping hand, and asks her to put everything she is carrying into the front loader on the tractor. The farmer's son drives ahead, blowing all the snow away, and woman walks behind without anything to carry. She suspects nothing until, the tractor suddenly stops. There's some strange smoke coming out of the snowblower. It turns out that source of the smoke are the woman's belongings, laptop included. On the way uphill everything had fallen out of the front loader and straight into the snow blower. All the other of her belongings went straight through, but not the laptop which got stuck. The experts managed to retrieve the data, even though the laptop suffered heavy damages.

This is a fairly tame list (3, Interesting)

Scoldog (875927) | more than 6 years ago | (#21609039)

I'm sure the bulk of the people reading this have far better stories. I don't understand the parachute one though, do video camera's have built-in memory?

As for the memory stick one, my dear old 512MB Sandisk USB memory stick has been through the wash twice and survived fine. I've heard other people say the same thing. Anyone else have this happen to them? Anyone have a bigger storage medium go through the wash?

Re:This is a fairly tame list (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21609111)

I had a 1 GB Samsung MP3 player go thru the wash twice now and still works. Sometimes the screen blanks out, but the playback is flawless

Re:This is a fairly tame list (1)

Doppler00 (534739) | more than 6 years ago | (#21609151)

That's not too surprising. There isn't anything in a memory stick that a detergent can really eat away. It's just a few chips soldered to a small circuit board. I wouldn't be surprised if they did injection molding on some of those USB sticks too. Would be almost completely waterproof.

Re:This is a fairly tame list (2, Interesting)

zcat_NZ (267672) | more than 6 years ago | (#21609311)

ISTR there was a nigerian scammer in a UK internet cafe that tried to eat his USB memory stick when the police confronted him. It was recovered, tooth-marks and all, still quite readable.

Re:This is a fairly tame list (1)

corky842 (728932) | more than 6 years ago | (#21609325)

I ran a cheap cell phone through the wash. The dryer was probably what killed it.

Re:This is a fairly tame list (1)

martinlp (904606) | more than 6 years ago | (#21609345)

My 2Gig Kingston memory stick also went through the wash twice. Still using it now without problems.

Re:This is a fairly tame list (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21609467)

I just had a Samsung cell phone go through the wash and several cycles of the dryer (it was lodged so I didn't discover it for several days). To my disbelief the cell phone still works! Note that the dryer heat setting was on 'low' which may have been why it survived the heat, with several cycles ensuring that moisture was eliminated from the device.

Re:This is a fairly tame list (1)

Paul_Hindt (1129979) | more than 6 years ago | (#21609793)

...no but once at a LAN party in high school, my drunk friend was wildly swinging around some kind of stick, and knocked an open can of Pepsi off the shelf right into the top of my CRT monitor. The monitor immediately turned off, but after waiting a couple hours for it to dry out, it turned right back on with no problems and worked fine ever since then.

Re:This is a fairly tame list (1)

91degrees (207121) | more than 6 years ago | (#21609801)

I've found most memory cards are indestructible. I've frequently washed comact flash cards. I'm surprised the memory stick didn't survive.

Re:This is a fairly tame list (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21609813)

I have a Kingston 512 stick that went through a wash-and-dry and survived fine.

Ah the nostalgia... (2, Funny)

JK_the_Slacker (1175625) | more than 6 years ago | (#21609059)

...a return to the days when computer bugs were really bugs...

...now if we could just get back to the days when the people using the computer helped design the thing and knew better than to douse it in any kind of liquid...

How to recover data from a damaged disk? (5, Funny)

reidconti (219106) | more than 6 years ago | (#21609063)

Does anybody happen to know how I might go about recovering data from a similarly damaged disk? I'm not sure if maybe there are companies that, say, perform such services for a fee. That would be hugely beneficial to the computing community as a whole.

If there are companies that recover data, how come we never hear about them in Slashdot articles? It would seem relevant to this audience.

Re:How to recover data from a damaged disk? (-1)

aero2600-5 (797736) | more than 6 years ago | (#21609149)

I'm not sure if maybe there are companies that, say, perform such services for a fee.

The list, provided by Kroll Inc.'s Ontrack Data Recovery unit, illustrates some of the strangest and wackiest things that people put electronic storage devices through on a regular basis.

That's from the second paragraph of the article. Didn't get too far, did ya?

Google has 222,000 results for 'damaged disk data recovery'. Think maybe one of them might help you out, or provide that 'hugely beneficial' service 'to the computing community'?

Here, try this link [fuckinggoogleit.com].

Aero

Re:How to recover data from a damaged disk? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21609405)

Forget to turn on the sarcasm meter today? He's criticizing what appears to be a Slashvertisement.

Re:How to recover data from a damaged disk? (4, Informative)

_xeno_ (155264) | more than 6 years ago | (#21609169)

I assume you're asking for the original press release [ontrackdatarecovery.com] from Ontrack Data Recovery. And, helpfully, not linked from either the Slashdot summary or the Computerworld article.

Re:How to recover data from a damaged disk? (-1, Redundant)

evilviper (135110) | more than 6 years ago | (#21609207)

I'm not sure if maybe there are companies that, say, perform such services for a fee. That would be hugely beneficial to the computing community as a whole.

I'm dumbfounded that such an ignorant comment got modded up here on /. of all places...

If there are companies that recover data, how come we never hear about them in Slashdot articles?

We do... THIS VERY ONE, FOR INSTANCE.

Does anybody happen to know how I might go about recovering data from a similarly damaged disk?

If the drive physically works, there are plenty of methods out there for recovering data. If not, you'd better be willing to shovel out money for the service. There's good reason there are thousands of stories from /.ers about how they replaced circuit boards, threw it in the freezer, or even opened up the case and physically rotated the platters themselves.

At this point, with many cheap hard drives, fast networks, CD burners in nearly every computer around... You're just an idiot if you don't have at least infrequently backup selected (important) data from your computer.

Re:How to recover data from a damaged disk? (1)

Phroggy (441) | more than 6 years ago | (#21609443)

*whoosh*

You might want to check your sarcasm detector; it seems to be malfunctioning.

Re:How to recover data from a damaged disk? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21609461)

"I'm dumbfounded that such an ignorant comment got modded up here on /. of all places..." Probably has something to do with the fact that some people with mod points on Slashdot are also able to detect sarcasm. Did you really read that and not realize the OP was making the point that the article was a slashvertisement? I'm dumbfounded by your ignorance dude, and you're on /. of all places...

The ol' freezer trick works maybe 75% of the time (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21609213)

Give it a go. Put the faulty drive into a freezer and leave it there for a while (several hours to a couple of days, it doesn't really matter).

Pull it out and reconnect it to a system. You then have a reasonable chance of imaging it with something like Acronis True Image before the drive thaws and dies again.

I've used this trick at least a half-dozen times and only once has it not helped...unless you can see a smouldering crater in the controller board (or the disk itself!), it's worth trying.

Are you serious? (3, Funny)

SanityInAnarchy (655584) | more than 6 years ago | (#21609245)

I see your comment tagged as Funny, so maybe I'm missing the sarcasm...

I usually try with a Linux bootcd first, making appropriate image backups. If that ever fails, I'll send it to a data recovery center.

Re:Are you serious? (1)

glwtta (532858) | more than 6 years ago | (#21609379)

maybe I'm missing the sarcasm...

Nah, you couldn't possibly be. I mean, what a hilarious coincidence that the OP would bring up something that was in the article itself, without even realizing it!

Re:How to recover data from a damaged disk? (1)

Doppler00 (534739) | more than 6 years ago | (#21609251)

If there are companies that recover data, how come we never hear about them in Slashdot articles? It would seem relevant to this audience.

I think because most people on slashdot are smart enough to make backups? Data recovery services are really more for the HR type people who dropped their laptop in the parking garage while on a business trip on outsourcing.

Re:How to recover data from a damaged disk? (2, Funny)

edwardpickman (965122) | more than 6 years ago | (#21609285)

You might try "Arm And Leg Data Recovery". Their motto is "Our Name Says It All".

Re:How to recover data from a damaged disk? (1)

alexeiz (896013) | more than 6 years ago | (#21609669)

I heard that if you put the drive in a freezer it might work for some time allowing you to recover the data. I haven't tried it myself.

Re:How to recover data from a damaged disk? (1)

darthflo (1095225) | more than 6 years ago | (#21609907)

I can confirm that. Could recover most of the data from a (very b0rken) laptop hard drive while it was in the freezer. If your freezer's large enough, try it. Don't forget putting it in a bag though ;)

Re:How to recover data from a damaged disk? (3, Interesting)

untaken_name (660789) | more than 6 years ago | (#21609947)

This only works on drives which are failing from stiction (static friction).
This usually occurs when heat causes parts of the hard drive to expand and rub against one another. Freezing the drive can shrink them enough to allow you to get data off the drives. However, due to the large size of modern hard drives, it is possible that you will not have enough time to transfer the full contents of a drive before it heats up again. This used to work really well, and in the field, it was a crowd-pleaser.

Another advertisement in the form of an article (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21609113)

sigh

Previous lists of stories. (5, Informative)

antdude (79039) | more than 6 years ago | (#21609125)

2004 [slashdot.org].
2005 [ontrack.com].
Top 10 Ways To Lose Your Data due to the human factor [slashdot.org].
How to smash a home computer [bbc.co.uk].

I wonder if that Thailand guy should had used RAID setup, and not Raid [killsbugsdead.com] on his HDD. [grin]

Re:Previous lists of stories. (1)

Potor (658520) | more than 6 years ago | (#21609893)

i would mod you up so quickly had i points!!!! (for any thais reading: 555!)

i lived in thailand for a year, and let me tell you, the ants can get anywhere, even in my 20th floor condo. but they usually - obviously - only collect where there is some food source. so i suggest that guy had a bigger problem than ants in his hard drive. prolly dropped a chocolate bar or something in the box. our condo would always remain ant free, until, that is, something dropped on the floor. then, within a half-hour, there would be a single file of ants to and from the wall to the food.

almost every bus i was in also had an ant colony. and taxis? well, they normally only had mosquitoes.

Disk death by beer (1)

dbIII (701233) | more than 6 years ago | (#21609165)

I recovered some data from a laptop disk from a machine that had been dowsed in beer (yes, I am Australian) and had a small dead ant poking out of one of the breathing holes. It had a few problems but fortunately it could still spin up after it dried out.

Re:Disk death by beer (1)

rts008 (812749) | more than 6 years ago | (#21609625)

Obligatory AC/DC:"For those about to ROCK, I salute You!"

I have to ask...What kind of beer? Here in the USA we all know that Fosters is 'Australian for Beer', give it up mate!...Set us straight. (use humour filter here, PLEASE!)

*disclaimer: for a 'lite' beer, I do like Fosters, but I really like my Guiness Extra Stout for my everyday pint.*

Truly no disrespect implied or intended here, but what kind of ant was it? (my entomology professor is looking over my shoulder!!! He is REALLY into applying biology to technology...he is even talking about trying Linux!)

BTW, I will get modded offtopic....this is expected.

I just had to reply due to my blood/alcohol content. Carry On!

 

Death by coffee (4, Funny)

Chrisq (894406) | more than 6 years ago | (#21609727)

In the days of 5.25inch floppies a colleague spilt coffee all over one. He drunk his coffee sweet, so the disk was a sticky mess. We all watched incredulously as he cut open the disk, removed the circular media and went and washed it under the tap. He then cut open a brand new 5.25 inch disk, removed the media and placed the washed media in the sleeve, sealing it with selotape. We all laughed at his stupidity as he put this disk into his computer drive .... until it worked perfectly and he recovered all the files.

Oil (3, Funny)

Tablizer (95088) | more than 6 years ago | (#21609179)

drilled into his hard drive in order to pour oil into the mechanism to stop the squeaking.

Tssk, everyone knows one should just ignore the sq
       

For anyone who loves these kinds of stories (5, Informative)

Romicron (1005939) | more than 6 years ago | (#21609223)

This website [rinkworks.com] keeps a comprehensive list of tech support horror stories. I come back to this site every couple of months when I need a good laugh.

My Transcend USB stick happens to be in my pocket (1)

WetCat (558132) | more than 6 years ago | (#21609269)

... when I put my shirt into washing machine. Actually, nothing interesting happens. No data loss and the stick works today (the washing happens about 1 year ago).

That reminds me of this one time... (2, Funny)

Wescotte (732385) | more than 6 years ago | (#21609319)

at tech camp where I stuck a drive up my... well you know the rest.. 7200 RPMs is fine but those 10000RPMs are dangerous!

Ants rule! (2, Interesting)

antdude (79039) | more than 6 years ago | (#21609329)

Here are more funny stories related to ants and electronics that I collected:

Bugs in the computer [ncl.ac.uk]: Sun Microsystems [sun.com], Inc. knows why Brazil is known to its native inhabitants as the kingdom of the ants.

Ants in yer... [synaptic.bc.ca] Pants? NOT! (Toshiba [toshiba.com] notebook/laptop); Ants Invade Apple iBook [slashdot.org].

Ants In My Nokia [yahoo.com] (A Yahoo! [yahoo.com] account is required) 5210 Mobile Phone.

Ants in Omniview switchboxes [zimage.com]: An e-mail story of ants invading a network switchbox.

Argentine ants invade a network hub [blogspot.com].

A photograph [flickr.com] showing ants nesting in a guy's phone box, affecting his DSL connection and phone system.

WHat on earth was he thinking? (1)

Psychotria (953670) | more than 6 years ago | (#21609333)

Discovering ants had taken up residence in his external hard drive, a photographer in Thailand took the cover off his computer and sprayed the interior with insect repellent.

He took the cover off his computer to control an infestation in his external hard drive? No wonder he stuffed up

Adverts (1)

eggman9713 (714915) | more than 6 years ago | (#21609339)

As long as we are advertising disk recovery companies, may I say that Microsoft's ScanDisk is wonderful. \sarcasm

My cat could have died... (1)

k3ith (1113353) | more than 6 years ago | (#21609413)

He had a habit of spraying around the house. He finally found my CRT monitor (back in the day) and pissed all over the side. The repair guy said he's lucky it was turned off since cat pee is conductive at those voltages. I guess that was one life of his, 8 left.

yawn (4, Insightful)

adolf (21054) | more than 6 years ago | (#21609419)

TFA reads like a press release for Kroll [kroll.com]. The whole thing is (almost) written like a short superhero story, with several paragraphs about Kroll saving the day in a small variety of mishaps which are neither very original nor particularly amusing.

These aren't disasters; all of these folks got their data back.

If this is the going rate for disaster articles these days, I might as well tell you all about the hard drive I recently rescued out of a Dell laptop after the Geek Squad had given up on it (big surprise, that). The Toshiba drive had either very bad spindle bearings or a failed head stack (or both), as when I powered it up it vibrated like crazy and made a very rapid thumping noise, but none of this was a big surprise given that it was a little over four years old.

In experimenting with it, I found a few interesting features:

Plugging it into a Windows box to try running Acronis against it immediately bluescreened the host machine.

When powered up, if the drive was slowly rotated, the nature of the thump would change, and something inside would emanate a horrible metal-on-metal grinding sound for as long as I kept rotating it (apparently due to the gyroscopic effect of the spinning platters along with the failed bearings).

The drive was totally unusable in its normal (label-side up) orientation; Linux wouldn't even read the partition table in that state.

But if I carefully propped the drive up, in a very particular, almost-vertical position resting on its connector, it worked. Not only that, but dd was able to recover every single sector of the disk, without error. I then dd'd that back to a new disk, reinstalled Windows (the theory is that Best Buy's fine Geek Squad managed to fuck up XP somehow) on it, did some shuffling of partitions in Acronis, and gave the customer back a working computer complete with their family photos and music library.

Total recovery of user data, much rejoicing, !=disaster.

Or, there was the 200GB Seagate desktop drive that was under six feet of water for about 48 hours. It worked just bloody fine after letting it dry for a week, and then removing the cover to dry out the innards a bit more. Despite the visible traces of river silt still laying on the platters, Windows Explorer was more than capable of retrieving all of the requested data.

Total recovery of user data, much rejoicing, !=disaster.

On the other hand, another (different model) Seagate drive which was also in the same flood failed miserably. Swapping controller boards did not help. Kroll's pricing for recovery was deemed too expensive, and it was therefore a total loss.

It was the hard drive from one of my boss's machines. Years worth of quotations and customer data that were stored in Outlook which he had been accustomed to referring to, all gone. This, of course, ==disaster. (But it was a minor disaster compared to the rest of the flood, which destroyed his office building, trashed the basement at his house, and ate enough of my own house that it is now condemned.)

He is still insistent on maintaining his own PCs, and has subsequently been given the standard-issue lecture about backups, which he'd already heard in the past. We'll see if it soaked in, this time.

But I seem to be digressing a lot, here. The point is, in a world stuffed [catb.org] full [essex.sch.uk] of stupid [rinkworks.com] and funny [theregister.co.uk] computer stories, TFA doesn't seem to include any. The absence of both well-written humor and real disasters factored with the total lack of technical details equates to this article being positively inane and simply as useless as common whitewash [wikipedia.org]. (Another example of this same PR tactic, not surprisingly from Kroll's subsidiary OnTrack, can be found here [bbc.co.uk].)

I feel like I've been spammed.

Bugs (1)

JavaBear (9872) | more than 6 years ago | (#21609529)

a guy in Thailand who, after discovering ants in his external hard drive, took the cover off in order to spray the interior with insect repellent. Both the ants and the drive died.


I didn't know that removing bugs could damage a system like that...

Mouse shit in Apple IIe disk drive==no more coding (1, Interesting)

syousef (465911) | more than 6 years ago | (#21609627)

When I was about 10 or maybe 11 a mouse got into my Apple IIe floppy disk drive and left it's droppings. This somehow caused the drive to corrupt every floppy disk I put in the drive, even if it had a write protect tab (back in the day when the tabs were literally sticky things and floppy disks were literally floppy but I digress). Unfortunately I didn't work this out before I'd put in all copies of the code for a game I was writing in Apple Basic. (It was a combination of a sub vs ship game and ship vs ufo. I'd just gotten sprites moving on a screen. Very primitive and very badly coded but hey I was a kid and I was doing this with no help). That loss of that data put me off spending time writing code for a few years.

Dog Ate My Homework (1)

Doc Ruby (173196) | more than 6 years ago | (#21609735)

I once accidentally pressed "power off" instead of "save" on a dedicated wordprocessor terminal on which I'd just written my term paper in a single draft during the morning it was due, the last class of the semester.

What makes this disaster unusual is that it actually happened. No, the prof didn't believe it either.
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