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jb449

This is my story

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So I'm staying in Santa Cruz, Ca for the summer. I found a job working at a local computer shop. I build computers, load software, try and fix people’s spyware and virus problems, etc... I've been working there for almost a month and on Friday I made my first real oops.

One of my boss’s friends works for the university here. He brought in a computer for upgrades. First thing I always do when upgrading or restoring someone’s old computer is a ghost as a backup. Usually we have empty 80gb hd's laying around that we use. But this guy’s computer had a 160gb drive and was loaded. Coincidentally, I had just received the 2 hard drives I had purchased. Hitachi T7k250's. I'm presently away from my computer and wouldn't be able to use them until next weekend. So, I used one of my drives for the ghost. The next day, I had completed all the upgrades and the fresh install of windows on his old drive. All that’s left is to transfer data from the ghost to his drive. It was busy that day. I was going back and fourth between computers when I go to connect the ghost.

*ZAP* Bright Blue Spark!

I had forgotten to switch off the power and I didn't line up the molex pins correctly. I instantly knew the consequences of my mistake and yelled out a loud obsenity. Sure enough the drive was toast. All it would do is click.

Turns out the guy who brought in the computer doesn't own it. It belongs to some importance accountant or something at the university. The new computer was supposed to sweeten him up.

Images and videos of important events, documents with all sorts of contact and financial information all gone in an instant. I thought I might luck out because I had another identical drive. I tried swapping logic boards... Nothing but clicks. The damage was internal. All I had done on his old computer was a windows install so I thought a software recovery program might find some stuff. Well it did find a whole bunch of documents and videos. Unfortunately the ones that aren't 0k in size are corrupted beyond all hope.

Oh yeah... No back ups.

The owner of the computer won't even know until Monday, and he will most certainly want his data. So the only thing to do is send the drive to a data recovery place, which may cost up to $2000. And everything is on MY drive. But I guess I can't complain too much about losing a $130 dollar drive for a potentially $2000 dollar mistake.

Doh!

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I've lost all a customers data once, see other techs do it all the time. We all just say oops, something went wrong, hope ya had a backup, have a nice day.

We sure as hell dont pay 2000 to get their data back.

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i did something very similar with with a drive that was part of a RAID 0 some years ago ('cuda 80G, i dont remember the model number) it just so happened that my room mate at the time 1. trusted me, and 2. had a matching 'cuda in his machine. I took the board off the bottom of his and slapped in on my 'cuda (now suffering from the click of death) and crossed my fingers. It worked! i backed up my data and reassembled his drive before i sent my in for an RMA.

I too worked in a local(chicago) pc shop building and fixing PC's. I learned alot of odd tricks that you cant find written in most book.

Long story short, if you have a drive with a matching PCB in your shop give it a shot. Just make sure you backup the data of the doner drive first.

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I've experience close to this. A power cable was loose in such a manner than when I opened the case's side panel with the power on it hit a drive which already had the second power connector (maxtor dm9 duh) connected. Swapping the board trick helped backing up it.

SATA helps against this kind of accident, but given the flimsy nature of many of the sata connectors, they feel like two steps forward and one back.

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Well it's monday and I've been brought up to speed on whats going on. Apparently the guy who brought in the computer as well as the owner of the computer are scared they might lose their jobs. It seems there was some very important data that belongs to the chancellor of the university on his computer. The drive is currently en route to a data recovery company. And I still have my job.

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LOL, the number of times that I have heard of lost data, while a PC is in for Repair is incredible, so you're certainly not alone in your experience. (Even had it happen to me as well, my story is below).

However just about every place I have worked for, had 2 lines on all repair sheets, which the customer signs: "xyz Pty Ltd, takes no responsible for lost data during PC repair or upgrades operations. Ensure that you have a valid and working backup *before* submitting your PC for repair/upgrade services." Your boss would have used this clause with the customer...

My story, (This is my AOL user me too story). Again an upgrade for a customer, and copied the data onto a new 40GB drive (this was back when 60GB was HUGE). We also had a bank of drives that we used for ghosting customers data, and each drive was to be labelled if the drive was in use, eg it had data on it. Went to restore the drive, and found another tech had used the drive and wiped the customers data, and replaced it with someone elses data... doh!!!

Edited by Chewy509

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A guy I worked with was a computer newbie working with a Wyse 286 PC (12 MHz too! Wow!). In any case, he had his back to me as he was installing a new 71MB Maxtor (Again...Wow!) The drive cost $500 wholesale back in the days when the difference between wholesale and retail was notable.

In any case, he plugged the HD power in while the system was hot and all I saw was his silhouette in a blue flash of light. Fingers were singed and the drive was cooked. We scraped the black soot off the drive and took it back to the distributor claiming is was DOA.

Lesson learned? Electricity hurts.

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I've had hard drives fail and click while running the diagnostics tests on them. I've been online and the hard drive crapped out. Hard drives can die instantly if something goes wrong. I went from 0 to 538 bad sectors on a Samsung 80GB in my computer in 2 minutes and after a reboot the drive clicked and wasn't found. The bad sector count kept going up and up and up :blink:

Too bad for them. Only ignorant people about hard drive and computers do not back up their data. Tough love. Trusting your data on a peice of metal and glass isn't wise. It isn't going to be loyal to you and promise you a full reliable life.

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No matter what , all or the owner should back up data first.

The clause should be standard.

and if the owner do not know how to back up his data, you can help by recommending some backup means and charge extra for your back up service before starting any work.

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Our service sheet the customer signs says we are not responsible for lost data, lost equipment, damaged equipment, and if fees are not paid in full we will sell the equipment in long legal terms

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The problem is that the guy who brought in the computer is a good friend of the owner. So not only does the owner not want to screw over his friend, but he'd also be losing a lot of business.

In the mean time I'm out 2 hard drives.

One is dead and my boss let his friend borrow the other one. You see the owner of the computer doesn't know what really happened. My boss told his some story about how his original drive failed and he's sending it in for recovery. So he let him borrow my hard drive while his original is away. Pretty lame, but I don't feel like I'm in a position to complain. I'll get the drive back. I was just looking forward to testing out the new T7K250 this weekend. Oh well.

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Our service sheet the customer signs says we are not responsible for lost data, lost equipment, damaged equipment, and if fees are not paid in full we will sell the equipment in long legal terms

212141[/snapback]

So you make no promises to even repair the problem the computer is brought in for. I can understand a disclaimer that you are not responsible for lost data, but how can you not claim to be responsible for lost or damaged equipment? Sounds more like an impound yard than a business.

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the sheet has a spot for customers problems, and in the disclaimer states we will fix those problems and they will pay for just what was complained about. We have never lost a computer or damaged one. We have sold them off after 6 months, and I have had customers come in as late as 14 months later to pick up.

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The drive is currently en route to a data recovery company.

Didn't you wrote you have a ghost of his hard drive? Or have I misunderstood ...

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Our service sheet the customer signs says we are not responsible for lost data, lost equipment, damaged equipment, and if fees are not paid in full we will sell the equipment in long legal terms

212141[/snapback]

So you make no promises to even repair the problem the computer is brought in for. I can understand a disclaimer that you are not responsible for lost data, but how can you not claim to be responsible for lost or damaged equipment? Sounds more like an impound yard than a business.

212152[/snapback]

Seems Sneaky but even big companies have those same type of disclaimers. Its not so they can tell the customer to F off, it's to tell them to F off if they become super angry and difficult. Things like "That Scratch wasn't there before", "you guys switched my video card" "I left my Windows 2000 Database Admin edition in the drive". For every 1 true screw up there are 4 or 5 tring to rip you off.

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