How do these people find me?



  • Being too busy with work (see "Feature charging at full speed ahead") has meant that I've not been able to share some of the really good gems of my last couple of months of being approached by coworkers, relatives, and every random idiot on the 'net who someone gives my AIM login info or e-mail address to. Since I quit two weeks ago, I'm starting to remember what free time is, and so I'll share some now.

    Gem number 1: I'm about to have a data recovery client. I often get this type of work from people being rather stupid, but this guy takes the cake. He wanted to keep his visiting parents from snooping on his computer, so he boots DSL, and uses it to zero the drive's partition table. Without bothering to back it up or at least run fdisk and write things down.

    2 500GB hard drives: About $160. Glow in the dark SATA cables: I have no idea, I don't buy that crap. Having to send me five hundred bucks because you think your parents will be shocked by a 40 year old single man having pornography on his computer: Priceless.

    Gem number 2: I'm about to have a second data recovery client. This one is not quite as bad as the first one, I think... RAID6 array, or he'd be screwed. Eight IDE drives. He accidentally set two of them to 'master' on the channel, so two drives are, well. Scrambled. The RAID driver goes, "HEY!!! I see two identical drives, you got hardware problems, I won't mount this thing!"

    When he realizes the problem, he promptly shuts down the machines, removes all jumpers from all drives, yanks out the cables, then suddenly realizes he has no idea which two drives were both set to master. And so they are now in a FedEx box en route to me.

    Gem number 3: I'm about to have a third data recovery client. The lesson this guy teaches, folks, is that IDE cables are keyed for a reason, and when it's upside down, it doesn't go in for a reason, and forcing it in and thus ripping a pin clean off the drive connector is really a bad idea. (I get about one of these a year. Clearly, it must be posted publicly more.)

    Gem number 4: My mother is trying to self publish something at the office. I try to walk her through her options. I make this easy, by telling her only one option. She then goes to the computer store, and gets confused by a helpful salesman.

    My mother is now the proud owner of about $500 worth of CD burning crap, because she bought one of everything the store carried. She has no blank CDs, and no burner. However, she does have the USB flash drives I told her to buy in the first place.

    And lastly, gem number 5: A former data recovery client of mine "saw the light" and decided he'd never need that expensive service again. Since his problem is he changed the password to his encrypted filesystem and can't remember what he changed it to, I can't really help him. His RAID-1 array using 1 data drive and seven mirrors didn't help him either.



  • @Wolftaur said:

    IDE cables are keyed for a reason, and when it's upside down, it doesn't go in for a reason, and forcing it in and thus ripping a pin clean off the drive connector is really a bad idea.
     

    There was a story here a long time ago of a man who plugged in an LPT port the wrong way.




  • Very nice post!

    12345
    WTF meter at level 120 WTF meter at level 30 WTF meter at level 0 WTF meter at level 10 WTF meter at level nearly at 100

    1: How could somebody technologically proficient enough to boot DSL and wipe the partition table be stupid enough not to back it up. (or even better: just put a password on his account so his parents can't login)

    2: Not smart, but a honest mistake I think.

    3: Sadly, this stuff doesn't make me go WTF anymore. I know enough people that have done something simalar...
    I know somebody who ruined his mainbord and memory by forcing a DDR2 stick into a DDR slot
    somebody who has ruined his €200 PCI-e videocard by forcing it into a PCI slot (It was PCI right?)
    O, and somebody I know tried to put his floppy-cable into the IDE connector of his DVD...

    4: An technologic non-proficient gets talked into buying all kinds of crap. Sorry, happens on a daily basis I'm sure. (btw: I still don't understand what she DID buy then)

    5: That is really, really, really stupid.



  • Actually, another note on #5. I tried to tell him RAID was no substitute for backup and his response was, "Yeah, if backup was important they'd have RAID tape drives."



  • @Wolftaur said:

    Gem number 3: I'm about to have a third data recovery client. The lesson this guy teaches, folks, is that IDE cables are keyed for a reason, and when it's upside down, it doesn't go in for a reason, and forcing it in and thus ripping a pin clean off the drive connector is really a bad idea. (I get about one of these a year. Clearly, it must be posted publicly more.)

    I just realized, I forgot the actual important part of this one...

    This is the second drive I have gotten from this client with this issue and cause. Apparently the fee I charged the first time wasn't educational enough!



  • I think that we need to increase the wtf meter then.



  • @Wolftaur said:

    Gem number 4: My mother is trying to self publish something at the office. I try to walk her through her options. I make this easy, by telling her only one option. She then goes to the computer store, and gets confused by a helpful salesman.

    My mother is now the proud owner of about $500 worth of CD burning crap, because she bought one of everything the store carried. She has no blank CDs, and no burner. However, she does have the USB flash drives I told her to buy in the first place.


     So what did your mother buy for $500?



  • @dtech said:

    I know somebody who ruined his mainbord and memory by forcing a DDR2 stick into a DDR slot
     

    This happened on one of the largest computer sales/repair shop of my city.

    I wonder what type of computer techies they are hiring...



  • @SuperAnalyst said:

     So what did your mother buy for $500?

    One copy of every single CD/DVD burning or authoring program the store actually had. And probably some completely unrelated useless crap.



  • Awesome!  Now I know to whom to send this box of 500 5.25" floppies I can't read properly.

    (Just kidding.  You have my condolences.)


  • Discourse touched me in a no-no place

     Data recovery work is THE BEST. One afternoon of "work" (aka a few minutes of configuration and plugging shit in, then hours of sit-and-wait) and you're sitting on half a grand for it (though I'm considering going to $5/gigabyte of disk capacity because I'm an asshole).


  • Discourse touched me in a no-no place

     You can send those right over here to me. Some of them may be good after a rewrite and I need some disks for my Apple II. You can NEVER have enough backup copies of The Oregon Trail.



  • @Weng said:

    (though I'm considering going to $5/gigabyte of disk capacity because I'm an asshole).

     

    Please do that.I'll then send you the 10 200 MB PIO1 filled to the max drives I still have lying around.



  •  So wait, this guy mirrored his drive seven times and then lost the password?

     I see he's living proof that there is no such thing as idiot-proof.



  • @Arancaytar said:

     So wait, this guy mirrored his drive seven times and then lost the password?

     I see he's living proof that there is no such thing as idiot-proof.

    The real proof is people who go insane encrypting their hard drives and then just back up to unencrypted media.



  • @Wolftaur said:

    The real proof is people who go insane encrypting their hard drives and then just back up to unencrypted media.

    Presumably it's easier to store the backup media in a physically-secure location (say, a safe) than it is to store a live server there.



  • @Carnildo said:

    @Wolftaur said:
    The real proof is people who go insane encrypting their hard drives and then just back up to unencrypted media.

    Presumably it's easier to store the backup media in a physically-secure location (say, a safe) than it is to store a live server there.

    Plus, if you forget your encryption passphrase, you can just recover from your plaintext backup 🙂



  • @Carnildo said:

    @Wolftaur said:
    The real proof is people who go insane encrypting their hard drives and then just back up to unencrypted media.

    Presumably it's easier to store the backup media in a physically-secure location (say, a safe) than it is to store a live server there.

    Ok, I'll be more specific. The real proof is people who go insane encrypting their hard drives, and keep their unencrypted backup media in an unlocked desk drawer ten inches from their keyboard. 🙂



  • @Wolftaur said:

    Gem number 3: I'm about to have a third data recovery client. The lesson this guy teaches, folks, is that IDE cables are keyed for a reason, and when it's upside down, it doesn't go in for a reason, and forcing it in and thus ripping a pin clean off the drive connector is really a bad idea. (I get about one of these a year. Clearly, it must be posted publicly more.)

    <sigh> I've done this myself before. Granted it was only once. I think the hard drive was mounted upside down in the system, hence the reason why. It took suprising little force to bend the pin in. The big difference is after I'd done it, I pulled out my soldering iron and re-soldered the pin onto the circuit board. I actually think blanking out a pin on IDE cables is a stupid idea considering how easily the pins on these drives can be bent or broken. Isn't that what the notch up the top is for anyway?



  • @DaEagle said:

    It took suprising little force to bend the pin in.
     @DaEagle said:
    Isn't that what the notch up the top is for anyway?

    Granted that the pins are weak (hurray for nigh-indestructible USB), but I'm curious how you managed to destroy the notch. It's very tough plastic. Does the outer edge of the female connector bend outward to accomodate the male's notch or something?  I mean, in humans that's the case, with the female's connector having the ability to accomodate quite a fair notch, but humans are made of soft flesh, not hard plastic.

    So at what point did the horrified moans of the material fail to provide the hint that it's not supposed to go in that way -- assuming you're installing hardware and not violating some hapless girl?

    Just curious.

     

    ) just beating you kids to the punch, ok?

    **) same, ok?



  • @dhromed said:

    Does the outer edge of the female connector bend outward to accomodate the male's notch or something?
    There are IDE cables without the notch (and there are even some without the notch and the filled pin).



  •  On number one, you don't even need a partition table backup in some cases.  Parted (if I'm not mistaken) can automatically find partitions.

     This seems like an honest mistake to me.  I guess he figured he could restore it by memory or something.  Once you actually try that, you realize how many numbers like 7377 you had to memorize.


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