King of Excellent (according to Scaryduck)

Tuesday, December 11

The day AOL killed my PC

On Saturday I did another victim of AOL's software. Their PC kept crashing, and the only thing in their eyes they could do was to press the reset button on the front of the case. Eventually, the drive decided it had had enough, and started to break. Fortunately they had SMART, so the computer warned them immediately. After the job (new hard drive, windows reinstall, etc etc) I said I'd take the old knackered drive and see if I can recover their data. They had photos, documents and the usual stuff to recover, and ZAR would normally do the job admirably.
So, yesterday morning I plugged the drive into my PC, ready to read off their data. "Please insert boot disk and press any key" came up. I checked, and my 80Gb Windows drive had disappeared, so I unplugged their drive. My drive still didn't appear, so after much tooing and froing with cables etc, I took out my drive and plugged it into a second pc. Now, in a mild state of panic, I realised I might have lost the data on it. Not to worry though, because I have it on a RAID5 array, and all I needed to do was set up the second 80gb as master.
Only that was now missing as well.
I could see the 250gb Sata with all my installs etc was there, so to check that the drive data was in tact, I went to put in my Ubuntu CD to read the drive. And promptly found that I couldn't open the DVD drive either. I now have a bog standard DVD ROM drive and a 20gb with my windows install on it, and in front of me I have my 80gb drives with a ":-(" drawn on the front of it. I think I have resigned myself to the fact I've lost everything. Photos, documents, emails going back 9 years, addresses. My last resort is to buy an equivalent drive from ebay, and swap the main circuit board underneath the drive. If it fails I've lost the cost of the drive, but if it works I'll be 1000 times happier.
So there you have it, the day AOL killed my PC.