Re: Wrong sized hammer
<quote>People just think you hit it with a hammer, but there is an art to assessing which hammer to use and exactly how much excessive force to apply. And which sacred chant to speak, ...</quote>
I had an old Micropolis full sized 5-1/4 inch 145Mb unit seize. The customer's most recent backup was more than 2 months old, and there would have been a shit load of work lost if I could not recover that data. I told the customer that anything done since the last backup will be gone if I don't manage to get the drive functional, and they MAY get lucky if I can unfreeze it. BUT NO GUARANTEES I even got that in writing to protect my ass!!!!
To replace that oversized beast, I had procured a replacement hard drive (a Quantum Fireball 540) and I had formatted it, and loaded the O/S and the backup onto it. I got it to boot. At this point, the customer could be back up, albeit having lost more than two months worth of work. I powered the box down, and completely unplugged the drives power and data cable, and removed it from the case. I did not want any "accidents" fucking up the hard work I just completed.
I borrowed a small 4 oz brass hammer and deftly whacked it on its long side close to the motor spindle. (i.e. Force applied perpendicular to the motor shaft.) I then connected the power and data cables, and fired up the box. The damn thing spun up. The customer, trying to get out of paying for the repairs exclaimed: "You fixed it!!!, We don't need the other drive."
I reminded him that this was only a temporary fix, in an attempt to recover the lost work, and it is highly likely that this drive will fail again. I jam a 150Mb QIC into the tape drive, and make a backup; then I made another one, and finally a third.
I re-installed the replacement, booted it up, and restored the backup over the old files. I let the customer check the data, and all of what they expected was there. Whew!
The customer insisted on me reconnecting the failed hard drive because he didn't believe that the 10 year old drive had failed. To humor him, I did so. I powered it back up, and the motherfucker started to smoke. God damn was I lucky.
He had stalled on paying the bill, so the company ended up suing him, and won. He refused to pay, and I contacted one of their office staff, and was able to find out where they had their bank account. A garnishment order took care of collecting that judgment. That shithead got blacklisted by us, and his company name made the rounds. I wonder who was unfortunate enough to ever make the mistake of doing IT work for him in the future.