Not just the Boss'es that do this
Had a similar experience only a couple of weeks ago. A matcbox-sized, USB-connected *harddisk* sporting a full 2.2 GB, bought at the Copenhagen equivalent of Tesco's went tits-up. Only one problem: It belonged to my SO, not the Boss ... so the usual BOFH remedies for "fixing" it could not be applied.
Thanks to Linux and ddrescue, I managed to salvage the important bits.
(Peltier elements?!? Nice ...)