Jackass IT Stunt #2, awesome…

Read this article on InfoWorld, had to share my favorite one below.  Working in IT for over 10 years I had to do my fair share of “jackass stunts” along the way.  At one point at Key Bank I was referred to as “agent boy” because I often wrote Lotus Script agents to do massive data corrections in databases and the names.nsf.

Jackass IT stunt No. 2: Set storage devices to 350 degrees
Set your time machine for 1995 — when 5.25-inch hard drives contained as much as 9GB of data, if they were really expensive — and preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.Of course, back then you could fit an awful lot of information in 9GB, including the entire mail spool of a 5,000-user dial-up ISP. But when that disk decides to stop spinning up after a power outage, you might have a problem or two — especially when it’s discovered that the 2GB DDSII DAT drive has been stretching tapes for the past several months and nobody knew until now.

The problem wasn’t access — the disk presented to the SCSI controller just fine — but it also didn’t seem to spin up at all. It would whine and the motors would click, but the spindle didn’t appear to be spindling. Lacking any other options, a trick from an even older era of MFM and RLL disks was put into practice: bake the drive.

An oven was set to 350, and the full-height 5.25-inch disk was placed on a cookie sheet in the middle rack. Bake for 5 minutes, remove, do not let cool, plug immediately into power and a controller, and turn on the computer. Voilà, the grease that had hardened around the spindle had loosened enough to permit the platters to spin and the data was recovered – and immediately copied to two spare drives.

Although it was speculated that the disk might be best served with a chilled Chianti and rice, we’ll leave it to you to whip up and wolf down what is sure to be a culinary delight.

One thought on “Jackass IT Stunt #2, awesome…

  1. Its a frequent trick of ours to freeze a seized drive for about a half hour to an hour. It has the same effect, without risking melting anything … do this a with a room temp. drive however, hot ones can cause condensation. Placing in a zip lock back and sucking the air out first seems to help that too.

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