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Unusual Data Disaster Horror Stories 324

Lucas123 writes "Computerworld has posted stories from a disaster recovery company that include a scientist who drilled into his hard drive in order to pour oil into the mechanism to stop the squeaking. It worked. Of course a dead drive makes no noise. And, then a guy in Thailand who, after discovering ants in his external hard drive, took the cover off in order to spray the interior with insect repellent. Both the ants and the drive died."
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Unusual Data Disaster Horror Stories

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  • Skydiving (Score:5, Funny)

    by grassy_knoll ( 412409 ) on Friday December 07, 2007 @02:08AM (#21609003) Homepage

    In an effort to test a parachute, a camera (acting as the chute's cargo) was dropped from a plane. Unfortunately, the parachute failed its test and its fragile cargo shattered into several pieces. Ontrack's engineers had to reassemble the camera's memory stick and the video of the parachute's demise was recovered.

    If at first you don't succeed
    skydiving is not for you.
    • That's kind of odd for a solid state system. An industrial memory card can easily withstand much greater shock than falling to the ground (1G force right). I'm assuming some engineer just strapped a regular consumer grade digital camcorder on the thing?
      • Re:Skydiving (Score:5, Informative)

        by cheater512 ( 783349 ) <> on Friday December 07, 2007 @02:33AM (#21609175) Homepage
        Gravity is 1G.

        Hitting the ground at high speed is *not* 1G.
      • by Cecil ( 37810 )
        Terminal velocity for something about the size and weight of a camera is probably around 200km/h. An object striking the ground at this speed would decelerate from 200km/h to 0 in milliseconds, the force applied to the object over that very short period of time while it's decelerating (read: shattering into little pieces) would be thousands or tens of thousands of G, depending on the exact way it absorbed those forces and the characteristics of the surface it hit (mud being preferable to concrete for exampl
    • by rts008 ( 812749 )
      My teflon kneecaps salute you!
      *disclaimer:3rd/75th Rangers-Airborne/10th SFG/Europe-Yeah, had master's wings, made a bunch of jumps!*

      Much easier to reconstruct a recorded event than to reconstruct a person.
  • Gopher (Score:5, Funny)

    by smclean ( 521851 ) on Friday December 07, 2007 @02:09AM (#21609005) Homepage
    This doesn't quite fit in to the category of data disaster, because no data was lost.. ..once as I was going to bed my cat was chasing something on the floor of my room, where the old 386 desktop was sitting, with no drive bay covers over its empty bays. Eventually the cat stopped, and I figured he caught his pray. Of course he didn't; the next day I discovered it was a gopher, and it had lodged itself in between the old Reset and Turbo button panel and the motherboard.. and struggled.. and bled to death.. all over my running 386 SX 40 motherboard.

    I didn't discover what was wrong until I woke up the next morning and began troubleshooting my mysteriously powered-down system.. the largest lifeform that my computer had ever consumed.
    • Re:Gopher (Score:5, Funny)

      by thegrassyknowl ( 762218 ) on Friday December 07, 2007 @02:11AM (#21609023)
      I knew there was a reason that there's almost no gopher servers left: Computers kill gophers!
      • Re:Gopher (Score:4, Funny)

        by Neon Spiral Injector ( 21234 ) on Friday December 07, 2007 @02:19AM (#21609067)
        I think it was the World Wide Web that killed Gopher.
        • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

          by Anonymous Coward

          I think it was the World Wide Web that killed Gopher.
          Bowing to the winds of time, maturity has set in, no more days and evenings with Veronica and must now just Google anything interesting. No more sending Archie out for packages, no more of Jughead claiming he can do it better then Veronica.
    • ...once as I was going to bed my cat...

      Dude! You can love your pets...just done LOVE your pets. Know what I'm sayin'?
    • by Vskye ( 9079 )
      Nothing to do with data lost either... but I did a upgrade on a friends PC and he had a back slot open. Opened the case and found a lot of Cheerios cereal inside the case. Seems the mice liked the heat, and the amazing part was the computer was just fine. :)
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Stripe7 ( 571267 )
      I have heard horror stories of co-locations with gopher, rat and red ant problems. They seem to like chewing on the cables. Personally the only issue I know of was a when the computer rooms cooling system was malfunctioning and it took some real hardware debugging to fix it. Turned out to be a big wasp's nest clogging up the air duct.
    • by Fred_A ( 10934 )

      This doesn't quite fit in to the category of data disaster, because no data was lost.. ..once as I was going to bed my cat was chasing something on the floor of my room,[ ... ] the next day I discovered it was a gopher, and it had lodged itself in between the old Reset and Turbo button panel and the motherboard.. and struggled.. and bled to death.. all over my running 386 SX 40 motherboard.

      You cat should have used Veronica [].

    • Re:Gopher (Score:4, Funny)

      by corbettw ( 214229 ) <corbettw@ y a h o o . com> on Friday December 07, 2007 @10:49AM (#21612055) Journal
      I hope you disposed of your computer properly and humanely. Once they've tasted blood, there's no controlling them.
  • by Opportunist ( 166417 ) on Friday December 07, 2007 @02:12AM (#21609025)
    Seriously. It is by far the most hilarious profession you can get into. No matter what, from computers to cars to plumbing.

    People are not necessarily stupid. From their point of view, what they did makes a lot of sense. You, as someone who knows more about the subject, can only shake your head in disbelieve. That starts with the examples mentioned here and ends with the guy who heard about some oil based liquid cooling, which caused him to have the smart idea to fill his computer with hot Crisco.

    There is literally no limit to the human inventiveness when it comes to breaking stuff.
    • by hack slash ( 1064002 ) on Friday December 07, 2007 @02:19AM (#21609061)
      Q: What's the difference between intelligence and stupidity?

      A: There's a limit to intelligence.
    • by the_humeister ( 922869 ) on Friday December 07, 2007 @02:59AM (#21609321)
      Or go into medicine. You wouldn't belive the things people put in their rectum and how it got there...
    • And the guy just happened to have a huge quantity of Crisco lying around?

      Actually, I don't want to know.
      • Cmdr Taco is taking me to the crisco factory for some hot grits this weekend! I can't wait.
      • He dumped the (used) contents of his deep fryer into the computer.

        The repair guy was allegedly quite surprised by the weight of the unit and the curious smell of french fries coming from it.
    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward
      IBAS in Norway released a list recently, with the 10 worst dataloss accidents. []

      Unfortunately I haven't been able to find an english version of this list, but it fetaures among other things a guy on a fishing trip who accidently dropped his laptop into the lake, and a scientist who spills acid on his external hardrive.

      But the first place is probably the most spectacular.
      A heavy snowfall gave a woman in Østfold(county in Norwa
      • The scientist spilling acid is an accident. An avoidable one, but still just a simple accident. Taking your laptop onto a boat is quite dumb, though.

        And putting your laptop onto a snow blower is VERY dumb. :)
      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        by soulsteal ( 104635 )
        They didn't happen to have the story about a moose biting my sister's hard drive did they? Moose bites can be pretty nasty....
    • by Eivind ( 15695 ) <> on Friday December 07, 2007 @06:25AM (#21610305) Homepage
      True. And in -any- business. My brother is a car-mechanic. True anecdote follows:

      Lady on the phone: "Could you please send a mechanic to fix my car ? I can't come to the garage, because the problem is, a wheel fell off".

      Brother: "We could do that, where do you live ?"

      Lady: "At so-and-so, oh and could the mechanic please stop in the crossing of X and Y, pick up the wheel and bring it along, that's where it fell off."

      Brother: "So, that's where we'll find the vehicle too then ?"

      Lady: "Oh no, I noticed the wheel falling off, and the car made a horrible scraping sound, but I was in a hurry, so I drove it home on 3 wheels."

      End-effect: A 10-minute re-attachment of a wheel turned into the need to completely replace the disc-brake on one wheel, and readjust suspension. $1500, for what would otherwise have been like $100 (she could've put the wheel back on herself really, if she had half a clue)
      • by Fred_A ( 10934 )

        End-effect: A 10-minute re-attachment of a wheel turned into the need to completely replace the disc-brake on one wheel, and readjust suspension. $1500, for what would otherwise have been like $100 (she could've put the wheel back on herself really, if she had half a clue)

        But how does a wheel "fall off" to begin with ? I don't drive all that much (mostly using my bike, buses and the metro, comes from living in the city), but I can't recall ever having a wheel "fall off".
        And what would she put it back on with ? Super-glue ?

        • by nahdude812 ( 88157 ) * on Friday December 07, 2007 @07:32AM (#21610523) Homepage
          The most common cause of wheels on cars falling off is a side-effect of the parent of your post - people putting wheels on themselves and getting the lug nuts wrong. Lug nuts go on with the tapered side in. The taper keeps the lug nut centered to the bolt since there is a matching taper on the wheel hub. If you don't do this, the bolt shifts back and forth in the holes on the hub every time you accelerate and break. Eventually you weaken the shafts and they break off, tossing your wheel.

          Why they don't make lug nuts with tapers on both sides I will never know, but I'm not a mechanic and I've actually seen it happen right in front of me two different times.
      • by 45mm ( 970995 ) on Friday December 07, 2007 @10:33AM (#21611893)
        So my car was legally parked in front of my girlfriend's house, on a 30mph street. There is a gradual turn, and if you're not paying attention, you'll miss the turn and hit my car.

        Well, that's basically what happened. Some nut not paying attention drove right into my car around 40mph. Needless to say, my car's left side didn't survive. I was in the house when I heard it, looked out the window, and saw this car impaling my own.

        So I go out to investigate, and the woman is attempting to drive away ... I noticed as she reversed that the right half of her front axle is torn off, wheel still lodged in my car. She didn't get far obviously (lots of horrible scraping), and eventually got out after I knocked on her window. After surveying the damage together, she informs me (completely straight-faced) "I'm late for work, really sorry ... can you help me put my wheel back on?"

        The rage I felt was unimaginable. But I calmly said, "Sure, how about I go into the house and get some super glue and we'll fix that right up for you."

        It was either the shock of the accident or she was just that stupid ... but she said "OH MY GOD, THANK YOU!"

        But I'm a cruel heartless bastard, even more so when someone doesn't get the sarcasm. "On second thought, we're waiting for a tow truck, and the cops."

        And no, she wasn't drunk (the cop was honestly surprised).
      • by Anonymous Coward on Friday December 07, 2007 @10:37AM (#21611929)
        I had a flat tire right next to the local mental hospital. As I was replacing the tire this mental resident walked over to the fence and watched me. I dropped the spare and it flipped the hubcap full of wheel nuts into the ditch. I couldn't find any of the nuts in the grass. Not knowing what to do I kicked the sh!t out of things and was jumping around when I heard this low voice say just take one nut off of the other three wheels and use them to hold the tire on. Shocked I turned around to see the mental patient looking at me. I said good idea but why are you on the other side of the fence? He said Because I'm Fuc*ing crazy not stupid you idiot!
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      For non-PC items, check out []

      It has mainly microwave devices, but it's nice to see some variety - like the snake.
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by Stele ( 9443 )
      A friend once told me a story about when he was a cable installer/technician. He got called to some old lady's house who was having problems with her signal - she wasn't getting any channels.

      He got there and fiddled with the tv and box for awhile and started looking at the cabling. Eventually he found a piece of exposed cable along the wall. It had been cut, cleanly, with the two ends sitting about a foot apart.

      He pointed this out to the lady, who said she had to move the TV a bit so cut the cable. Her expl
  • by Scoldog ( 875927 ) on Friday December 07, 2007 @02:15AM (#21609039)
    I'm sure the bulk of the people reading this have far better stories. I don't understand the parachute one though, do video camera's have built-in memory?

    As for the memory stick one, my dear old 512MB Sandisk USB memory stick has been through the wash twice and survived fine. I've heard other people say the same thing. Anyone else have this happen to them? Anyone have a bigger storage medium go through the wash?
    • by Builder ( 103701 )
      I'm not sure that one is being related 100% correctly. I'm not sure when this happened or who the canopy manufacturer was, but most skydiving work these days is done with mini-dv cameras.

      Maybe they meant that the tape had to be recovered and inserted into a new cassette. I know I've done that once already :)
      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        by Fred_A ( 10934 )

        I'm not sure that one is being related 100% correctly. I'm not sure when this happened or who the canopy manufacturer was, but most skydiving work these days is done with mini-dv cameras.
        True, but most of it is also done with a parachute.

  • ...a return to the days when computer bugs were really bugs... if we could just get back to the days when the people using the computer helped design the thing and knew better than to douse it in any kind of liquid...

    • by Antique Geekmeister ( 740220 ) on Friday December 07, 2007 @05:20AM (#21610011)
      Actually, for systems that were flushed with dirty water such as that from coffee spills ceiling leaks, washing with distilled water is very helpful for washing away the corroding residue from the dirty water. You have to apply some sense in what and how you clean it, but if you don't clean it, the boards are much more likely to fail as acidic residue eats into the various coatings and compoents.
  • by reidconti ( 219106 ) on Friday December 07, 2007 @02:19AM (#21609063)
    Does anybody happen to know how I might go about recovering data from a similarly damaged disk? I'm not sure if maybe there are companies that, say, perform such services for a fee. That would be hugely beneficial to the computing community as a whole.

    If there are companies that recover data, how come we never hear about them in Slashdot articles? It would seem relevant to this audience.
    • by _xeno_ ( 155264 ) on Friday December 07, 2007 @02:32AM (#21609169) Homepage Journal

      I assume you're asking for the original press release [] from Ontrack Data Recovery. And, helpfully, not linked from either the Slashdot summary or the Computerworld article.

    • by Anonymous Coward
      Give it a go. Put the faulty drive into a freezer and leave it there for a while (several hours to a couple of days, it doesn't really matter).

      Pull it out and reconnect it to a system. You then have a reasonable chance of imaging it with something like Acronis True Image before the drive thaws and dies again.

      I've used this trick at least a half-dozen times and only once has it not helped...unless you can see a smouldering crater in the controller board (or the disk itself!), it's worth trying.
    • by SanityInAnarchy ( 655584 ) <> on Friday December 07, 2007 @02:44AM (#21609245) Journal
      I see your comment tagged as Funny, so maybe I'm missing the sarcasm...

      I usually try with a Linux bootcd first, making appropriate image backups. If that ever fails, I'll send it to a data recovery center.
      • by glwtta ( 532858 )
        maybe I'm missing the sarcasm...

        Nah, you couldn't possibly be. I mean, what a hilarious coincidence that the OP would bring up something that was in the article itself, without even realizing it!
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      You might try "Arm And Leg Data Recovery". Their motto is "Our Name Says It All".
  • by antdude ( 79039 ) on Friday December 07, 2007 @02:28AM (#21609125) Homepage Journal
    2004 [].
    2005 [].
    Top 10 Ways To Lose Your Data due to the human factor [].
    How to smash a home computer [].

    I wonder if that Thailand guy should had used RAID setup, and not Raid [] on his HDD. [grin]
    • 2006! (Score:4, Informative)

      by antdude ( 79039 ) on Friday December 07, 2007 @02:31AM (#21609163) Homepage Journal
      I forgot 2006 []!

      Also, here is Ontrack's official 2007 list []. :)
    • by Potor ( 658520 )

      i would mod you up so quickly had i points!!!! (for any thais reading: 555!)

      i lived in thailand for a year, and let me tell you, the ants can get anywhere, even in my 20th floor condo. but they usually - obviously - only collect where there is some food source. so i suggest that guy had a bigger problem than ants in his hard drive. prolly dropped a chocolate bar or something in the box. our condo would always remain ant free, until, that is, something dropped on the floor. then, within a half-hour, there w

  • The list (Score:4, Informative)

    by sporkme ( 983186 ) * on Friday December 07, 2007 @02:28AM (#21609129) Homepage
    Here is the list at the originator's site: []
  • I recovered some data from a laptop disk from a machine that had been dowsed in beer (yes, I am Australian) and had a small dead ant poking out of one of the breathing holes. It had a few problems but fortunately it could still spin up after it dried out.
    • by rts008 ( 812749 )
      Obligatory AC/DC:"For those about to ROCK, I salute You!"

      I have to ask...What kind of beer? Here in the USA we all know that Fosters is 'Australian for Beer', give it up mate!...Set us straight. (use humour filter here, PLEASE!)

      *disclaimer: for a 'lite' beer, I do like Fosters, but I really like my Guiness Extra Stout for my everyday pint.*

      Truly no disrespect implied or intended here, but what kind of ant was it? (my entomology professor is looking over my shoulder!!! He is REALLY into applying biology to t
      • You should come here and try them. You won't leave. And no, no one in Australia drink Fosters. With the Free Trade Agreement, Australia agreed to be fucked over by US IP laws and you agreed to drink all our swamp water ;)
      • by dbIII ( 701233 )
        A lot of it is good but this was merely XXXX which is at least cheap and not too bad. Oddly enough we owe it all to Louis Pasteur and his desire to crush the German economy for that style of pale ale that brews well in a hot climate. There's some Czech beers that are similar.

        In Australia "light beer" means low alcohol instead of light in colour or not needing a shovel to get to the bottom like a lovely pint of Guiness.

    • by Chrisq ( 894406 ) on Friday December 07, 2007 @04:14AM (#21609727)
      In the days of 5.25inch floppies a colleague spilt coffee all over one. He drunk his coffee sweet, so the disk was a sticky mess. We all watched incredulously as he cut open the disk, removed the circular media and went and washed it under the tap. He then cut open a brand new 5.25 inch disk, removed the media and placed the washed media in the sleeve, sealing it with selotape. We all laughed at his stupidity as he put this disk into his computer drive .... until it worked perfectly and he recovered all the files.
    • You'd think the ant would spin up while still under the effect of the beer.

  • Oil (Score:3, Funny)

    by Tablizer ( 95088 ) on Friday December 07, 2007 @02:34AM (#21609179) Journal
    drilled into his hard drive in order to pour oil into the mechanism to stop the squeaking.

    Tssk, everyone knows one should just ignore the sq
  • by Romicron ( 1005939 ) on Friday December 07, 2007 @02:39AM (#21609223)
    This website [] keeps a comprehensive list of tech support horror stories. I come back to this site every couple of months when I need a good laugh.
  • by fredrikj ( 629833 ) on Friday December 07, 2007 @02:44AM (#21609241) Homepage
    My favorite Data disaster horror story is 6x08 - A Fistful of Datas.
  • at tech camp where I stuck a drive up my... well you know the rest.. 7200 RPMs is fine but those 10000RPMs are dangerous!
  • by RHSC ( 1019802 ) on Friday December 07, 2007 @03:00AM (#21609327)
    "Wer in ur hard drives, stealin ur datas"
  • Ants rule! (Score:3, Interesting)

    by antdude ( 79039 ) on Friday December 07, 2007 @03:00AM (#21609329) Homepage Journal
    Here are more funny stories related to ants and electronics that I collected:

    Bugs in the computer []: Sun Microsystems [], Inc. knows why Brazil is known to its native inhabitants as the kingdom of the ants.

    Ants in yer... [] Pants? NOT! (Toshiba [] notebook/laptop); Ants Invade Apple iBook [].

    Ants In My Nokia [] (A Yahoo! [] account is required) 5210 Mobile Phone.

    Ants in Omniview switchboxes []: An e-mail story of ants invading a network switchbox.

    Argentine ants invade a network hub [].

    A photograph [] showing ants nesting in a guy's phone box, affecting his DSL connection and phone system.

  • by xrayspx ( 13127 ) on Friday December 07, 2007 @03:07AM (#21609381) Homepage
    Always mount a scratch monkey.
  • yawn (Score:5, Insightful)

    by adolf ( 21054 ) <> on Friday December 07, 2007 @03:12AM (#21609419) Journal
    TFA reads like a press release for Kroll []. The whole thing is (almost) written like a short superhero story, with several paragraphs about Kroll saving the day in a small variety of mishaps which are neither very original nor particularly amusing.

    These aren't disasters; all of these folks got their data back.

    If this is the going rate for disaster articles these days, I might as well tell you all about the hard drive I recently rescued out of a Dell laptop after the Geek Squad had given up on it (big surprise, that). The Toshiba drive had either very bad spindle bearings or a failed head stack (or both), as when I powered it up it vibrated like crazy and made a very rapid thumping noise, but none of this was a big surprise given that it was a little over four years old.

    In experimenting with it, I found a few interesting features:

    Plugging it into a Windows box to try running Acronis against it immediately bluescreened the host machine.

    When powered up, if the drive was slowly rotated, the nature of the thump would change, and something inside would emanate a horrible metal-on-metal grinding sound for as long as I kept rotating it (apparently due to the gyroscopic effect of the spinning platters along with the failed bearings).

    The drive was totally unusable in its normal (label-side up) orientation; Linux wouldn't even read the partition table in that state.

    But if I carefully propped the drive up, in a very particular, almost-vertical position resting on its connector, it worked. Not only that, but dd was able to recover every single sector of the disk, without error. I then dd'd that back to a new disk, reinstalled Windows (the theory is that Best Buy's fine Geek Squad managed to fuck up XP somehow) on it, did some shuffling of partitions in Acronis, and gave the customer back a working computer complete with their family photos and music library.

    Total recovery of user data, much rejoicing, !=disaster.

    Or, there was the 200GB Seagate desktop drive that was under six feet of water for about 48 hours. It worked just bloody fine after letting it dry for a week, and then removing the cover to dry out the innards a bit more. Despite the visible traces of river silt still laying on the platters, Windows Explorer was more than capable of retrieving all of the requested data.

    Total recovery of user data, much rejoicing, !=disaster.

    On the other hand, another (different model) Seagate drive which was also in the same flood failed miserably. Swapping controller boards did not help. Kroll's pricing for recovery was deemed too expensive, and it was therefore a total loss.

    It was the hard drive from one of my boss's machines. Years worth of quotations and customer data that were stored in Outlook which he had been accustomed to referring to, all gone. This, of course, ==disaster. (But it was a minor disaster compared to the rest of the flood, which destroyed his office building, trashed the basement at his house, and ate enough of my own house that it is now condemned.)

    He is still insistent on maintaining his own PCs, and has subsequently been given the standard-issue lecture about backups, which he'd already heard in the past. We'll see if it soaked in, this time.

    But I seem to be digressing a lot, here. The point is, in a world stuffed [] full [] of stupid [] and funny [] computer stories, TFA doesn't seem to include any. The absence of both well-written humor and real disasters factored with the total lack of technical details equates to this article being positively inane and simply as useless as common whitewash []. (Another example of this same PR tactic, not surprisingly from Kroll'
  • When I was about 10 or maybe 11 a mouse got into my Apple IIe floppy disk drive and left it's droppings. This somehow caused the drive to corrupt every floppy disk I put in the drive, even if it had a write protect tab (back in the day when the tabs were literally sticky things and floppy disks were literally floppy but I digress). Unfortunately I didn't work this out before I'd put in all copies of the code for a game I was writing in Apple Basic. (It was a combination of a sub vs ship game and ship vs ufo
  • I once accidentally pressed "power off" instead of "save" on a dedicated wordprocessor terminal on which I'd just written my term paper in a single draft during the morning it was due, the last class of the semester.

    What makes this disaster unusual is that it actually happened. No, the prof didn't believe it either.
  • In an effort to test a parachute, a camera (acting as the chute's cargo) was dropped from a plane. Unfortunately, the parachute failed its test and its fragile cargo shattered into several pieces. Ontrack's engineers had to reassemble the camera's memory stick and the video of the parachute's demise was recovered.
    That just might be one extremely cool video- more so than if the parachute would have worked. And it was recovered, too. Is the video online yet?
  • by sanermind ( 512885 ) on Friday December 07, 2007 @06:49AM (#21610375)
    ..actually, although I'll likely never buy from then again given their recent patent trolling, I must say that sandisk makes some quality memory. I once accidentally put a 2gb sandisk mini-'cruzer' through not just a wash cycle, but also in the dryer on high heat.. And it didn't even remain in the pocket it had been left in, but instead slipped out and was banging against the dryer drum the whole time (I heard the noise, and at the time merely thought I had left some loose change in one of my pockets, so didn't bother to stop it)..

    ..and, long story short, it still worked perfectly!

  • Paid articles? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Kintanon ( 65528 ) on Friday December 07, 2007 @09:50AM (#21611447) Homepage Journal
    Even the original article is essentially just an advertisement for OnTrak. WTF? Why is slashdot inserting ad content into the story sections now? Keep that shit in the banner ads.
  • by dindi ( 78034 ) on Friday December 07, 2007 @11:08AM (#21612305)
    OK, I figured something : ants do ot go back where they die, so he only needs a replacement drive in the same enclosure :)

    I figured this when I had a serious ant problem in my office. Living on the tropics we have these things we call sugar ants. Tiny hyper fast ants, that appear on anything and everything with half a calorie in it.

    Now one day I put my Sony MDR-whatever DJ headphones on in the office, to come to a realization that I was ithching like hell. Itching and tickling. That was because ants were escaping from both my headsets. Over the weekend they built a damn nest inside, and when I shook them up they were transporting eggs and who knows what out of the nest in a hurry.

    Being a vegetarian treehugger I usually do not kill anything. Unless it attacks me. So there went the headset into the fridge.

    Cold slows ants down. Then they can shake them off. It works. After cooling them I opened the set and got the nest out, and threw it in the garden (ants actually seem to de-hibernate/defrost and come back to life, though probably there was collateral).

    To cut the story short: from that point I was really careful with my headphones, and inspected them before putting them on. But they never returned. There was a similar incident in a CD case. Then again the ants never ever returned.

    I only used cooling, then getting the ants out, never any chemicals (I do not use chemicals when possible, I am simply scared of them. I better eat 200000 instances of bacteria then breathe in one sip of chemical fume, be it desinfectant, window cleaning liquid, or bug killer spray.

    Oiling the disk is the stupidest thing I have ever heard of :) LOL

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