Sunday, May 15, 2005

New resolution: when working on PC check latest backup

I've been messing with my XP machine lately, dealing with some drive issues (see link, above). Things were pretty much sorted out, but the machine's been running hot and a fan is noisy, so I did some quick fan swaps. In the process an IDE cable seemed to loosen from one drive, so I pushed it back in.

Then, a few minutes later, I noticed it was popping out a bit again. Darn thing -- it seemed looser than it ought to be. I pushed it in, a little harder.

With airflow reconfigured and fans in place I rebooted... Of course I got the friendly message telling me I needed a boot drive. Darn cable must have popped out. I popped the cover off and looked -- yes, it seemed loose. I went to push it in again, which was when my frontal lobes engaged and I began to sweat. I very carefully and gently pulled the IDE cable out.

I'd flattened one of the IDE pins. Which is when I remembered my last backup for this machine was 5 days old (due to a backup reconfiguration process) and was offsite. If the pin couldn't be fixed I was in trouble.

I turned the cooling fan on me and I very carefully used a variety of old surgical instruments to more or less straighten the pin. It didn't break and I was able to reinsert the cable and restart.

Lesson learned. The next time I pop the case for a non-emergent repair, I'll make sure I have a current backup in place.

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