Tonight was supposed to be a very simple hard drive copy to a server, virtualize a physical server, get a beer and go home… I figured, i’d be at home by 6 or 7pm… well… Technology has a way of really screwing with you. So here’s a little story about my stupid night.

 So 5:00pm goes around and i turn off the old desktop class machine that has been used as a server for the better part of 5 years. The plan is to take the hard drive will all the unamed organizations data off of it, put it on to our super fast secure awesome server, and then call it a night, if I had time i was going to get rid of the old physical hardware once and for all and put the server on our virtual server cluster, no brainer, i’ve done this kind of thing a million times before.

Here is where the first snag came, i got the hard drive, put it in our hard drive to firewire adaptor, and i couldn’t get it to mount. Hell, i couldn’t get it to spin… finally after some fiddling and adding the external power plug for the adaptor i got it going, i started the file copy, i thought i was done. I promptly went to play COD4 and blow some 12 year noobs up. I turned around to check on the status of the file copy, and i noticed the drive wasn’t spinning. "Strange" I think to myself. I try remounting the drive over and over again, and it just won’t go, this is already pissing me off. I put the drive on my Windows XP machine and it mounts after a long time, and i start the file copy again, and the drive stops spinning AGAIN. So by now i’m pissed. Its fairly obvious the drive isn’t working properly, and this explains the slow performance the organization had been seeing on their old file server. So what do I do? Only what any sane IT professional would do with a semi dead hard drive, i put it in the freezer. Yes you read that right, i put it in the freezer. Its a religous thing, the hard drive in freezer trick. Some people say its hog-wash, other swear by it. In our office, its saved our butts a few time, so "I want to believe"

At this point Jay and I decide that while the hard drive is on ice, we will take a walk down to the parking lot and pick up our vehicles from the far corner of the lot and bring them closer, if anything to get outside and get fresh air and not be around stupid dead hard drives… and then we saw something that was just… strange… I think the picture will speak for its self. A box truck, inbetween the two levels of parking.

So after wondering WTF was going on the with the box truck we headed back in to check on our frozen hard drive. We hooked it up, and BAM it started working right off the bat, real fast and everything… and then about 5 minutes into the copy it failed again. At this point i was starting to loose faith that we would get this going. So, we froze it again. Tried it again, and it would go for a while, then fail. This is the point where desperation is starting to set in. I really want to get this server finished by start of business Tuesday. So i thought to myself, "What would happen if i ran the hard drive from INSIDE the freezer"

Yes, thats a power cable, and firewire cable going into the office fridgem which we’ve moved next to my desk. The sick part? IT WORKS. The hard drive is running, and actually copying data. Its still a bit slow, but the hard drive is still working. I just don’t understand, but whatever. ITS WORKING!!

Yup, so that was my night, a hard drive, in a static bag, in the freezer.

So, have you ever had any luck with the hard drive in a freezer? Have you ever gone to this lengths? That was one heck of a night at the office.


Now, time for a blast from the past, an mixer board and outboard rack:

MMMMmmm Racks

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