The other week end I was round at a friend’s house. Whilst my head was deep inside a pizza takeaway menu trying to decide what to have, Glen was fluffing about on his PC. He called over and said that everything had paused and nothing was working, without rising my head I replied with “have you tried turning it off and on again”. Before I was able to follow up this classic IT Crowd line Glen had reached for the power cable and yanked it right out of the wall. “Ouh, that’ll fix it. Deep crust?” was all I could reply. I feared the worse but thought I’ve seen stranger things happen, but on re-boot it was confirmed with the classic “read/write error” I then spent the next minutes trying to resurrect the PC, I managed to rebuild the MBR so we were booting but some where the hard drive had gone totally bye-bye. I hoped that a Windows repair might get it to a point where we could get the data off. But no joy, in fact no CD, despite being a legit PC with a legit copy of Windows, there was no install media! Luckily there was an early Christmas laptop on the way that fixed the need for a computer but there was always that niggle; can we get some data off the old PC? The other night I took the drive and using an IDE-USB adaptor I plugged it into the new laptop. The drive was recognised but only 4gb of the 120gb was visible. I then decided to try it on my Mac with a copy of Data Rescue. But this was on my old drive, pre-Leopard install. So a quick drive swop later I boot up and plug in the knackered drive. Data Rescue saw the drive; all 120gb of it. A quick scan reported no files, so we moved onto a complete scan. After 10 minutes the estimated time finally appeared on the screen; 14806 hours. You what! Eight weeks to scan the drive. Well that does explain the noise, the heads were smashing about all over the place. After leaving it for over 4 hours and the estimated time not even moving it was decided that it was a lost cause. Bin the drive and next time back up your files. What ever actually killed the drive (I’m blaming dust) remember that I’m a natural born joker and never take me seriously, especially when it comes to computers.