Saturday, May 23, 2015

Magic smoke escaped

Got presented with an external HDD housing and power supply yesterday, with the complaint that "it made a bad smell, and won't go".

Brief inspection yielded a possible clue as to why.

I honestly have no idea why the manufacturers of these things persist in using an incredibly fragile plug that is utterly unnecessary to carry a single DC voltage to the enclosure electronics - it has its own onboard DC-DC supply to run the logic board, USB interface chipset, HDD supply etc.

Honestly, if you can't use a simple barrel plug then I can only assume you are slime sucking scum who deliberately use a fragile connector in the hope that people will wreck them and buy another one.

Seriously, a quality external enclosure with a decent power supply arrangement costs a lousy 45 bucks.  Stop rewarding crappy asian manufacturing companies with your business.

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Stupid scammers

Scam attempt 87,365 for the year.

It helps if you read it with an indian accent to help explain the rubbish grammar.  FFS people, if you're going to try and scam someone, at least try and get it to the point where it looks like it might be genuine.

This couldn't be more obviously fake unless they typed "please do the needful" at the bottom of the thing.


Your parcel (1) has been dispatched with Australia Post.

The courier company was not able to deliver your parcel by your address.

Label is enclosed to the letter. Print a label and show it at your post office.

Label: RYR3337216

To view/download your label please click here or follow the link below :

**Please note that this is an automatically generated email - replies will not be answered.


Final ironic twist - the URL behind the code actually points to:


Sugarsync are a cloud file storage, hosting and collaboration company that markets themselves to business users.  Mmm, yeah, I'd like to put my business files on your hijacked webserver....

Monday, May 18, 2015

Seagate strikes again

Just got home and opened a parcel from a family-in-law member, containing a hard drive pulled from a computer a week ago by their local shop.  Drive wasn't reading properly but had heaps of unbacked up data they really didn't want to lose - pictures, correspondence, the usual stuff.

I opened the box and I don't know what made me cringe harder - seeing it was a Seagate Baracuda 1TB 3.5", or that it was in an antistatic pouch, but rattling around totally loose in the box with zero padding or fill whatsoever.

I doubt this one is coming back to us, but let's try anyway.

Dug out my Archgon HDD dock (not pretty, but goes like a shower of the proverbial) and powered it up, and all I'm getting is click... click... click.  Hmm.

Pulled the drive out and gave it a single gentle tap on both sides on the desk, back into the dock and power on, and this time it sounds like an episode of Will It Blend overlaid with the sound of a piece of blue metal stuck between a brake rotor and caliper housing.

Family-in-law member has been told (not educated, that would imply they learned something) not to buy Seagate and sent sadly on their way.

Saturday, May 16, 2015

RAID whoops

IT horror story of the day from a friend in the US –


Corporation’s large RAID array drops disk 1.  They don’t have a new spare, so under protest and on direct order of the IT manager, they insert a used disk.  The array rebuild starts.


5 minutes later, they’ve got a flood of tickets from users unable to access network shares, and alarms going off from applications that have dependencies on them.


Investigation showed that the particular RAID controller will rebuild the array from NVRAM configuration… unless it finds a working schema on disk 1, then it uses that by default.  Which is a problem if your disk 1 used to be disk 1 in another array with a different schema.