Charles Engelke's Blog

July 17, 2003

T40: Sproing!

Filed under: ThinkPad — Charles Engelke @ 9:07 am

I think I know why I’ve been having ThinkPad crashes. I’ve been going nuts with
updating applications and drivers, but it’s done no good. I thought I had it when
I rebuilt a T30 drive from scratch and the problems went away, but when I did that
for a T40, it crashed, too.

Yesterday I was sitting in a meeting, leaning back from the table, when I heard
a sproing! from the ThinkPad. I looked over, and it had powered itself off.
Well, it’s done that before. I powered back up. And waited. And waited. Finally,
I got a flash of a message that a necessary Windows XP file was missing, and it
rebooted itself. And I waited some more. After a couple of cycles of this, I knew
the disk wouldn’t boot. I had a backup disk that I swapped in, which worked fine.
I then put the old disk in an external drive enclosure to get my data off of it.

The PC couldn’t see the disk. I tried a different external enclosure with the
same result. And I realized: this same physical hard drive was the one that
crashed the old T30 and the new T40.
It had been completely reformatted, so
it wasn’t any data on the drive that was the problem, it was the hardware itself!

Our excellent IT staff managed to get my data recovered (I was only missing
the last 11 days anyway). I suggested they take a sledgehammer to the old hard disk,
but it’s under warranty, so they will ship it back. Apparently we’ve been having
problems with IBM branded disks lately.

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