Computer Horror Stories

I just had a bit of a scary experience with a second hard drive.

Some background: A few years ago I had a computer that died from an unknown cause. I took it to CompUSA and they said it was a result of a dead CPU fan and that the motherboard was probably fried. The symptom of the death was the computer only staying on for a few minutes then restarting.

So, today I decided that I could use some storage space on my new computer (I’ve got a gig left). I put the old hard drive (80 GB, so you can understand how tempting it was). I started up the computer and everything was fine, then, restart :ahh:

So, I tried it again and it restarted sooner. By this point I was freaked out and shaking. I shut down the computer and nearly ripped the front of the computer case into little pieces. I removed the second hard drive and started the computer back up.

It’s still working. Knocks on wooden desk Whew.

I now believe that CompUSA’s diagnosis was right, but they should have also said that it could have also been a problem with the hard drive. Needless to say, I’m not using that hard drive again. :rolleyes:

I’m sure I’m not the only person with computer horror stories either, lets hear 'em! :stuck_out_tongue:

First PC disaster I ever had was with an old 900Mhz Celeron in a desktop…I’d start the PC and I couldn’t figure out why it kept rebooting. I opened the case (mini atx) and saw that the PSU fan was dead…which caused my processor to melt to my motherboard :frowning:

Second one was when I was messing in my new desktops case…I moved a PSU connector which made contact with my metal cause cuasing my pc to turn off. I though i fried my whole PC when it wouldn’t reboot. But i waited a bit and it rebooted (yay!).

Every time I get on the computer it’s a disaster.

Once it messed up my DDR. I was sad. ;).

Not really a disaster…but close enough. A few months ago (which was about six months after I built my computer), I got a virus into my system restore portion of my hard drive. I couldn’t get rid of it - Windows blocked everything from editing those files. I couldn’t even delete it in DOS! Eventually I told Windows to use 0% of my hard drive for system restore (i.e. it deleted all the system restore files) then set it back to normal. Unfortunatley I lose all my First Boot, Second Boot, etc. restores. Oh well. :frowning:

i was writing a 6 page poetry paper one time and ya kno everything was going fine and dandy…right when i was done and going to print it microsft word totally shut down on me…and the sad thing was i didnt save it. yeah that paper took me like 2 and half hours to type…and it was at night so i had to stay up extra hours re-typing it again. the moral is to always save your word documents while ur typing it. cuz it really does suck lol

Computer viruses. :mad:
I can’t stand computer viruses!
Why do people make these things? They are not getting anything from it besides personal satisfaction. Its pointless!

We had a trojan horse and a klez virus screw up two perfectly good 80 gig vaios! Good thing we had a warranty. Too bad we had to exchange the 80 gig for a 60 gig. I hate viruses.

Spyware now dominates our current computer, and some of it is bypassing the anti spywayre software! ARGH!

Why do people do these things?

I believe the moral is actually that you should use openoffice :wink:
Download the “stable” 1.4 release (worse in terms of start time),
or the “unstable” (but works great for me, just dont’ open the thesaurus) pre-2.0 release

It’s auto-recovery is awesome. AND it’s got auto-complete. AND it’s free (beer && freedom).

Now to the horror story.
I was trying to boot my usb drive once. And I changed a few things in BIOS to do so. Didn’t quite work.
So I reboot. The computer “doesn’t recognize my hard drive.” I go into BIOS, and it shows no trace of knowing what the hard drive is. So I check “auto” for boot option and hit restart.
And same problem.
I boot off the gentoo liveCD. My hard drive showed up, so I got to take a breather at least.
After a few reboots, the same BIOS settings worked.
It was freaky.

People do not only get personal satisfaction when they build viruses, which is still probably a very good feeling…
They also may bother poeple that they do not like.
Or they may gather data that they may want.
Or they may get free things from it.
Or they may shut down a major thing that they do not like
Or they may make it go through banks and gain money from it.
And there are so many other reasons these people may create viruses, but I cannot list them all.

Of course I still cannot stand them myself, and I still get them from time to time…
I never had a major disaster, but I hope to not have anything more than space/time consuming viruses, but as it would be, I will always get more.
Please note: I do not make computer viruses.

Well, it seems as if I’ve found my home with this thread. Now grab some food, because this might take a while :stuck_out_tongue: .

My first computer travesty was simple, a 7 year old Compaq had a manufacturing error that caused an air pocket in the HD. The reader heads touched the disks and turned them to dust. Luckily, I had a fairly recent backup stored.
Secondly, my first experience with malware. ugh. A 6 year old Compaq with a Windows 98 OS. I left for camp for a few weeks and forgot to tell anyone that the AV software came due for a re-subscription during that time. When I came home, it took me about 3 days of work to clean the system out (I could re-format…again, lazy backups meant I would’ve lost data if I had). Hijack this, Spybot S&D and Adaware became good friends (Just as an extra layer past the Norton AV/Firewall software). Thanks to an hour of phone time with Microsoft Tech Support and those programs, the computer still lives today.
Lastly, my latest adventure. I’m no computer whiz and I’ll be the first to admit that. So when I say I was poking around in the BIOS as well as in the DOS level Admin section of my computer, that should be a clue as to what was going to happen next. heh, oopsie :o .

On an off note, I have an apple powerbook 180 (back when mac was still called apple), and though it doesn’t have some of the newer inventions such as Firewire/USB ports, DVD RW drives and CD RW drives…ok and it doesn’t have Internet Capability either…or a color monitor…and it’s 7.5 lb battery (1/2 of what a modern laptop weighs) only lasts a few hours…but , it runs Word version 1 and Excel version 1.2 and has started up every time without fail. A testament to properly made computers.

-Michael “not allowed near computers” Greenley, Team 341

I currently have one of the team laptops, but when I first got it it was riddled with spyware.
Run adaware, 750 infections found.
Clean infections.
Run again, 330 infections found.
Run again, 15 found.
And it would stay at 15.

Finally, it was so slow I said “Screw it.” and said to ted boucher, “Let’s reformat it.” He agreed and we reformated. It deleted everything great, but we kept on getting an error copying shell32.dll

We tried about 3 times, to no avail. So I figure, “knoppix will fix this.” and get a senior to drive me home, grab my knoppix, and drive me back. We get back, I boot it up and we get a sector IO error… so now we think it’s a bad hard drive.

About an hour later we go and get the CD that we should’ve used in the beginning, and it works. Turns out my knoppix cd had some soda on the back of it causing an IO error, and the original reformat disc was just screwwy.

EDIT: We took pictures of the errors on jays camera, i’ll get them tomorrow.

I was putting a new hard drive on my Macintosh SE. Very scary because it is an all-in-one computer and you have to work right under the CRT. Anyway, I put the harddrive in, put the case back on, and fire it up, it starts to boot and then cannot find the hard drive. I take the case off and then all of a sudden it boots just fine. I put the case back on, and then it will not boot. I went back and forth several times and I still never figured out what it was, but at lease I got it working reliably now.

It can also lead to a job at a large security company or software company, if they’re good enough.
A friend of mine got offered a job at Symantec once.

Get a new version of Word - they backup like every five minutes (you can probably change the settings too.)

Another disaster with spyware - my parents computer had hundreds of spyware entries. One of which would automatically redownload and reinstall itself so to finally get rid of it I needed to unplug my CAT-5 Cable, boot in safe mode, run Ad-Aware, let it reboot and run, then run Spybot.

Also for those of you who have spyware problems:
Lavasoft Ad-Aware SE
Spybot Search & Destroy 1.3
CWShredder 2.1
Microsoft Windows AntiSpyware Beta

I’m glad to see that I’m not the only one with problems. :rolleyes:

Update on my problem: My computer hasn’t had any problems, I am really glad that that hard drive didn’t have any lasting effects on my computer.

My biggest computer horror story was MS Blaster. I work on campus as a ResNet computer consultant, and we got hit hard with Blaster. There was at least a month and a half of 40+ Hour work weeks on top of 17 credit hours of class in cleanup efforts after that virus and nachi! I think at one point we had 150+ computers in our office getting cleaned!

I have a good one…
Now, being on a robotics team I have developed the ambition to custom fit things where they normally shouldnt go, like attempting to put large watercooling equipment into a shuttle box (for those who dont know, its a barebones case/psu/mobo combo the size of a shoebox).

i test fit the stuff outside the case, its peachy

attack the waterblock to my video card and WHOOSH goes the water and antifreeze…

suffice it to say, my videocard took a bath

its drying right now

Running Windows XP? Likely it didn’t like the new hardware. I had that problem with some new ram I bought. I even went so far as to try to reinstall windows, but it would BSOD durring the install. However, the BSOD gave me enough information to figure out what went wrong.

XP is very picky about what it will run on. Snob. My Ubuntu live cd dosn’t care that it is on a dual pentium 200mhz machine with 657kb of ram and 4 scsi drives in a RIAD array. (However, gentoo did care, it didn’t support the RAID controller.)


About 2 months after I got my new desktop …

… Oops. :o

A good friend of mine went to Australia shortly before “the incident” and brought a cute kola back for me …

If you didn’t know what had happened, you wouldn’t be able to tell!! :smiley:

Once I had a CD in my CD-RW drive and I left it there over vacation, the poor CD still spinning for about 2 or 3 weeks. When I came back, I opened a file on the CD and I heard a sound. A bad sound. I hit eject and found little bits of CD-R in the tray. It was funny. And horrific. Now I have to use a USB cd writer. For everything.

I have a happy ending to this story. More of a ‘revisit’.
I was still living with 1 GB of storage on my computer’s stock 40 GB hard drive.
Finally, my birthday rolled around and I came into some cash ;).
I went to CompUSA and bought a 160 GB Seagate interal hard drive and Mad Dog 3.5" external enclosure (A friend of mine who works there recommended the enclosure because it was on sale and better than the one that I was going to buy).
I brought the hard drive home and realized that I had a spot for it inside my tower. I installed it, formated it, and got it working perfectly.
I realized that I had an external hard drive enclosure and no drive for it.


Well, I forgot about saying that and put that old 80 GB drive into the external enclosure, plugged it in and decided that the best plan of action was to scan it with Norton Anti-Virus.
2 1/2 hours and 113 Adware ‘Threats’ later, I breathed a sigh of relief and went to deleting all of the stuff that I really didn’t need on the drive.
The first thing?
The ‘WINDOWS’ folder! :smiley: Windows ME to be specific.
After that, I deleted every program that I didn’t know what it was or that I didn’t want.
Looking at the files on the drive was like opening a time capsule from 3 years ago. It was amazing how unorganized my folder system was. :stuck_out_tongue:

The drive has been running great since I hooked it up this past Friday. :smiley: