I bought a new PC a few months back. My old one has been sitting around on the floor, waiting for me to find the time to set it up and give to my mother. I finally decided that I should stop putting it off and get started on it this weekend. I'll ghost her hard drive, leaving her with a usable PC and then I can take her existing hard drive and pick away at the new install as I have time over the next few evenings.
I go over to my mom's house, which is empty because she's working this weekend. I try and boot into Ghost from her floppy, just to make sure it works. It doesn't start the first time, but comes right up again on the second try. Ok, I should be all set. I hook up the secondary hard drive, and turn on the PC. It will not boot. I won't boot from the floppy, the old hard drive, nothing. I put it back the way it was; it still wouldn't boot. Angered, I disconnected everything and trudged to work, where I could plug the two drives in and do the ghosting. Everything went fine while at work.
I returned to my mom's house, hoping to be able to plug the drive in and have the PC boot up. Still no luck. Great, this means I have to spend the weekend totally setting up her PC so she has something to use. Not how I'd planned to spend my weekend, so I was a bit cranky about that. I spent last night installing XP, SP2, and the 68 updates after that. Then I imaged the new install so that the next time I had to do this, I wouldn't have to go back so far. When all of that was complete, I called it a night.
I got up this morning and turned on the PC, aiming to get the programs installed and the data moved over onto the new hard drive from the old. I started by installing anti-virus. This is the part where things take a big nose-dive.
I am sitting here, watching the status bar for the install, and all of a sudden I hear a noise that sounds like "pewwwwwwww" and the distinct smell of smoke. What in hell was that? The PC was still going, so it couldn't be the power supply. The install was still running, so it wasn't the hard drive. I walked around and started sniffing the PC, trying to figure out where the smell was coming from. Couldn't see it right away. I walked back around to the PC, where an error message had popped up. "Write delay error on D:". Oh crap. That was the ghosted drive that just went up in smoke, the one with all of her data on it. There are no other backups.
Irony: the model name of the drive that burned is "Fireball".
Now I have to tell my mother that she has lost all of her data, and though it wasn't exactly my fault, she had entrusted it to me. I'd like to stick my head in the sand right about now.