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Tue, 06 Feb 2007

harddrive on coffee
Some two weeks ago I had spilled coffee over my laptop. Not too much, but I feared the desaster and immediately turned the laptop upside-down and wiped it dry. The machine kept working and I almost forgot about it, also I don't reboot very often. Until I installed the new 2.6.20 kernel yesterday. I rebooted and the BIOS splash screen sat there unusually long while the HDD-LED was blinking wildly. The harddisk wasn't recognized anymore.
To ensure I didn't fuck up the bootloader I booted a live-CD and could confirm the harddisk was still working propperly, and the bootloader was installed correctly. So the fear of dataloss (not too much but still nasty) was gone. The biggest remaining fear was that the mainboard's HDD-controller was gone. But first I removed the harddisk and found ... coffee with sugar!


I wiped the board clean with a cloth of microfiber and distilled water. Luckily the component side had no traces of the brew. Rebooted, and the BIOS talked to the drive again. Not being a chemist I am still wondering what is so conductive in completely dried coffee with sugar?

Note to self: next time do performance tests on a harddrive on caffeine ;)

lessons learned:
  • linux still has no live kernel update
  • we're still better off drinking coffee with sugar than with salt

2 writebacks


codec wrote

linux does have live kernel update. depends on what you define as live update. check out (but you need kexec support in the running kernel ;))
nitro2k01 wrote

If I understand you correctly the BIOS wouldn't recognize the disk, but a live CD would (on the same machine?) That begs the questions what exactly was shorted to make the BIOS fail to detect the drive while Linux could both use it for a long time and then detect it again.


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