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Martin Schwenk (Trickymartin)
Posted on Friday, March 04, 2005 - 6:52 am:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

When a seriously damaged notebook was brought to Jim, he knew he had no chance of rescuing the data, despite being an expert.

Then he realized something, made a phone call, a couple of mouse clicks, and the data was save.

What was wrong with the notebook, and how did he do it?


No more "expert" knowledge than any of you should have is needed.
Tommy Petersson (Tommyp)
Posted on Friday, March 04, 2005 - 8:17 am:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Is it the same data (the one he "knew" he couldn't save, and the data he actually saved)?
He = human? living? male?
Notebook = portable computer?
Martin Schwenk (Trickymartin)
Posted on Friday, March 04, 2005 - 10:08 am:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Is it the same data (the one he "knew" he couldn't save, and the data he actually saved)? yes
He = human? living? male? yes
Notebook = portable computer? yes
Ed Mason (Logician)
Posted on Friday, March 04, 2005 - 11:10 am:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Was the saved data a back-up? A replica? A mirror version? Was the notebook itself damaged beyond repair? Or was it only the data?

Did he do the mouse clicks on the notebook? Did he access the Internet at all? Email at all?

Was the phone call made to the owner of the notebook? Another expert?

Is it relevant who the notebook belonged to?

About the problem with the notebook:

Was there a virus on it? Was the screen broken? Was the mouse (optical? wired? laptop-mouse?) broken? Was the keyboard broken? Was a certain piece of software not working?

Did he download another version of a broken piece of software, so that he could access the data another way?
Martin Schwenk (Trickymartin)
Posted on Friday, March 04, 2005 - 11:36 am:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Was the saved data a back-up? A replica? A mirror version? I'm not sure I understand this. He saved the data by making a copy, if that is what you ask.
Was the notebook itself damaged beyond repair? yes Or was it only the data?

Did he do the mouse clicks on the notebook? yes Did he access the Internet at all? yes Email at all? no

Was the phone call made to the owner of the notebook? no Another expert? no

Is it relevant who the notebook belonged to? no

About the problem with the notebook:

Was there a virus on it? no Was the screen broken? no Was the mouse (optical? wired? laptop-mouse? irrel) broken? no Was the keyboard broken? yes Was a certain piece of software not working? no

Did he download another version of a broken piece of software, so that he could access the data another way? he didn't download anything
buzz visconti (Visconti)
Posted on Friday, March 04, 2005 - 2:37 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

did he go to a specific brand name website? microsoft.com? relevant?

did jim call him (he who's notebook was broken)? did he call another computer professional?

is the way he recovered the data less reliant on technical computer knowhow and more on real world smarts?
Martin Schwenk (Trickymartin)
Posted on Friday, March 04, 2005 - 7:14 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

did he go to a specific brand name website? no microsoft.com? no relevant? it's relevant where he "went", it's somewhat relevant it's not a brand name website

did jim call him (he who's notebook was broken)? no, he was present did he call another computer professional? yes

is the way he recovered the data less reliant on technical computer knowhow and more on real world smarts? I'd say it's fifty fifty (and the knowhow isn't too technical, promised)
Haenlomal (Haenlomal)
Posted on Friday, March 04, 2005 - 7:18 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

If Jim did not call the computer professional, could he still have retrieved the data?
Martin Schwenk (Trickymartin)
Posted on Friday, March 04, 2005 - 7:20 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

If Jim did not call the computer professional, could he still have retrieved the data? no
Arjun (Jun)
Posted on Friday, March 04, 2005 - 7:41 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Does it matter what kind of data was saved (e.g. pictures/files? Does it matter where it was stored (e.g. hard disk)? When you say broken note-book, do you mean physically broken?
Haenlomal (Haenlomal)
Posted on Friday, March 04, 2005 - 8:11 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

The reason that Jim could not retrieve the data without calling the computer professional: is it because he lacked some information? If yes, and if he had that information beforehand, would he still need to call the computer professional?
Martin Schwenk (Trickymartin)
Posted on Saturday, March 05, 2005 - 10:19 am:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Does it matter what kind of data was saved (e.g. pictures/files? no Does it matter where it was stored (e.g. hard disk)? yes and yes When you say broken note-book, do you mean physically broken? parts of it were physically damaged, it was not broken in two, though :)

The reason that Jim could not retrieve the data without calling the computer professional: is it because he lacked some information? no If yes, and if he had that information beforehand, would he still need to call the computer professional?
Tommy Petersson (Tommyp)
Posted on Saturday, March 05, 2005 - 11:21 am:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Any protection relevant? like password check?
BIOS relevant?
Martin Schwenk (Trickymartin)
Posted on Saturday, March 05, 2005 - 1:24 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Any protection relevant? yes, but probably not the way you think like password check? yes, last answer
BIOS relevant? no
Tommy Petersson (Tommyp)
Posted on Saturday, March 05, 2005 - 2:49 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Data encryption relevant? compression?
Martin Schwenk (Trickymartin)
Posted on Sunday, March 06, 2005 - 7:57 am:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Data encryption relevant? no compression? no
Martin Schwenk (Trickymartin)
Posted on Sunday, March 06, 2005 - 7:57 am:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Oops. "yes, last answer" should read "yes, see last answer", of course. I'm still answering your questions :)
John Morahan (Wunderland)
Posted on Monday, March 07, 2005 - 3:42 am:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Did he need a password to access the Internet? something on the Internet?
He didn't download anything - did he upload something?
Was the notebook switched on when it was brought to Jim?
Was the hard disk broken?
Was the data still in memory?
Did he save it by uploading it?
Martin Schwenk (Trickymartin)
Posted on Monday, March 07, 2005 - 7:46 am:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Did he need a password to access the Internet? no something on the Internet? no
He didn't download anything - did he upload something? yes
Was the notebook switched on when it was brought to Jim? yes
Was the hard disk broken? not yet (but you could hear that was only a question of time)
Was the data still in memory? no
Did he save it by uploading it? yes
Tommy Petersson (Tommyp)
Posted on Monday, March 07, 2005 - 10:20 am:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

So, the notebook itself wasn't saved? but the data on it? by uploading it somewhere?
Tommy Petersson (Tommyp)
Posted on Monday, March 07, 2005 - 10:20 am:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Was he using something like a virus? or a worm?
John Morahan (Wunderland)
Posted on Monday, March 07, 2005 - 1:08 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Was the professional he called in some way responsible for / connected with the computer he uploaded to?
Did he need his permission? Authorization? Need him to do something at the other end?
Did he "trick" the professional into helping?
Haenlomal (Haenlomal)
Posted on Monday, March 07, 2005 - 6:09 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

The thing that Jim uploaded...was it from the computer professional?
Martin Schwenk (Trickymartin)
Posted on Monday, March 07, 2005 - 6:24 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

So, the notebook itself wasn't saved? yes but the data on it? yes by uploading it somewhere? yes

Was he using something like a virus? or a worm? no, but interesting idea

Was the professional he called in some way responsible for / connected with the computer he uploaded to? yes
Did he need his permission? yes Authorization? yes Need him to do something at the other end? yes
Did he "trick" the professional into helping? no

The thing that Jim uploaded...was it from the computer professional? no, just the data on the laptop, in order to save it
Haenlomal (Haenlomal)
Posted on Monday, March 07, 2005 - 6:56 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I'm not sure...what's left to uncover?
Martin Schwenk (Trickymartin)
Posted on Tuesday, March 08, 2005 - 7:32 am:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Allright, allright. :) I think there is still something left, but I don't know how to describe it, so here comes the...
Martin Schwenk (Trickymartin)
Posted on Tuesday, March 08, 2005 - 7:47 am:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

***** SPOILER *****

When a seriously damaged notebook was brought to Jim, he knew he had no chance of rescuing the data, despite being an expert.
Then he realized something, made a phone call, a couple of mouse clicks, and the data was save.
What was wrong with the notebook, and how did he do it?


The laptop was seriously banged up in an car accident. Things that didn't work included the keyboard, the floppy disk drive and the cd-rom drive. The case was physically damaged so that it was impossible to remove the battery, which obviously leaked battery liquid (or gel?) into the case. The hard drive made funny sounds, the head crash seemed eminent.

That left our expert not much to work with. Keep in mind, no keyboard - no way to type in a link, for example. Unfortunately, not even an email-client was installed (to mail a link, for example).

Our hero checked the browser history and found a ftp-site which owner he knew. So he phoned him. That guy kicked all active connections, set the max number of connections to 0, and allowed every visitor (that is, without having to type in a password) to upload. Synchronized by phone, he set the number of connections to 1, while our expert connected via the link in the history. Thus he could upload all the data that needed to be saved.

Funny enough, the laptop worked some more hours before finally ceasing to exist.
Martin Schwenk (Trickymartin)
Posted on Tuesday, March 08, 2005 - 7:50 am:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

As a side note, my piece-of-**** that Toshiba likes to call laptop regularly shows some of those symptoms. Except for the leaking maybe. But at least I got an email client installed .
Tommy Petersson (Tommyp)
Posted on Tuesday, March 08, 2005 - 11:10 am:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Better make a backup when there's still no hurry...
Tim A. Dowd (Bodo)
Posted on Tuesday, March 08, 2005 - 2:59 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Well, you should buy a Dell. And I'm not just saying that because I own Dell stock.


Ok, maybe I am, sorry. :O

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