[Wolves] Knowing where to tap

Andy Wootton andy.wootton at wyrley.demon.co.uk
Mon Aug 3 20:36:24 UTC 2009

Adam Sweet wrote:
> ...
> He arrived, looked at the computer, took out a small hammer and tapped
> it on the side. Instantly the computer leapt back to life.
In a 'truth reflects fiction' incident, I saw a DEC engineer 'fix' a 
Winchester drive with a big 'ommer.

Some old VAX systems that had run 24/7 for several years had been 
switched off for a couple of days. We needed to boot the sysem once more 
prior to decommissioning but an essential disk started failing and 
logging startup errors. The engineer explained that he'd seen the 
bearings on these drives develop flat spots and after being off for a 
while they settled on the flats. It needed a bit more energy to get the 
drive moving again than the motors provided. The extra energy was 
provided by a quick whack in the right place as the motor reached 
maximum load. To my amazement he was telling the truth and it worked.


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