Hey! Free Hard Drive!

As I noted several weeks ago, one of my FireWire 800 (1394B) hard drive enclosures died. So, I sent it back to the manufacturer, and last week I received an invoice to inform me they were sending me a replacement enclosure. Awesome… now I just had to wait for FedEx ground shipping. The package arrived today, and I felt excited to slip my old 120GB drive back into it home, and start using it again. I opened the box to find the a complete drive… with cables, enclosure (with some smudges on it), etc. I took the enclosure downstairs into my office and popped it open, ready to install my hard drive… when I saw another hard drive already installed!

“What the hell?” I thought. A Hitachi drive… appeared to be a 120GB drive, very similar to my drive (except mine is a WD). “HEY! FREE HARD DRIVE!”

Just out of curiosity (caused mostly by the smudges on the case), I decided to see if the drive would mount on my PowerMac. I plugged it in, and yes, it mounted. So there was a filesystem… uh oh. The drive was labeled, so I clicked and opened it. There I found roughly 100GB of project files… movies, folders labeled DigiDesign database, and a folder named “THESIS.” Looks like uh oh was an understatement… this is a “Holy Shit!” moment. The drive manufacturer had sent me someone else’s hard drive!

Now, I could have just chalked it up to an old hard drive, already cloned and therefore fair bounty… but something about this was unsettling. Mostly, it was the giant letters that spelled THESIS. I can only imagine the scenario: Bob has been working on his senior thesis at his college. Years of work are stored on his external hard drive. A few weeks (perhaps even months) before it is due, the drive stops working. Many expletives are sounded. Bob overnights the drive to the manufacturer. They get it working again, but in the melee of a service center (I know what they can be like), Bob’s drive gets packaged and shipped to another customer, namely me. Bob gets his long awaited package, which contains an enclosure, and no hard drive. Bob loses his mind, takes the dept. heads hostage at his school, and demands a ransom. Okay, perhaps that’s a bit over the top, but you catch my drift. I know I’d be losing it if all of my work was on a hard drive that some how managed to end up in Utah.

Aside from that major reason for contacting the company on it’s faux pas, a few other things were unsettling. Assume they intended to send me this, albeit errantly with another hard drive in it… do I want someone else’s old enclosure? Mine had been in pristine condition… no smudges or scratches on the aluminum casing, the rubber feet were still there, etc. Now I have a different enclosure that may or may not even be road worthy, let alone someone else’s personal data. That can’t be right.

Let’s hope that the company responds quickly, for all of our sake. I’m not looking forward to dropping another 15 bucks on shipping, and waiting another 2 weeks to get my real case, but this cannot stand.


Well, the manufacturer responded in awesome fashion. Within 10 minutes of my email, they had sent me a free overnight UPS shipping code to send the case back, and informed me that my enclosure would be there tomorrow. Apparently, they had realised the error on Friday, and FedEx had told them it would be fine; that they would ship it back to them… which turned out to be a lie, as I got the package. Weird weird weird.

In other news, my Macally IceKey keyboard is on the fritz… the S key (which, as you might imagine is perhaps the most used key on a keyboard) only works every other time I hit it (unless I absolutely mash it). So I’m using the Apple Keyboard that came with my PowerMac… and it truly sucks, as any mac user can tell you. Well… you be the judge:

Macally IceKey keyboard
Apple Keyboard: an ergonomic horror