So it happened. All of a sudden the much feared blue screen with the simple message that drive C: could not be found. The smell of something burning and a few wafts of chemical smoke rising from the front panel. What?! Rebooted the computer just in case, seemed to start up alright until it boomed out with the contrite yet powerfully straight-forward message:
Oh dear, something is wrong, terribly wrong. Probably the hard disk has died. Take control of my life you lousy piece of hard- and software. Time to call up the fine folks at Dell technical support. But gotta wait until tomorrow (could only happen in Europe - customer support being closed the whole weekend). Fortunately we have the another (newer) computer, so I will be able to survive today.Cannot find operating system.
In the meantime, I decided to open up my computer and investigate what was happening. Turns out that the motherboard was just fine as I can normally boot up into the BIOS setup screen. Further diagnostics indicate that there is no hard-disk in there responding. Drats, looks like it has deceased and no longer functions, poor thing.
I opened up the primary drive bay and pulled out the hard-drive. Smelled kind of funny, like burnt chemicals coming out. I flipped the drive over, and on the circuit board I could see it clearly. Looks like some thin hair or wire or something threadlike (razor-thin about seven millimeters long) fell on the surface of some chip component, burning a nice sharp crevice on the black square circuitry. One quick and deadly slice across a vital artery. Bummer, but that's life.
The fun part is that I got to order a new replacement drive Maxtor/Quantum DiamondMax Plus D740X (40GB 7200 rps) through Internet, and it is supposed to arrive within 24 hours they claim. Too bad I have to reinstall everything all over again. But at least it will be a pure and unadulterated system again.