How to Scare the Living Crap Out of Andrew in 5 Easy Steps

  1. Cause his server to explode over the weekend.
  2. Have the server hard drive die in a fit of pique.
  3. Configure the backup software, by default, to compare backup contents with what exists on your hard drive, then show only the files that can be updated. This is a very small list when the backup is opened on a different computer. This will cause much self-loathing when Andrew thinks he has messed up the backup system.
  4. Have all data recovery utilities display a happy list of all files that can be recovered from the hard drive. Ensure that the HD is so very screwed that said programs generate errors on half of the files, and produce corrupted versions of the rest.
  5. All of Andrew’s parents’ company emails, data, documents, accounts and payroll information would seem to have been lost. Andrew will now contemplate methods of suicide.

Thankfully, I eventually discovered my mistake regarding number three. A brief stomach-pump later and I’m restoring a backup from Saturday night. Any emails downloaded on Sunday are likely to be gone for good, though, so if you sent anything important please do re-transmit. I’m pretty sure that both the PSU and HD are down for the count; I haven’t had a good play with the motherboard yet.