I spent today in London visiting our hosting facility in Harbour Exchange to fix a machine that unexpectedly died last week. The machine in question was quite happy last week until we decided to put an extra hard disk in it (a nice big one) at which point it complained about an IDE channel error and refused to then boot from the main hard disk. Basically the new disk was installed, it complained with an IDE error, the disk was removed and then still refused to boot even though it was back to it’s previous state. The machine just says ‘Operating system not found’ after the usual BIOS stuff. I tried every combination of master/slave, primary/secondary IDE nonsense I could think of found that if either of the original disks were connected to any of the IDE connectors the BIOS would refuse to see them, however if I connected the new disk it would be seen! This is very odd, how can 2 disks suddenly stop working just because you try and install a third? It gets better too, since I thought ‘it’s OK, I’ll just rebuild the machine on the new disk and all will be OK’ and proceeded with that plan, however the machine is quite old (HP Vectra VLi8) and would only detect the 250GB disk as 65GB, strangely though Win2KPro setup would see it as 131GB!? Not wanting to ruin a new disk by formatting it at half it’s capacity (would this have hurt it?) I decided that we needed to get a replacement for the machine working and leave this one for another day. I therefore installed the relevant software on another machine to take up it’s role and will have to go down again very soon to have another look. On a slightly unrelated point, I noticed today how ridiculously overcrowded the London Underground can get. I don’t go down there much and although I know it’s busy, even the locals seemed to be complaining it was busy!