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#131136 - 12/25/02 02:30 PM Watch out for Bernie!!
Joe Tedesco Offline

Registered: 10/07/00
Posts: 3325
Loc: Boston, Massachusetts USA
A laptop that was running Windows 98 was left on in a meeting room, and someone from Big Blue was in that room alone, and when the owner of the laptop returned the laptop hard drive was wiped out?

What combination of keys did he use?

Not enough time to do format drive!

Watch out for Bernie!!

[This message has been edited by Joe Tedesco (edited 02-18-2003).]
Joe Tedesco, NEC Consultant

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#131137 - 12/25/02 03:19 PM Re: Watch out for Bernie!!
stamcon Offline

Registered: 03/24/01
Posts: 322
Loc: So San Francisco CA
Joe, what exactly will the computer do? What \who says the hard drive is wiped out? I heard of some practical jokes, on a radio talk show, that can be played on an unsuspecting computer user.

#131138 - 12/25/02 03:40 PM Re: Watch out for Bernie!!
Joe Tedesco Offline

Registered: 10/07/00
Posts: 3325
Loc: Boston, Massachusetts USA
The computer was no longer functional and access to normal window software was not possible. The OP system had to be reloaded.
Joe Tedesco, NEC Consultant

#131139 - 12/26/02 04:04 AM Re: Watch out for Bernie!!
pauluk Offline

Registered: 08/11/01
Posts: 7693
Loc: Norfolk, England
Although FORMAT might take a long while to complete its task, it takes only a couple of seconds for it to wipe out the root directory and file allocation table. You could hit Ctrl-Break after a short while and the disk would be unreadable.

Another possibility is to run FDISK and delete the primary partition. At the next boot-up the BIOS would not see any bootable partition on the disk and would try to boot from drive A: instead.

#131140 - 12/26/02 04:48 AM Re: Watch out for Bernie!!
Trainwire Offline

Registered: 03/15/02
Posts: 364
Loc: Strasburg,PA,USA
There is also a way to turn off the hard drive with a couple of keystrokes. I learned that the hard way. I have forgotten how, as it was several year's ago but it would give you the same symptoms. These keystrokes work from the bios too, so a normal windows password wouldn't protect you.
If you didn't realize that is what was going on, reloading the software would "fix" it.

#131141 - 12/27/02 02:18 PM Re: Watch out for Bernie!!
electech Offline

Registered: 02/18/02
Posts: 113
Loc: Northern Il
With win98 he could have shut down and restarted in dos mode (30 seconds?).


Format c: /q /u

That would do a Quick, Unconditional "format" - more of a mass delete with no undelete.

#131142 - 12/29/02 07:26 PM Re: Watch out for Bernie!!
Scott35 Offline

Broom Pusher and

Registered: 10/19/00
Posts: 2724
Loc: Anaheim, CA. USA
I was also thinking on the lines of FORMAT with the Q and U switches!
Some of the IBM techs are really fast at setting up an unsuspecting victim's machine with fatal type practical jokes!!!
Never leave any "Non-Client" machines unattended while the big blue gurus are lurking about

Some other quick mean tricks:

1: Using a text editor, delete the boot signature [first 512 bytes on fixed disk], "DELTREE" the drive, delete or edit the boot strings, delete or edit the file "MSDOS.SYS" on the primary drive, and a few other things.

2: From a DOS prompt, do the before mentioned Disk Format procedures, or delete primary partition with FDISK.

3: Go into the CMOS (ROM BIOS) Setup utility and tweak the drive setting, or tweak the security settings. Lots of fun mean things can be done within the setup utility, which will leave a person with a machine that seems all but usable.

I have only done a few fatal pranks, and do not encourage anyone to do such practice! The circumstances justified the fatal tweaks, which is why they were done! [long, loooonnnngggg story!!!].

Have however been the lucky Tech guru guy called in (many, many, MANY times!) to fix many machines which fell victim of cyber hack clowns [joker EEs].

Been a while since getting those frantic phone calls, so maybe this thread is a precursor???
OH, NO!!!!

Scott s.e.t.
Scott " 35 " Thompson
Just Say NO To Green Eggs And Ham!


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