The year is 1997 and I am just starting on my new job in one of the leading IT companies in our country, one of my task that day is to replace a not fully functional keyboard in one of our clients. The company is one of the biggest tire manufacturer at that time and the unit was an Acer Pentium 1 CPU used to run their company's quality assurance software. Considering the degree of work to be done I am not expecting I will experience some problems on that particular task.
When I arrive on site, the unit is turned on and its running the application mentioned above. One of the QA engineer informed me that they cannot shot down the unit because they are running some tests and it will take some time before the tests is done. Since I cannot wait all day long, I suggested that I will just pull out the old keyboard and plug-in the new one while the unit is turned on. At first they are hesitant, but after consulting in one of their in-house programmer they let me do the thing.
Technically speaking it is possible that you unplugged and plugged keyboard even if CPU is turned on(but not safe if CPU is performing a task) , so I am confident that everything will be just fine. So I unplugged the old keyboard and plugged the new one but after the new keyboard is plugged, the system hangs-up and I started to feel nervous. The operation was halted and I have no choice but to restart the system, but the worst is yet to come because after restarting, the system already indicates a disk boot failure and later I found out that the hard drive crashed and all their precious data is gone. The department supervisor got mad at me claiming that they have no back-up of that application and it will be difficult to rebuild the database. Later I was brought to their IT manager for questioning and threatened to have me pay any loses I have made. I explained my side and insists that I was given a go signal in one of his staff.
Finally, after almost 3 hours of questioning and redundant explanations I was allowed to left, with the promise that I will do everything to recover the data. The next day I was called by my Department Manager to hear my side and after hearing my explanations I was freed from any liability, but he emphasized that next time I have to be extra careful in dealing PC's that runs application with very important functions.
I tried everything to rejuvenate the disk but to no avail, it was a Seagate 540MB hard drive and base on records at that time, that particular model is sensitive on a lot of factors and often problematic. I may point it to an ailing hardware but still I have to accept the blame considering I may have triggered the whole situation.The company was forced to replace the defective hard drive for free and I was lucky that it was not deducted on my payday.
The lesson learned here is doing some shortcuts can sometime brings us trouble and if you are not willing to take the risk, just perform the proper way to avoid disaster.