This hard drive thing is getting ridiculous

EvilQueen

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Aug 15, 2013
261
21
In my own world
IRS says it's not abnormal for hard drives to crash. They cite 2-5% failure rate as the industry average. But then report that 25% of the hard drives have failed in the computers holding the documents being requested and this is 100% of the important computers. 20 of the 80.

And there are no backups...anywhere.

Do they really expect us to believe that? Is there any jury on the planet that could be convinced that this is true? In this day and age?

I have vacation pictures backed up in 4 places. There is no way the IRS doesn't have backups. You would have to suspend reality to find a place where anyone thinks this is true.
 

EvilQueen

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Aug 15, 2013
261
21
In my own world
You should add that this is probably about the IRS deleted email scandal thingy. Context is always a good thing to consider when posting in PRSI.
If you don't know that by me saying the IRS claims all the hard drives crashed then maybe you shouldn't be posting in PRSI. What other IRS hard drive crashes are in the news?
 

lannister80

macrumors 6502
Apr 7, 2009
476
17
Chicagoland
IRS says it's not abnormal for hard drives to crash. They cite 2-5% failure rate as the industry average. But then report that 25% of the hard drives have failed in the computers holding the documents being requested and this is 100% of the important computers. 20 of the 80.

And there are no backups...anywhere.

Do they really expect us to believe that? Is there any jury on the planet that could be convinced that this is true? In this day and age?

I have vacation pictures backed up in 4 places. There is no way the IRS doesn't have backups. You would have to suspend reality to find a place where anyone thinks this is true.
I did a Google search and I keep getting stuff only related to Learner's gov-issued laptop. Can you give us some links?
 

Renzatic

Suspended
If you don't know that by me saying the IRS claims all the hard drives crashed then maybe you shouldn't be posting in PRSI. What other IRS hard drive crashes are in the news?
Also, a link would be nice.

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I thought about this. I haven't had an unrecoverable hard driver failure, ever. Maybe, it's a Mac thing.
You're a lucky, lucky man, SD.
 

EvilQueen

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Aug 15, 2013
261
21
In my own world

lannister80

macrumors 6502
Apr 7, 2009
476
17
Chicagoland
I thought about this. I haven't had an unrecoverable hard driver failure, ever. Maybe, it's a Mac thing.
Oh, I certainly have. I mean, maybe if I had sent it off to a forensics company to repair the broken parts of the drive (for $1000 or whatever) they could have recovered data, but I've had drives fail mechanically on me before. Won't spin up, or spin up and make horrid grinding sounds, or spin up smoothly and are recognized by the OS only to say that there are millions of bad sectors.

Not many, but it definitely happens. But that was when I was in IT and had contact with lots of hardware. I've only had 1 drive fail that I personally owned.
 

Renzatic

Suspended
Of course, being the frugal individual that I am, I do have back up to my Time Capsule but truthfully, that does seem to have not been needed so far.
Frugal is the least you can be when it comes to hard drives, which, from my experiences with both Macs and PCs, are notoriously flaky and stupid. Over the years, I've had at least 7 go bad on me.

The best thing to do is assume they'll blow up in your face at any moment, and back up your important data to at least two different types of media. You've been lucky in the past, and you might continue to be lucky in the immediate future, but I wouldn't rely on it.
 

lannister80

macrumors 6502
Apr 7, 2009
476
17
Chicagoland
http://www.usnews.com/news/business/articles/2014/06/20/irs-inspector-general-probing-hard-drive-crash

I look forward to reading the OIG's report. They're on it.

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I haven't seen anything about 20 out of 80 drives failing, as you mentioned. Can you please be more specific? 95% of the commentary is about Learner's and Learner's drive alone.

And about the top 5 or 6 hits on your search are from heavily biased sites (Wash Times, Hot Air, etc)
 

Anonymous Freak

macrumors 603
Dec 12, 2002
5,120
432
Cascadia
If you don't know that by me saying the IRS claims all the hard drives crashed then maybe you shouldn't be posting in PRSI. What other IRS hard drive crashes are in the news?
While people intimately familiar with US political news right now may know; not all of MacRumors user base (nor even all of those who frequent the PRSI forum,) are. The IRS issue isn't news at all outside the US.

And in a few months, it likely won't be news even in the US (you know, like how mass shootings tend to disappear from the news after a few months, too.) So context is always good to provide in the top post.
 

EvilQueen

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Aug 15, 2013
261
21
In my own world
http://www.usnews.com/news/business/articles/2014/06/20/irs-inspector-general-probing-hard-drive-crash

I look forward to reading the OIG's report. They're on it.

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I haven't seen anything about 20 out of 80 drives failing, as you mentioned. Can you please be more specific? 95% of the commentary is about Learner's and Learner's drive alone.

And about the top 5 or 6 hits on your search are from heavily biased sites (Wash Times, Hot Air, etc)
I posted this after driving home from town. I heard it on CNN (XM radio) as they were playing highlights from the hearing.
 

Anonymous Freak

macrumors 603
Dec 12, 2002
5,120
432
Cascadia
I've had many hard drive crashes over the years. Most in the 3-7 year span of having the hard drive. Relatively few died before 3 years, most that have made it 7 years seem to be able to last forever. (Some are now 30 years old, although obviously not seeing "24/7" use.)

Both in Macs and PCs. (And in non-Mac/PC systems like high-end IBM/HP/Sun servers.)

My first "modern" home computer hard drive crash was an eMac, and it happened less than a week after I decided to start making backups. The computer was a smidge over 3 years old.

Ironically, that very back up hard drive died a couple months later! (It was 6 years old at the time.) A second hard drive purchased at the same time (same make/model/manufacturing batch,) failed within six more months.

Yes, hard drives fail. And hard drives from the same batch tend to fail in similar timespans. As corporate PCs and servers tend to be bought in bulk, they tend to be made at about the same time, which means they tend to be made with parts from the same manufacturing batches.

And if the systems are mistreated in storage, it makes it more likely that they'd have failures.


Never attribute to malice that which can be fully explained by ignorance (or laziness.)
 

tgara

macrumors 6502a
Jul 17, 2012
993
2,733
Connecticut, USA
IRS says it's not abnormal for hard drives to crash. They cite 2-5% failure rate as the industry average. But then report that 25% of the hard drives have failed in the computers holding the documents being requested and this is 100% of the important computers. 20 of the 80.
Can I use this excuse the next time I get audited by the IRS? Hey, my hard drive crashed, and I don't have my records that I was supposed to keep for 3 years (or 7 years in the case of an audit). Mine must have been been one of the 25%. ;)
 

EvilQueen

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Aug 15, 2013
261
21
In my own world
Never attribute to malice that which can be fully explained by ignorance (or laziness.)
So you think it is plausible that all those drives crashed and the backups of the hard drives are lost AND they lost the data on the mail server AND the backups of the mail server are lost? And the IRS only has ONE mail server and not several mirrored?

:confused:
 

TheHateMachine

macrumors 6502a
Sep 18, 2012
836
850
Both companies I have worked for never backed up end user HDDs. That honestly seems rather silly and would put a huge strain on the network. What we did backup was server based storage that housed the end user "My Documents" network drive. Now those as well as our Exchange servers are on tape backup nearly 7 years out (This seems to be a typical length based on legalese). However... you still get those knuckleheaded users who backup their emails into PSTs that are located on their primary HDD. So when that thing gives up the ghost, their files are gone.

Losing end user HDD data is a real possibility as they are rarely backed up. Losing Exchange and Server data that is not over 7 years old. I feel skeptical.

Not trying to excuse any of this, but offer a prospective from someone who deals with backup and restore work. I also do not know what the IRS's data and email retention policy is.
 

vrDrew

macrumors 65816
Jan 31, 2010
1,317
11,838
Midlife, Midwest
I'm highly suspicious of Darryl Issa: A man who increased the insurance limits on his Ohio factory by more than 400% just weeks before the building mysteriously burned down - the fire marshall noting evidence of accelerants being poured on the ground. Issa's bookkeeper told investigators she hold been told to move computers and other records offsite just days before the fire - with no reasonable explanation of why.

Issa is a crook with a guilty conscience, and plenty of experience committing fraud. Too bad he projects his criminality on to everyone else.

Too bad Republicans are such patsies for believing his lies.
 

lannister80

macrumors 6502
Apr 7, 2009
476
17
Chicagoland
So you think it is plausible that all those drives crashed and the backups of the hard drives are lost AND they lost the data on the mail server AND the backups of the mail server are lost? And the IRS only has ONE mail server and not several mirrored?

:confused:
What if there is no mail on the mail server? Hell, they were probably all using local Outlook .pst files to take load off the Exchange server or something equally stupid. And who knows if local user-level machines are backed up at all (probably not).

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I'm highly suspicious of Darryl Issa: A man who increased the insurance limits on his Ohio factory by more than 400% just weeks before the building mysteriously burned down - the fire marshall noting evidence of accelerants being poured on the ground. Issa's bookkeeper told investigators she hold been told to move computers and other records offsite just days before the fire - with no reasonable explanation of why.
Don't forget being indited for car theft multiple times! Charges dropped at last minute, of course...
 

Southern Dad

macrumors 68000
May 23, 2010
1,532
547
Shady Dale, Georgia
Issa is a crook with a guilty conscience, and plenty of experience committing fraud. Too bad he projects his criminality on to everyone else.
Can you prove that statement? Slander is pretty serious. Im sure if you can prove it there is an Attorney General that would like to see that evidence. You may want to edit and put some "alleged" or "in my opinion"
 

rdowns

macrumors Penryn
Jul 11, 2003
27,345
12,409
Can you prove that statement? Slander is pretty serious. Im sure if you can prove it there is an Attorney General that would like to see that evidence. You may want to edit and put some "alleged" or "in my opinion"

You might want to offer up that suggestion to Issa too.
 

vrDrew

macrumors 65816
Jan 31, 2010
1,317
11,838
Midlife, Midwest
Can you prove that statement? Slander is pretty serious.
Look at the evidence. I mean, seriously look at the evidence.

"Weeks before the fire, Issa and [business partner Miles] Hunsinger boosted their fire insurance from $ 100,000 to $ 462,000 on property stored for other companies...At the same time, a separate company that contracted with Quantum to outfit bug zappers increased its insurance to $ 400,000, and, according to an insurance report, one investigator was 'concerned about the coincidence.' Fire investigators also noted that a computer was taken off the site eight days before the fire, 'allegedly to be reprogrammed' by Issa's lawyer, and that business blueprints were put away in a safe -- which was 'not previously done before.'" [Los Angeles Times, 5/23/98, via Nexis]
and

"Investigators reported 'suspicious burn patterns' and said the fire may have been set. A company bookkeeper, Karen Brasdovich, also told them that computers and records had been removed from the site days before the fire for no clear reason. 'It was totally out of normal practice,' she said in a telephone interview last week." Washington Post 07/08/03
I don't know about you, but I find that set of circumstances a heck of a lot more suspicious - and with a real victim, motive, and crime to boot - than a midlevel IRS executive's computer crashing.
 

TheHateMachine

macrumors 6502a
Sep 18, 2012
836
850
Exchange and Outlook (at least as the IRS implemented them until 2011) are at the heart of the IRS e-mail fiasco. Prior to the Lerner e-mail episode, the agency’s IT department placed a 150MB limit on each users’s mailbox (today, IRS employees have a 500MB cap on their e-mail). To keep mailboxes within size limits, employees were told to archive e-mails locally in Outlook .PST mailbox files—including messages that they thought met the definition of “official correspondence” for retention purposes.
I figured as much, if the sixth month life cycle on backups is true then there you have it.