Pilot fish gets a call from a user who wants a 2TB SSD disk — the sooner the better, please. User needs to transfer about 1TB of data and logs from a machine at a field site to an analysis center 30 minutes away, and the SSD disk he has for the job isn’t working. That’s odd, says fish, since such disks are rather robust. Do you know when it stopped working?

User is reluctant to say much, but finally fish gets a confession of sorts. The user had plugged the disk into a Fedora box to format it to NTFS. When that failed, he plugged it into a Red Hat machine to try again. That also did not work. Finally, he put the drive into a Windows machine that had been sitting nearby the whole time. Windows’ device manager reported that the disk was there, but it would not show up in the Storage Manager, and so it could not be formatted. User’s solution? Put the disk back into the Red Hat machine and blast the aberrant disk format away in good Linux style: dd if=/dev/zero of=/dev/sdc.

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