One of the people I work with was trying to rescue some old (but valuable) data off what appeared to be a very dead hard drive. It didn’t even spin up when plugged in and the computer was booted. Upon inspection, it looked like one of the chips on the hard drive’s controller board was visibly “fried” – something I’d not seen before. (The former host PC to this drive probably died due to a lost power supply, it could have sent out a surge during its death throes.)
In any case, thanks to the wonders of the web, we were able to track down a brand new version of the exact same drive – a many-years-old 8G monster which must have sat on a shelf somewhere since 1999. Simply swapping the control board from the old one miraculously led to them being able to get full use of the drive back, including access to the data which had driven the whole recovery operation. NICE. These stories so rarely have happy endings.