This post should serve as a warning to anyone NOT to throw your hard drives in the trash or leave them where anyone can get to them.
Once upon a time, a junker found a computer on the street back in 2004. Black widow spiders had nested inside of it, everything was damaged except the hard drive. He tried to boot the drive in another PC, but couldn't. He didn't wanna trash it, so he put it in his shop.
A few years back, I walked into his shop, I see this awesome Quantum Bigfood hard drive.. I immediately purchase it because it's awesome! Never seen anything like it. It's huge! (image courtesy of wiki).
Naturally I would want to see what's on there ;) I put it into one of my old PCs, met with BSOD... and it freezes at login. I'll assume this is what happened to the guy.
Try safe mode, still can't get in. More BSOD. Worse than I thought... So I try cloning the drive. We start as a VHDX file and then convert it to a VMDK. We get a whole bunch of garbled text... and then this pops up xD
Sounds a little steamy ;)
Once the drive was cloned, I could manually edit it and pick it apart... don't get me wrong, I could already get into the files once I attached it via disk manager... but there's nothing quite like actually booting up the drive. Low and behold, here is the desktop!
Dat wallpaper tho… is that the owner? Or is that some Asian Pop star at the time? (googles the image) OK It's a Korean pop star named Hyori Lee. Here's a full clean image if anyone wants it:
I found a directory of pictures. Looks to be a Chinese type person... possibly one of the users.
Hmmm... Windows being in 16 colors mode makes them really hard to view... Anyway here's the entire directory of them. I'll be leaving them alone...
I also found a directory filled with AIM account folders (filelib). Nothing inside any of'em… bummer. I wonder where that dialog came from in the earlier screenshot though? Looks like it came from a website, possibly a profile that's saved in the temporary internet files?
OK Let's go look in the Temporary Internet Files directory... found a bunch of cookies, yum yum yum!!! This person seemed to enjoy websites like DollRage.com (a dead website) here it is on archive.org
They also visited various other sites like chess sites (daww.. maybe she was in chess club?) and chest sites... CHEST SITE?!?!?! Yes... chest sites... Oh my gosh this person seems to be heavily into chests! Ok ok, a lot of us do that, fair enough.. each to their own.. ;D
(scrolls down in explorer) OHHHH MY LORDY LORD! There's a whole bunch of hentai!!!!! Please note that I have pixelated the image to keep this post "work safe"...
There's tons of it.... tons... and tons and tons... Alright I'm closing up... apparently she likes hentai. Ahem... well, that's all there really is to it. So here's the recap:
Bought an antiquated hard drive from a junker.
I eventually got into the drive.
Found that an Asian girl owned this computer.
She had a webcam installed (and took some cute pics).
She used AIM95 back in the day.
She used ComicChat.
She liked to karaoke (found a few sound clips of her singing.. I think it's her? In some Asian language)
There were some interesting files in the temporary internet file folder.... perhaps I'll um... just them safe...
This is what life was life for the typical user of the time.
No personal data was divulged in this post. Let's keep it clean ;)
OK Drivers have been updated... Here's the complete working desktop in full color!
This was quite an interesting experience. It's literally a window into the past of what life was like for some young users at the time. I can relate, was born in 84 after all... Using Windows 98 in 2004, and it's not really strange because Win98 was pretty fast. Websites loaded quicker, instant messengers worked, there was really no reason for a lot of people to move to XP. Most video cards at the time worked with Win98, so games weren't an issue. If I had to do it all over again, I would have totally skipped XP and stayed with Win98 until Windows Vista (which I did get, and I had no issues with it because I made sure my hardware worked with it hehe... Yes I'm a Vista fan).
I'm suddenly inspired to post some of my own files.. if I can ever find my old hard drives -_- I'll see what I can scrounge up for next time. I do wanna share more memories of the past. I miss those days.
Till next time, do the Mario!!!!