I can’t believe I’ve worked at the PC place for a full year without seeing this happen.
Until today. Guy bought a parallel ATA hard drive, and we patiently explained how to install it. He brought it back later, with his computer, to say he couldn’t get it to work.
He’d installed it upside down. In a floppy drive bay, so the screw holes don’t line up. Scratching the hell out of the side doing so.
Then I noticed the real damage.
He’d forced the IDE cable into the drive upside down. There was no way this was going back for warranty, so we took the board off to see if we could straighten the pins a bit. They promptly broke and fell out.
The missing pins are for some kind of nonessential signalling, not anything crucial to do with moving data, so the drive itself is still working and sitting in his machine doing a surface scan.
Maybe he didn’t drop it down a concrete stairwell as well. Time will tell.