Wrath

// November 28th, 2005 // Geekery, Life

My poor mother has just gone through a hellish computer repair experience… on Thursday her machine would not boot up and said Windows needed repairing. She couldn’t find her installation disc anywhere so decided to take it to the local PC repair place and see if she could borrow their disc. Of course the guy took over the whole process and duly informed her that the whole hard drive was corrupted and all the data lost. Pretty depressing news when you haven’t backed up for a year.

I asked her if he had run any data retrieval stuff on it… then had to talk him through downloading some data retrieval software etc and told him to remove the hard drive and put it in another machine before running the software. (Strange to have to tell someone this who has “Data Retrieval” as one of his services!) Once he plugged it in, he could see that the data was still there and not corrupted at all – just Windows was corrupted – so he hadn’t actually checked when he pronounced it “unretreivable”. Scary to think how close he came to formatting it all.

Then he rebuilt the machine and put the data back on it – only for some reason he only copied the “My Documents” folder and nothing else!! Then charged Mum $500. Why wouldn’t you just copy over everything? Crazy! Then there was a big phone debate, during which he said “I don’t need customers like you!” and then slammed the phone down in her ear.

Now I’ve got to take out Mum’s hard drive and run GetDataBack on it myself, see what I can retrieve. Not that I’m an expert. But apparently I am more expert than some people who run computer shops in small towns. Obviously relying on people’s ignorance is enough expertise!!

5 Responses to “Wrath”

  1. hers says:

    This makes me so angry.

    I run a small business and this sort of job is my bread and butter. It’s so simple to check for all the other important things that people have. Crooks give the rest of us a bad name. And that’s far more than she should have paid for a job like that.

  2. Martha says:

    Woah, I’ve just written up my experience with this, and it seems Helen is sharing the very same.

    I didn’t even worry about retrieving anything (lucky to have only had the computer a short time). Thank god for flickr, or all my photos would be gone.

  3. org says:

    we love you noo-noo! xxx

  4. Noo Noo says:

    I went back to the shop and retrieved a DVD with all the data the cowboy had taken off my computer, just in case he had more than he had put back on – but no… just my documents (without my pictures!) and no emails.
    When I questioned him originally about why he had told me there was no retrievable data, he said he had wanted to make it ‘as painfree as possible’ for me! And when I questioned him as to why he had only rescued some files and not all of them, he said it was because I had said that only My Documents and my emails were important.
    When he originally ran Windows XP to try and repair it, he had shooed me out of the shop ‘you ladies go and have coffee’. When I came back 20 minutes later he said there was no retrievable data. I now believe that he did repair Windows, but pretended he didn’t so he could make some money out of me. Paranoid I know, but this man is a nightmare!

    hers, do you know of any computer shop association I could lay a complaint with? I have just spoken to another local woman who took her bridge club computer to him to get Windows XP put on. He put it on, but the hard drive did not have the capacity for it and in the process he wiped off all their data. So they took it to another computer shop which retrieved their lost data then asked them for the XP CDs. When they went back to him for it (he had charged them, but not given them the disks). He made a lot of excuses, but it turned out he had just loaded up Windows XP from his own copy and charged them the full amount. Surely he should be prosecuted for this?

    This has been pretty traumatic all around, I’ve lost a lot of money and all my emails and address book plus all my photos. Thank goodness for darling Emily.

  5. hers says:

    I’m sorry Noo Noo, I don’t really know of any “association” or group who deal specifically with computer shops.

    However, if you were to contact Consumer / Fair Go / your Citizan’s Advice Bureau they may be able to help you.

    For your friend who had XP loaded and wasn’t given the disks – Microsoft would be really interested to hear about one.

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