Tech – for Everyone

Tech Tips and Tricks & Advice – written in plain English.

Save Thousands With a Free Tool (You Already Have)

Yesterday I struck up a conversation with a fellow “mature” student while waiting to take a Final at my local JC. He was taking a photography class and he had his gear bag with him, and I asked him about his digital equipment.
(In a former life, I was a photography student too.)

He was a friendly sort, and chatting with him was easy. He explained that he was a professional, and that he had been “all digital” for a while now. And when he discovered my line of work, he told me a very sad story.. and I felt bad for him.

The sad story: It seems this fella kept all his photography on a large portable drive, which he kept referring to as a “jump drive”, and a few weeks ago he went to plug it in and, his words, “immediately I heard strange noises, and smelled a funny burning smell”. And his computer did a BSOD.


He told me he unplugged the drive, and rebooted his computer, which came back up fine, and when he tried to reconnect the jump drive, nothing bad happened (no shooting flames) — but nothing good did either. His jump drive was dead.
He told me that – at this point – he wasn’t worried because he had bought the “extended warranty” for the drive and he was still covered.


So he told me how he contacted the drive’s manufacturer, and reported his problem, and was told that- yes, they would send him a new drive. And they told him that for recovering the data from the old drive, he was on his own. And that if he did use a 3rd-party to try to recover the photos, they would have to open the hard drive’s case, which voids their warranty.
This came as quite a shock to my new friend, and it clearly still upset him.

He went on to tell me that he had no choice in the matter, he had to get those pictures back (one set was a wedding) and so he sent the drive off to a data recovery service.. which was able to get back almost every single file and cost him a bit over $2,500.

I told him he’d got a bargain.. but he didn’t seem much cheered. In fact he clearly still felt cheated. He really thought the warranty should have covered his pictures.
I believe a lot of people have this.. gross misconception.

The simple facts are these:
* hard drives die
* nobody is going to make backup copies of your stuff for you unless you pay them. Like you would pay a maid, or chauffeur.
* Windows comes with a copy-my-files-from-here-to-there tool called (can you guess?) Windows Backup; which can be set to run automatically. On Vista, it can now burn-to-disc, even.
* Professional data recovery is $$$$

Please read How To Use Windows Backup Tool and follow the steps outlined. Or run a data backup and recovery tool of you own choosing. And do so often– a backup dated 12/20/04 is not going to do you any good!

It would have taken my new friend just a few minutes to make a ‘sync’ of his drive. But he never did, and he’s out the drive and $2,500.
I really did feel bad for him.

Today’s free link: The Internet is a Cyber-Criminals Playground!

Copyright 2007-8 © Tech Paul. All rights reserved. post to jaanix

Share this post :

December 11, 2008 Posted by | advice, Backups, computers, file system, hardware, how to, software | 5 Comments