Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Who crashed my PC? Part-3 Recovering my Data.

Part-3 Recovering my data.

So, after making what I consider my potential PC purchase options, if my old PC could not be repaired, I now had to make some serious decisions on getting my data back and the possible costs.

OK, I know what needs to be done to recover data from a hard drive. Being a Geek myself, I also know the costs if I do it myself. I will not go into the technical details, but after an hour or so of checking out the different software and hardware tools available on the web and in stores, I was not happy with what I saw.

Oh yeah, I mentioned that I typically bought the low-cost PC's when I purchased one. One way they are sold so cheap was by not having a CD/DVD drive. Because of this you cannot have a recovery disk, Rather, you have to have made your own recovery file and stored it on a USB memory stick.

Anyway, it was going to require an expenditure of just under $100, if I was lucky, or up to $200 if things were "worst case". And I still might not be able to recover my data. My data could all be gone, if the hard drive had really crashed versus having a few bad partitions.

The other option? There is the Squad of Geeks at Best Buy.
OK, they are a well-managed group of technicians who operate under a very structured work/pricing system. But, boy are they expensive!

I called a couple of local shops who "worked on PCs" but I came away with feelings of distrust for some and for others a feeling of being insulted by their answers to my questions. So, I eliminated them as an option. Besides, their projected pricing was close (75%-150%) to the Squad of Geeks.

Now, again, I know how to recover my data, but the problem was just how much time (and money) did I really want to spend getting my data back.

After much teeth gnashing over the costs, I packed my crashed PC up and went to the Geeks, for one important reason. I knew that they were; 1-honest, and 2-efficient. I knew I would get my data quickly, if it could be recovered at all, and it would be done by professionals.

Again, I hate their pricing, but I went to them anyway. I loved their pricing ad. It said that they charged $199 for a 1-year service contract on a PC. Or, if you would like, they charged $199 to repair your PC software and recover your data. If it could be recovered at all. Don't you just love having options.

Anyway, I went to them and talked up my own "Geekness" with the counter guy and he gave me a little better price.

They were able to tell me immediately that I had 51GB of personal data to recover, and it would only cost me $156 to recover it, seeing as I had brought my own external USB hard drive to store it on. But, I would have to come back the next day to pick it up.

We spoke Geek for a few more minutes, and I finally paid them and left.

So, the next day I got my Hard Drive, with my data, along with my still crashed PC back in my hands.
Oh, and the tech said that it looked like I had Malware which had attacked my MS Windows software and specifically my 8.1 operating system.

But I also had several bad partitions on the PCs hard drive, so it was just a matter of time before I had even bigger problems.

I asked whether it looked like I could have the hard drive replaced and start over by reinstalling everything; the operating system, my office package, my photo editing software and all of my other specialized software that I used.

He looked me in the eye ad said; "Well, you could spend several days reinstalling your stuff, in this 2-year old PC, or you can go ahead and purchase a new one and get another solid two years before it starts to act up itself. Your choice."

His comment stopped me in my tracks.
I suddenly realized that PCs today are just not going to last much longer than a couple of years, and I had to accept that fact for the future in my decision making process.
Oh, for the average user, you know, the guy who checks the email a couple of times a week, and shops for something once a week, my PC would probably last for 4-5 years, or even longer. But, I am a geek, and a writer, so i am banging on my keyboard 4-6 hours a day.

Frowning, I took my stuff, and walked out of the store with this new information to use in making my now confirmed purchasing decisiondecision.

by Don Bobbitt, 2014

Copyright, Don Bobbitt, 2014

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