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Once Upon a Time...A tale of technological loss and recovery


This is a true story. Only the name of the protagonist has been changed to protect the embarrassed.


Once upon a time...

there was a woman named Anisteh. Anisteh had an epic external harddrive where she kept her collection of old movies and many, many, family photos. She got into this habit in the “olden days” when she was wary of putting family and travel images online because security was not as rigorous as it is now and out of sloth she continued on the same path to this very day.


One day, in the dead of night (9 PM) Anisteh’s harddrive became unreadable. Gnashing of teeth, tearing of hair! She was a damsel distressed when thinking that those beloved pictures might be lost. The harddrive - meh.


Being spunky as all modern heroines are, after some effort Anisteh managed to get a technological peek at it with Windows, which told her the hard drive was OK but the computer couldn’t read it. Knowing she needed a wizard, Anisteh bravely went into the online forest (aka searched Google) to find a tech service to help. Following the advice for navigating the forest given by her Nanograns fairy godmothers, Anisteh chose a local tech wizard offering online services.


Fearfully Anisteh dialed, thinking of the obscure language wizards use and the tribute (aka fees for services provided) they expect in return for their help. Imagine her surprise when the wizard Rob, after asking her a few questions in simple English (!!) determined that the drive was actually not OK, but that a Data Recovery troll (DRoll) might be able to help. The wizard’s help was honest and comforting. Out of his vast arcane knowledge, he told Anisteh the DRoll would likely demand a high amount of tribute for his services. He warned her that no DRoll could give a firm price or predict the amount of data that would be recovered before examining the drive, as it depended on what was broken and how badly the disc was damaged (if at all). Then a miracle! The wizard refused any gift for the half hour he had spent waving his wand! He mentioned a DRoll living some distance away who was willing to pick up the drive, but Anisteh decided to seek a couple more DRolls for comparison first.


Heartened, Anisteh asked her friends if they could recommend a DRoll to recover her precious photos, etc., but alas, they could not. (One friend wise in the way of computers said that if a laptop battery is dead, the laptop sometimes responds if the battery is removed, the notebook plugged in, and then the laptop is turned on. Anisteh tried it on an old laptop, but no luck. Worth keeping in mind, though.)


After asking two more DRolls found by searching Google for “Best Data Recovery Services Toronto”, Anisteh settled on the one of the three who had been in the business over twenty years, had been used for years by a local store-front computer store that Anisteh was familiar with (which readily verified the DRoll’s expertise when she called them), said there was no charge unless data was recovered, and of the three DRolls Anisteh spoke to quoted her the lowest (but still high) fixed price. Apparently, most DRolls work to a fixed price because many have been burned by people refusing to pay anything when they cannot recover all of the data on the drive, which is sometimes the case.


Anisteh delivered her bad drive (and a new, good drive to copy to) to the DRoll who said normally recovery took 3 to 5 days. And lo! On the third day Anisteh’s good drive was delivered containing ALL the lost data!


A wiser Anisteh is now moving a copy of her pictures to the cloud using Google Photos in her quest for family photos that will stay safe and sound for happy ever after. And she posted a five star review in Google to thank the kind wizard Rob.


- Morals of the story -


If it is precious, make sure it is backed up. Online services are more secure than they used to be and have high levels of redundancy (aka your data is stored in several places that are geographically apart so that if something disastrous should happen to one site, your data is still safely stored at the other). If you are concerned about or want to learn more about privacy in the Cloud, have a read of articles like "How to stop Google from spying on you".


Technology support services are like any other purchase. Ask around for recommendations, troll (pun intended!) the internet for local services, and get at least three quotes.


Sometimes it is better to call in an expert. This story is an example of an exception to the “try it out” mantra. If it is obviously beyond your skill level and must be done right the first time, find someone who knows what they are doing.


Give praise where it is due. If you want to do a business of any kind a favour, give them a five-star rating and a great review on Google. This is especially valuable for a small/local business as new customers mostly come from good ratings/reviews in online searches. The helpful wizard was Rob at Extreme/Computer Repair Geeks on the Go (647-800-5016) and the DRoll was Data Lab 247.


Engaging in the unknown can be stressful but it’s way more more fun if you treat it as an adventure! Best wishes to you for many interesting and fruitful journeys through the realm of technology!


Take care and talk with you soon!

Dear Readers - Nanograns is taking it a bit easy in the summer.

We will post every two weeks - July 4, July 18, August 1, August 15 - and resume weekly posts August 22.

P.S. We like to embrace life as a journey, so every now and then will be giving updates on prior blogs when we find neat additions.


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