Sunday, October 18, 2015

Of arrogance, ignorance and agony: A tale of lost data.

I don't like change. Especially when it comes to computers. Windows 95 was my operating system for a long time, but when Windows 2000 came out I got it. Win95 was always so glitchy. Windows 2000 was very stable for me. And the only email program that I used was Outlook Express. I had the Microsoft Office products and Adobe Photoshop. For years the Win2k PC was the perfect PC.  Never backed anything up. Never updated Office or Adobe. Never had problems. Sitting pretty. Never thinking for once that in my arrogance, nothing was ever going to happen. Then one night last winter, Glenn, my husband and President of Bishop Computer, decides to upgrade my machine to Windows XP, the last Windows O/S that used my Abobe without upgrading. He thought he was doing a good thing. Glenn survived and/or ignored my death threats. I still had all of my programs. Cool.

Before long, my PC started being a dog. Everything took so long to do. No, it wasn't my connection to the Internet. we have an extremely fast Comcast connection. This system also liked to reboot itself every now and then. Is that what XP did? Win2k never did that. So for my birthday, Glenn got me a new Windows 7 Pro PC (now upgraded to Windows 10). But he set my old PC in another room, and I remote desktop to it, RDP. So now I have an ultra fast PC, and I can use my old programs, Outlook Express, Microsoft Office and Adobe Photoshop by RDP. Neat.

Then came the power outage. Everything went down. That's ok. We've weathered this kind of thing before. I sat down with my Windows 10 laptop and read a kindle book until power came back on. And it did, with a loud BANG! It certainly did not sound good. But I found everything came back up, my PC, the servers, the switches, and the IP Office. Everything except my XP box. Great. Glenn came back in and asked that I give him 24 hours to see if he could fix my machine. OK. I told him it's got to be done because that's where I keep ALL my passwords for everything. Talk about panic!

The next day, Glenn said we needed to send out my hard drive to a data recovery company. But to who? There are so many companies out there. Who to trust? Well, we actually know a company. Glenn had to remind me. We support their Avaya IP Office system. Gillware, Data Recovery, that's what they do. Data recovery and data backup. Glenn asked if they deal with WinXP. Yes. And they work on the type of hard drive I have. They could not guarantee data recovery. They said send it in and they will do an analysis. So we sent the hard drive to Gillware Data Recovery.

They quickly got back and said that they did recover everything except for 5000 some odd sectors. I've lost at least 5000 sectors in my brain from a recent mini-stroke (TIA) I had, and I'm still ticking. I was lucky, in and out of the hospital in 2 days. So how bad is 5000 sectors gone on my hard drive? I was super lucky with that as well. We got it back and booted the hard drive, and up it came. I could see nothing missing. My Outlook Express was there with all my passwords, which was most important! I now have a hard copy. I had my old Photoshop and Microsoft Office which was a plus. Ok, I had had my doubts and had bought into the Adobe Cloud and Microsoft Office online stuff for my new machine before I got my hard drive back. Adobe will take a nice sized learning curve. Microsoft, not so bad. So now I have the most up to date operating system, Microsoft and Adobe products. Well, everything except Outlook Express. I've got to have that.

So what have I learned? Backup, backup backup. Sooner or later, it will happen to you. Also, if you need a data recovery company, Gillware is it! They also have online backup. Check them out! Here is a link to Gillware so that you can learn about them. They are as expert to data recovery and online backup as we are expert in Avaya IP Office. Be safe!

~Peggy Bishop