Computer Data and YOU!… oh and Elis.
Looks like I lied again about not doing an update today, but we got home surprizingly early, so hey, whatever! I guess you could say today has been pretty darn good, considering all the negativity which started the day. Actually, I wouldn’t say so much as to being negativity, but definitely the day brought along some pretty big challenges. I must say, I feel very happy today as a result of many things. Let’s start from the beginning for all of this to make sense. Yesterday night (Thursday), my cousin messaged me to tell me that she dropped her external hard drive and asked me if I knew of a way to fix it. I told her that if it was just a broken external case, we could just replace the enclosure. However, if there was physical damage, then usually most end-users consider the drive “dead”… with the exception of that data recovery can still be done, but must be done at a specialized lab.
I had already planned to meet a friend for dinner on Friday, so it worked out ok that I’d pick her up at a nearby subway station then backtrack to one of the guys who do contract work for me on computers. He has the same tools that I would at home, so rather than bringing my cousin all the way in and going back out (about a 1 hour drive), I decided to take her to the guy’s shop. He did some thorough testing and sure enough, the result was that physical damage was done to the drive. Hell, just picking up the hard drive you can hear “clicking sounds” and in general, it is never a good idea to hear that type of clicking inside a hard drive.
Unfortunately for her, it was not as easy as just moving the hard drive to another case because it was the hard drive itself that was damaged. I could already see her disappointment… I truly prayed that it was something simple like that, but knew within me that from the way she described the fall the hard drive took and the clicking sounds upon picking it up, it was never a good sign to begin with. However, I had to make sure that we tried the least expensive method first before going to the extremes. I had already told her about a data recovery centre (DRC) that I work closely with who can probably get her data back if it was physically damaged. I told her the costs are quite hefty, but will be her best bet. Oh, did I mention she also needs the data back to Monday? YA, that’s the hard part! Not only is a 3-day turn around pretty damn good if it happens, but the coming Monday happens to be “Family Day” – a holiday which most places have off in Ontario. The DRC has both “rush” 12-72 hour service or “standard” 3-5 business days. Clearly, 3-5 business days was out of the question for her since she has all her school and work related data on there… you can’t IMAGINE how much important data is on the drive, like…. her entire school/work life?
I could see she was totally sunk when we had to resort to a DRC since I gave her a cost figure for the last one I submitted for a client… uhh.. “not cheap” is how I would describe it. She comes from a wealthy family, so money was not an issue for her, but it was the “possibility” of whether they could get the data back or not, and how fast. You know what? Naturally, I have a soft spot for girls. I can’t help but want to take care of them and do every little thing for them. I’m still one of those old fashion guys who still “open the car door for girls” – LOL! So anyways, even seeing her like that made me sad for her. Normally, I am a man of little sympathy, lol – if someone does something stupid, they deserve whatever is coming their way… including the failure to properly back-up data. If she wasn’t my cousin, I probably would’ve laughed at her and charged her $250 an hour to get her data back, lol. Seeing her sad, made me sad 😦 I would’ve had a soft spot for girls anyways and would’ve felt bad, but even more so because she was related to me – blah, I’m a sucker for chicks!
So we called ahead to the nearest DRC drop-off point and it was almost an hour’s drive away… yet, I decided to drive all the way in the opposite direction (which we just came from) to get her hard drive to the DRC as fast as we could. The lady at the place who we phoned told us they’d be able to process it immediately today if we were able to get it to them within a few hours. Of course, given that her data is time-critical, I wanted to do as much as I could to help her out. We drove out (and took longer due to disgusting traffic) and when we dropped it off, we decided to go for lunch. We found a place nearby, had our lunch and the DRC had already called us back regarding a quote for the service. Luckily, I believe they expect a “full recovery”. This was pretty thrilling since the data on the drive has been her heart and soul and will likely determine whether she’ll be able to apply for her Masters.
Before the DRC proceeds, they have to verify whether the quote is acceptable or not to the customer. So they checked with her and she decided to proceed with the recovery. Let’s just say the amount was “a few thousand dollars”… yes, YIKES! Either way, the data is that important to her so she confirmed the quote so they could immediately proceed to recovery the data. With most of the anguish behind us knowing the data will likely be ok, things relaxed up a bit… However, the funny situation occurred where she realized her credit card limit is actually too low to pay for it. LOL. She called her bank to have it raised, but obviously with the absence of a credit evaluation, they sure as hell aren’t going to give it to you right away. She’s a full-time student as well, which means they evaluated that she would not have a regular job-income to qualify to have a higher credit limit. She looks sooooo sad it made me want to cry, haha… so she was talking to the guy at the DRC trying to tell him whether she could pay one half… clear the amount off her card and then give them the second half. Obviously, this doesn’t fly at all with a business when there’s an outstanding payment like that. (Sigh), why do I have to be a sucker for girls? I called the guy back, gave him my credit card number so he could process the drive immediately. She was happy… then I was happy – I smiled, life is good when people around you are happy! It is amazing how influential smiling can be… I remember the first time I saw my BeBe smile.. I think it was when I finished setting up a new computer for her to watch movies/shows on, it was the most beautiful smile in my life I have EVER seen (not that anyone could surpass or match that beauty anyways, PSH!).
We walked around the mall for a bit, got some small-eats and some bubble tea and then it was almost time to meet our friends for dinner. I dropped her off at a nearby subway station so she could get home. I wouldn’t have minded driving her, but I severely hate Toronto downtown traffic, so I avoid going there unless it is absolutely necessary… and since I already had alternate plans, that wouldn’t have been possible anyways.
After having dinner, my friends and I decided to go to T&T (a large Chinese supermarket) to pick up some groceries. There are T&T’s scattered around town, but this was the first time I went to this particular location. Remember how I always complain about how there’s very few places that sell maxi pads from Asia? I FOUND THEM! Ok well, obviously not the same number as ones I can find in Hong Kong or actual Asian regions, but they had a good compliment of it there… oh, but let me tell you, the prices did not make me smile, LOL. However, at least I know where I can get them! Maybe I’ll get some next time I visit there when I head out there with my friend’s Katie or S.L. Not only did I find some regular HK branded ones there, I even found some amazing Japanese ones! 😀
Yep, I found some Elis Ultra Guard 36cm 😛 It was like 9.99 for a package of 16 or something. I didn’t look TOO closely since I was with a bunch of people who I have not been open with about my interests so it’s ok, I’m sure I’ll have plenty of other opportunities. T&T was actually not part of our original plan but after dinner, my friends said they wanted to go buy some stuff and “walk off the food” – so I said sure. I suppose being a good samaritan sometimes pays off, otherwise, I would’ve never known only this particular T&T location had a large variety of Asian pads.
But anyways, the moral of the story is…. always find reliable methods of data backup just in case something happens. This is especially important for students because I find oddly enough, computers always like to break right before an exam, due date or any other “important” student event. Having worked so many years in this field, I swear that events like that is when data failure occurs… it is like the data has a self-destruct sequence on it. Poor cousin had to learn this the hard way and spend a crapload of money just to get her files back. It’s a good thing she comes from a wealthy background or your average person wouldn’t be paying that kind of money to get their data back… they’d just accept the loss and move on.
P.S. for the people who are lucky enough to live in the GTA, you can now find Asian pads at the Warden T&T!!! Let me know if you know of other places (especially if they’re cheaper!)
Posted on February 13, 2010, in Periodtastic, Personal and tagged Blog, Data Loss, Data Recovery, Educational, Family, Feminine Hygiene, Hard Drive, Help, Interests, Maxi Pads, My Life, Opinion, People, Personal, Sanitary Napkins, Thoughts, Women. Bookmark the permalink. 4 Comments.