Backed up my data as you should and still I lose

  born2bongo 19:53 11 Dec 07
Locked

Bought an £80 Maxtor from PC World in June 2007 and backed up 5 years worth of important data.

Kept my back-ups up-to-date on a weekly basis like a good boy and felt quite safe when my PC went wrong big time in November and the techie told me a rebuild was required.

The PC came back and I set about recovering my data. The machine would not install the drive, and neither would my brand new laptop.

PC World have now confirmed the disk is faulty and have offered one of 2 distasteful solutions:

a) Replace the disk with a brand new one under guarantee, but I lose all my data;
b) They recover the data from the disk for £100 but this then invalidates the guarantee and I will have to buy a new external drive.

They will not back down on this and do not acknowledge that the disk drive failed doing the job it was designed for. Their view is that I should have purchased a further drive to backup the backup before my machine was rebuilt and the loss of data is therefore my responsibility.

This is a ludicrous notion. Am I supposed to purchase a spare wardrobe of clothes in case my washing machine door does not open at the end of the cycle?

Has anyone else had a similar experience?

Any views on the legal angle?

i had a similar thing happen when i went to PC world . I printed out some leaflets and stood at the front of the shop telling people there was bad customer service, and when a few people had walked away they soon game me my £200 repair fee. it only takes about an hour if you go at peak times! legally they do not have to do anything more than they have but it is better for them if they do if you are complaining!

  Totally-braindead 20:04 11 Dec 07

I don't see that you have an option through the legal system hard as that maybe to take.

When I worked as a computer operator we took backups twice a day on different drives so the most we could ever lose was half a days work. Now
I realise that this is OTT for you but when people ask me about backing up I tell them not to just use one backup in case of failure. My photos for example are backed up onto an external hard drive and onto 2 CDRs.

If any of the three fail I still have 2 copies and the chances of all 3 failing at exactly the same time is very very low.

I'm sorry I realise this does not help you at all in your present situation but if the files are so vital too you then I would pay the £100 to get the data back. I don't see what else you can do.

  oresome 20:26 11 Dec 07

I think the moral of the story is that as well as backing up important data, you must try using the backup just as frequently.

I suspect no retailer or manufacturer will accept liability for consequential loss or damage.

  born2bongo 20:52 11 Dec 07

oresome - I don't understand.

I've backed up regularly, and I've used the backups regularly. I've been stuffed because my hard disk failed at the same time as my pc.

so far Stuart is the only one to come up with a practical solution. Are you French Stu? everyone else seems to take this lying down, British style.

I've done as recommended and the first time I need to use it, it lets me down. The point is, I always had 2 copies of everything until my pc was rebuilt. It's a 1 off situation and it would not have hurt PC World to assist.

It's a great time of year to park myself outside PC World with a catchily worded leaflet.

  mikeben121 23:48 11 Dec 07

I think it is just very bad luck! Personally I would try to get a second opinion on the maxtor, its a very big coincidence for two things to fail like that.

A local computer shop rather than PC World would be a better option.

I know that hard drives are cheap but I remain yet to be convinced that its better than some form of tape.

  Totally-braindead 13:59 12 Dec 07

I'm not trying to be offensive here so please read what I say and don't think I'm having a dig at you or anything because I am not.

Why should PC World or any computer manufacturer get the info off the drive for no charge? The guarantee you have is on the drive itself not on the data you put on it. You will probably find some sort of disclaimer somewhere about them not being liable for data loss.

You can try the legal system if you like but as far as I am concerned this is a complete waste of time. The drive is guaranteed, the data you put on it is not.

Now as to whether trying to embarass PCW in to doing this for free would work I don't know and thats entirely up to you.

I do sympathise with your plight but my view is nothing to do with being British and just accepting things or anything like that. Its that PC World and even the drive manufacturer are not responsible for anything put on the drive in case of failure, their only responsability is to repair or renew the failed drive within whatever the guarantee period is.

I am curious about one thing though. PCW have told you that getting the info off the drive would invalidate the guarantee. Did they say why this is the case? Would it be because they might have to dismantle it or something like that and that would invalidate the warranty?
You might get better results from the hard drive manufacturer than from PCW, its certainly worth a email to ask.

If you explained to the hard drive manufacturer what had happened and said that you need the data and are willing to pay to get the info off the drive but fail to see how this invalidates the guarantee as the drive is clearly dead already they might just send you a replacement as a good will gesture. And if they are willing to do this then PCW could then get the data off the drive and onto the new hard drive.

I can see both points of view if I have the warranty issue right. If PCW do get the info off the drive then doing so invalidates the guarantee so you end up as well as having to pay for the recovery of the data also paying for a new drive which should be free as its under guarantee.
Now if I have that right then from your point of view, and mine if it happened to me, this is unfair as the drive is already dead. But from PC Worlds point of view if they return it to the manufacturer as failed and they see it has been dismantled they will not get it replaced and be out one hard drive.

I think its worth an email to the manufacturer of the hard drive explaining the situation. Maybe they will send you a new hard drive or perhaps they will give permission for PCW to do this and make sure they are not out of pocket to the tune of a hard drive.

  grumpygramp 14:43 12 Dec 07

I bought an external Hard Drive specifically for back ups .When it is not backing up it is not connected .It is the safest way

  Totally-braindead 15:33 12 Dec 07

grumpygramp that is true with it not being in constant use the chances of it failing are lessened but even though not used constantly it can still fail. That is why I have more than one backup.

  pcw Manager!!??! 19:58 12 Dec 07

Hi, the reason it would invalidate the warranty is the case would be "cracked open" so to speak to allow the drive to be connected to recovery equipment. This would render the warranty void and be un returnable to manufacurer. We use an external company to do the work, we simply use their hardware and software. The reason we couldnt do the work for free is because we have to charge for the recovery on a certain code which flags the work with IBAS so they know whos doing what. Once this has been done Techguy logs into machine and starts the process. I had a similar issue with a customers hd recently and what you have been told is correct I'm afraid. ( believe it or not if I could just press a button and do it for nothing to prevent these complaints I would if only for a simple life!)

ps,
Stuartissins, I need someone to drop some leaflets this weekend , let me know if your available ....5 quid an hour....free t shirt...?

  Stuartli 20:20 12 Dec 07

There's at least one UK firm that retrieves data from hard drives that have been split open, run over or even had the internal disks cut into pieces...:-)

But it ain't cheap.

By the way, perhaps you could clarify this sentence: "The machine would not install the drive, and neither would my brand new laptop."

Do you mean that your system or laptop, when connected to the Maxtor, couldn't retrieve the data from it? Was it an external drive?

As PC World claims it can retrieve the data and you have at least five years data on it, I would suggest that you inform Maxtor first of the problem and see if they will replace it after you have, hopefully, had the data retrieved by a known specialist in this field.

The cost would probably be around the same or perhaps even less.

To be brutally frank, I wouldn't let PC World have anything to do with retrieving the data.

Some useful links:

click here

click here

click here

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