Studying abroad is an exciting time for students, but it can be equally stressful for parents back home. Such was the case for Corey Schaninger and her father, Mike.

A professor at the School of Business, State University of New York in Albany, the capital of New York state, Mike Schaninger knows first hand the academic pressure students face. It was no different for his daughter, an honors math and computer science major, who was studying abroad at City University London. However, neither student nor father could ever have imagined what would occur prior to December examinations and when pre-holiday assignments were due.

Corey was working on an assignment when a friend came for a visit. She stopped to speak with her friend who had placed a glass next to Corey’s laptop on her tiny bedside desk. The glass was nearly empty except for a few ice cubes. Her friend accidentally bumped the glass and its contents spilled onto Corey’s laptop keyboard. The system slowed down, froze, and then proceeded to display a blue-screen error. Corey attempted to reboot her laptop. Despite Corey’s efforts, the infamous blue screen re-appeared displaying a message that the hard drive was not there.

Corey was distraught and took her laptop to the ‘best’ hard drive computer store in London. She was guaranteed that the drive would be fixed or she would receive her money back. The technicians did not fix the problem yet still demanded 100 pounds (approximately $200 US). She paid the bill and returned to her residence no further ahead and still not being able to access her data on her laptop.

While she did receive a new hard drive from the laptop manufacturer, Corey had lost all of her documents, all of her programs, all of her Outlook folders and files, but most importantly her collection of photographs she had taken thus far during her study aboard.

A very important part of Corey’s educational experience was her ability to also travel to Continental Europe and the Mediterranean on her Fall break and long weekends. Before she had left the USA for England, Corey had purchased a new digital camera to capture the sights she would see—the ruins of ancient Greece, the islands in the Mediterranean, the Eiffel Tower and scenes from Paris, Stonehenge, Madrid, Rome, and Venice.

States Mike, “These very special pictures which captured this once in a life time experience for her were also the result of a substantial educational investment in and of themselves.”

With the old hard drive back in the United States, Mike sought the assistance of a data recovery expert with the goal to recover his daughter’s photographs. “They told us to buy a new external hard drive enclosure and read the drive from it. That failed. They then told us to give up on it and write it off as a loss and a bad learning experience.”

Mike recounted his daughter’s dilemma to a colleague at the University who referred him to CBL Data Recovery. He called CBL, filled out the online form and then received a free evaluation after shipping Corey’s drive to CBL’s Armonk laboratory. The Schaningers were delighted that the job was eligible for a student discount.

CBL’s free evaluation of the hard drive revealed that data should be recoverable. While CBL technicians could not confirm whether the spilt water was the cause of data loss, upon opening the drive they discovered there was physical damage to it. They would need to replace the spindle motor, read/write heads and pay special attention to the damaged platter surface if they were to successfully salvage Corey’s target data. At the top of her list of desired data and highest priority were her photographs. As her father explained, “Corey’s photos captured memories and scenes that are priceless to her. Her Outlook files, her documents, and some assignments were lower priority, but desirable.”

Much to Corey’s delight, 662 photos (1.3 GB) were recovered by CBL’s technicians that she had taken during September, October, and November of 2007. The captured memories of her travel abroad are now available for Corey to share with friends and family.

“The photographs were undamaged, vivid images with no corruption and they captured the sequence of my first three months abroad,” states Corey. “Those photos have such great meaning to me. I was ecstatic when I got the word from Dad that CBL has rescued my photographs. CBL, you made my year. I tried to downplay to my parents how upsetting the loss of the photographs was to me, but it did affect my mood.”

“Business is not just about dollars, but helping people, and you folks have shown that to the highest level.”

Adds Mike, “As a parent, it was joyous to hear Corey’s delight when the full realization hit her that her recording of those vital and vivid moments were not lost forever as she’d thought, but were all fully recovered.”

“I do know that the staff at CBL Data Recovery went well above and beyond the call. It is deeply appreciated and Corey, my wife and I are extremely grateful. I don’t think I could say anything more positive about any company I’ve ever dealt with than I can about CBL for making this happen. Business is not just about dollars, but helping people, and you folks have shown that to the highest level.”

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PS-The assignment that Corey was working on when her system crashed was completed and submitted on time. She finishes her studies at City University London in May and returns to Syracuse University in August.