It had all the elements of a tragedy. A leading lady and gentleman in distress. A supporting cast who were not able to come to their rescue. What would the young couple do?

According to Michelle Mitchell, she and her husband Rick “kept our life in a hard drive.” Like countless couples around the globe, the Mitchells who are also the owners of a small business, stored “family pictures, everything personal, emails, business contacts, resumes, letters, and financial statements” on their laptop computer.

When the response of their laptop became laboured, the couple thought it “needed a “clean up” or a tune up only,” so they took it to The Computer Mechanics (TCM). The Mitchells regularly took their laptop to TCM, a computer and repair business in Oshawa, Ontario. States Michelle, “It was taken care of and had quarterly clean ups, too.”

Les Shaw, co-owner of The Computer Mechanics, and co-host of a weekly regional television program with his partner Deb Cormier on local community cable Rogers Television recalled “We have worked on the Mitchells’ notebook before. This was the second hard drive to be replaced in the notebook during the year and half that they’ve been clients. This time, the notebook was not booting into Windows. The system would boot to a BIOS screen, but go no further. After testing the notebook, we removed the hard drive and placed it in to a working desktop using an IDE notebook USB cradle. We could not see the drive and we tried to use some third party software.”

Shaw concluded that the notebook’s drive was dead and dreaded having to report to the couple that their data—their life in a hard drive— was lost.

The notebook’s drive was dead and he dreaded having to report to the couple that their data—their life in a hard drive— was lost

Data loss, in fact, is a common problem and one that TCM’s new clients previously faced. Shaw confessed, “Sad to say, so have I lost data.” Data loss was an area in which both Shaw and Cormier were familiar. The consulting and service firm was experienced in recovering data for clients using software from readable hard drives which had logical or software problems, but a drive that had experienced mechanical failure would require the assistance of data recovery experts. Before giving up, Shaw called CBL Data Recovery Technologies.

Shaw couriered CBL the hard drive and upon receipt, as is common procedure at all CBL laboratories, CBL called Shaw and gathered the facts as well as what data was in need of recovery. Shaw reported that the files most important to the young couple were photographs, purchased music and business files that they had not backed up for use in their dance studio, Rhythm DynamiX Dance.

CBL technicians evaluated the drive and as Shaw suspected the drive had mechanical problems. While laptop technology has improved over the years, hard drives are mechanical devices and subject to failure. Even with a secure bag, the daily grind of commuting and home life can cause physical damage to the delicate hard drives. CBL technicians determined that there was not only damage to the read/write head assembly, there was also minor damage to the platter surface upon which the data resides. Shaw was advised that there existed the possibility that damage to the file structure had incurred as well.

CBL technicians replaced the read/write heads and realigned them with the drive axis and servo controls. The contents of the drive were mirrored and then the data was retrieved.

“CBL were our “Angels” in recovering our life on the computer. We are tremendously grateful forever. I trust them and they work hard for all of their clients. Thank God for a company like this. Being as big as they are, they didn’t find us “too small” of a customer to take time for us. Thank you CBL! My children will grow up with their baby pictures and life memories saved…thanks to CBL.”

Just as CBL constantly counsels computer users, Shaw advises his clients and viewers, “You can never back up too much and checking the back up that you have made is so important.”

States Bill Margeson, “The Computer Mechanics had advised us that they thought there was no chance of recovery, but they didn’t throw in the towel. They called us. TCM had and has the right attitude. They went the extra mile for the Mitchells and now Michelle and Rick have their data back. In fact, CBL is pleased that their experience with us has persuaded The Computer Mechanics to join the CBL Data Recovery Advantage Partner Program.”

This particular data loss drama had a happy ending after all.