Wednesday, 30 June 2010

Exam in operational risk management

No, not the one at school, the one in life, this is the school of hard knocks! As some of you noticed I was absent in the blogosphere for a few days, to be precise from Thursday to Monday. The computer rehab was totally unplanned, I wrote here many times that mishaps always strike out of the blue and a few days ago this theory materialised.

For almost four years my computer had worked beyond reproach, but recently it began to work more and more slowly, in a word it became an ordeal to use. On Wednesday I had a bad day, the laptop also wasn’t in top form and eventually I lost my temper and spanked it in an attempt to persuade it to run faster. To no avail, it didn’t, but the other day when I turned it on the operating system didn’t want to load. After a few attempts I decided to run a recovery procedure and blithely left the room. After a quarter I was back just to see the hard disk had been formatted and the system was being restored. I thought it wasn’t a tragedy, I deluded myself everything could be recovered, it would be just a matter of money, but the problems were just setting in.

Firstly, the reinstalled system was overwritten on some of the sectors on hard disk, making it impossible to recover around 10 gigabytes of data saved on the disk. But the computer at least worked, I installed a modem and looked for a company which would help me get back my data collected for no apparent reason for many years.

When I found one, thins began to tangle up even more. It turned out the hard disks by Fujitsu-Siemens are generally vulnerable and fragile, to boot given that this one was not in pristine condition, it didn’t need much to conk out – my fault. On the course of recovery process in which they somehow managed to get back around 30% of my data the disk launched an auto-destruction procedure and gave up the ghost. Nice.

The only positive aspect of the whole story is the company I’ve found. Recovery Center is an excellent example of how customer service in Poland should look. The guy who runs it (not much older than me) proved himself to be a professional and reliable young entrepreneur. A normal company would recover more or less of my data, leave me with a worthless hard disk and quote me at least 500 PLN. At RC, not only they recovered as much data as they could, but also they fixed me up with a new hard disk and restored my original operating system, probably worth still around 200 PLN. And at the end they quoted me very favourably – I paid for the whole service 300 PLN and 170 PLN for the new hard disk. Maybe you wouldn’t call 470 PLN a snip, but somewhere else I’d have been charged probably around 1000 PLN. So if it happens to you that your hard disk, pendrive, digital camera or any other carrier packs up and you live in Warsaw or around, do not hesitate to contact them. The only drawback is the road leading up to their head office in Kierszek, south to Las Kabacki. I wouldn’t advise to try to get there by car. I made this mistake once, I managed not to damage any part of the vehicle but then I simply cycled there, road full of potholes, dangerous for undercarriage is not how the infrastructure on the perimeter of Warsaw should look.

But it would be best, if you learnt from my mistakes, so I appeal to you. Do back-ups. Buy a pendrive and store there all your important files, just in case. You don’t have to hit your hard disk, they break down for no reason.

Now I feel as if I was writing on someone else’s computer. It runs faster, work is more comfortable, but my digital belonging are lost or kept in 6 GB of miscellaneous chunks which will be brought into order for many weeks. All music is gone, but I hardly ever listen mp3 files on computer, I burn CDs right away. Six films downloaded and not yet saved on CDs or DVD are gone. Interestingly all photos I took since December were recovered. When it comes to the documents, many of them can be found in the random heap of data. I don’t even feel like sorting it out. Not a tragedy, but not a pleasure as well. Following my previous threads I compared my loss to the tragedy of the people who lost everything in the flood. The price of my folly was also quite reasonable – less than 500 PLN. Compare it to other people who out of their carelessness crash cars, or, Heaven forbid, injure or kill people in traffic accidents and you’ll see the scale of my damage is negligible. And I inflicted a damage only to myself. If you managed to read through the whole post, just draw some conclusions.

Sorry once again for a break in blogging. The next post will appear on Sunday, just after the exit poll results are announced. I’m somehow no longer afraid about the result, but the growing support for the candidate of the System, Russian Secret Services and other criminal organisations does not mean you can shrug off the vote. Go to the polls on Sunday!

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