Tuesday, December 19, 2006

A funny thing happened the other day

About six weeks ago I purchased a new REV backup kit from Iomega. We had never had a hard drive crash but I thought - hmm - well it's better to be safe than sorry. We installed it and I distinctly remember it taking many hours to accomplish a complete backup of our application server. Great, great, great - and off to bed I went with a smile.

Well, would you believe it? One week went by and that same server suffered a hard drive failure. Wow - how lucky we have a backup my engineer told me. Not so.....

After purchasing a new hard drive and inserting it into the machine the Iomega software was unable to read their own backup device. Well no problem, my hardware engineer told me, let's give their technical support a call. You could have knocked me down with a feather when they questioned why we had used their software. We're not surprised you can't use the backup if you used our software - you should have used someone else's. Thinking my engineer had misheard I asked him to verify and sure enough the same comment was repeated.

So another call to the Iomega technical support followed, suitably escalated to someone who was a bit more responsible and didn't make flippant remarks about their software. This time we were told to send the tape to them and they would see what they could do. We readily agreed and bundled a new hard drive with it thinking that in a few days we would have our data.

Upon receiving our REV drive, here is what they said:

Our evaluation at this point has concluded that the problem appears to be that the REV disks are unstable with potential read errors that may have resulted in file structure damage and/or corruption which may adversely affect some data segments.

Upon stabilizing the set, we will have to manually extract the data to a native file system, rebuild the corrupted / invalid file system components and tables, adjust file pointers and mount the recovered volume(s) and finally determine if some or all of the data you require is intact.

Based upon this initial evaluation, we feel that a recovery may be possible.

Wonderful, we said and asked When might we expect to see the data?

Oh no, sir, this service is not free. If you want us to give you your data it will cost you $1,700 plus tax.

Of course we said - you're joking right? It's your machine, we just bought the thing, we use your software, it's under warranty, it reported no errors, stop kidding and send us the data.

Unfortunately, they were deadly serious.

Please understand that I'm not casting any aspersions on Iomage or their products. They have a great reputation for great products, I even have one of their external drives. I'm only stating what happened to me and how puzzled I am by what has happened. I honestly thought a warranty was a warranty. Well next time I will read the small print and put this one down to experience.

I thought about it later and reflected what my customers would say to me if I sold them a piece of software that didn't work and then said it will cost you more money to have me come in and fix it - oh and by the way the fee will be double what it cost you to buy it two weeks ago. Guess how many customers I would have!

In case you were wondering, we never did continue the discussions with Iomega. We purchased a new server, this time with RAID technology and triple mirrored drives. So this weekend, Christmas weekend, I get to go home and install OBI.

Happy Christmas everone.


Mike Fletcher said...

Well I use to like IOMEGA until your article. The vendor should have given you back your data FREE. You chose their backup solution and the corruption was not your fault therefore the vendor should have to pay recover costs otherwise don't sell a backup solution.

Michael said...

Hi Mike
I agree. In the end I did need to use their service because there were some files we needed. Guess what - they were able to find all of our data, but it still cost me $1700 to get it. I find it funny that the software they supply to customers cannot read the drive yet when you send the data to them they can read it. Hmmm...