My First Crisis as an Entrepreneur: IT Crash – By Judy Chicangana-Matthews

I had heard many horror stories of how former colleagues and classmates have lost their data. These people would usually be angry at first, but in the end, they resigned and felt powerless against technology. Being honest, most of the times I thought to myself: “Well, that’s convenient. Losing the file with the homework”. I also had thought: “What kind of fool do you have to be not to save an extra copy. Today we have many options available for free. Seriously, if the file is so important why you didn’t do it”. Empathy is a virtue that I didn’t have during those moments.

Well, this time it happened to me and guess what, I was the fool that didn’t have an extra copy. I still think about it, and it seems unreal. Surprisingly, I still have the hope that miraculously, the information is hidden in some remote place of my laptop. But it is not, it has merely gone, and I have to start again. This time, I’m trying to be prepared if it happens again but clearly conscious that we depend entirely on technology and it would be silly just to ignore that fact.

The facts:

  1. I lost relevant data from my laptop
  2. The recycle bin was empty
  3. I didn’t have a backup
  4. Nobody could explain to me what happened

The companies involved:

  1. Apple
  2. Microsoft
  3. Stellar software for recovering data

The solutions:

  1. I couldn’t recover my data; however, I took steps to prevent this from happening in the future. Those steps are:
  • Buy a hard drive
  • Buy software to retrieve information
  • To subscribe to Microsoft Office (yearly plan)
  • To subscribe to iCloud (monthly plan)

Total expenditure was £200 approximately plus my time!

     2. Start from scratch, build my info again and just pray for this not to happen twice.

Here is the story

Some months ago, I decided to start a company. With my husband’s support (you know, someone has to pay the bills) I started the journey of being an entrepreneur. It is not easy, but I will tell you about it in another article. (see article related). Anyway, I had been working hard on the products, the marketing strategy, the finances and so on and so forth. I decided to put everything in one Master file on MSExcel. I was very proud of my creation and very close to launching my first collection.

lesson: Do not put all your information in just one file. Make a backup on your hard disc and also use the cloud.

Four days ago, I was working on my MacBook Pro, and I opened my master file. It began normally, I did a few things, and I saved my work. I went to the folder “Downloads” (where normally the apps and files downloaded from the internet are located), and I deleted all the documents (after checking that I wouldn’t need them). I also emptied the Bin.

I was ready to “call it a day” when I remembered that I needed to put additional info on my Master File. Surprisingly, the file didn’t exist anymore! I panicked, and I went to the Apple Store. At that point I thought I lost just that file. Once in Apple, nobody helped me, they heard my story, but nobody offered a solution. I am quite sure that if my intention would have been to buy something, they would have helped me more efficiently. First big disappointment in Apple!. They used to have fantastic customer service. I remember once when they replaced one accessory that I accidentally broke. It was 2007, and from that year I decided to be a loyal customer disregarding the overpriced products. Well, 12 years later, I have started to have my doubts.

At that point, I was blaming myself, thinking that I deleted the file by mistake. I couldn’t be more wrong!. Once at home, I started numerous calls to Apple Support. Then I realised that not only Excel files were missing but some MS Word and Adobe pdf files were also deleted, Family and private photos just disappeared. Well, my calls to Apple simply continued. One of the guys told me that data doesn’t disappear and probably I deleted them by mistake!. So, I just went mad and deleted my own files randomly??? Come on!! Give me a break!!.

I read on the internet, and I am not just an isolated case. Other people have had the same problem when using Mac (I don’t know about other laptops). As Apple has a new software called Catalina, I updated my computer just hoping that that was the reason for the disruption, and everything would be back to normal. Again, I was wrong! Nothing happened. I bought a hard disk (external unit), and I started using Time Machine on my laptop.

I just wanted to know what happened, you know, a reasonable explanation. I spoke with a friend with extensive experience in IT, he checked on my computer and couldn’t recover any info. He told me that strange things like this happen with computers.

At this point, I bought the software for recovering data: Stellar. It has good reviews, and again I was hoping a solution to my problem. Although I lost a lot of info, I just wanted to recover the Master file. I run the software, and it recovered 500.000 deleted files, including the one that I was looking for. Unfortunately, when I tried to open it the message that the file was corrupted appeared and I couldn’t open it.

I tried to recover the same file from my email, as I sent it a month ago as an attachment. Guess what, impossible. I called Apple again, this time the person explained to me that the file was never on the computer and this is why I couldn’t recover it. He suggested calling Microsoft in case the data was lost in the laptop. I called Microsoft, turns out I didn’t have phone support because I had an old version of Office (year 2016). The person suggested that I pay for the subscription and update my MS Office or pay £29 to solve the problem. I decided to pay for the subscription to have unlimited support and a newer version. In the end, nothing worked.

Months of working and planning were reduced to tears that I cleaned out from my face to confront the reality. My brand will need to be re-built, and I will have to be launched next year. I share my experience because I really don’t wish this to happen anyone else. I hope one day I can look back on this experience and laugh. Thinking about this, as a series of facts that only served to increase my knowledge and evaluate the technological risks deeply. As the saying goes: “What doesn’t kill you only makes you stronger!”

REFERENCES

  1. Picture 1: Photo by energepic.com from Pexels
  2. Picture 2: Photo by energepic.com from Pexels
  3. Picture 3: Imagen de Gerd Altmann en Pixabay
  4. Picture 4: Photo by Miguel Bruna on Unsplash

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