One Hard Drive Crash and Two Customer Reviews, Sort Of

So a lot of y’all know my hard drive recently went to Windows Heaven, right? The day after I got a job working online, and had just downloaded a ton of software for it, I came face to face with what a computer tech later called the Blue Screen of Death. It wasn’t pretty. The situation, I mean, not the blue screen, although I doubt I’ll ever be able to wear that color again without flinching.

I had a lot of good experiences in getting back online, and one lousy one. One of the good ones involves the tech store that installed a new hard drive for me, and when nothing could be salvaged from the old one, they were nice enough to take roughly 1500 iTunes files off the hard drive from a previous computer and transfer them onto the new one. But they’re local, so recommending them around the country won’t do anyone any good. Then there was AT&T, whom I’ve maligned in the past, but who did a great job of getting me set up online again when I got my squeaky-clean-new-hard-drive-havin’ laptop back home. Those were a couple of seriously nice — and patient — guys. It’ll be a while before I bitch about AT&T again, I hope.

But two experiences stand out. Let’s hear the bad one first:

I called Norton/Symantec to get my virus protection reinstalled. This was on a morning when I was going to the hospital, where my dad was having a test done that day, and I was a little jumpy anyway. The tech logged onto my computer with me… and kept me there for three hours. He had trouble with my product code; he ignored me when I told him that, due to a vision problem, I couldn’t read a code he was providing; he then told me three times to enter the code I couldn’t see myself, although he had been able to access the first one. Then he had to install and deinstall stuff over and over.

I’ve had emergency room trips, flights to Chicago, final exams, and concerts that didn’t last as long. By the time the Norton installation was done, my extremely abundant hair had dried on its own — a real accomplishment — and I was late to the hospital. (My dad was OK, but that’s beside the point.) Lesson: I hope I never have to call Norton again, and if I do, I’m going out on the street and buying a Valium from the first dealer I see.

But the good news:

I had over 5000 songs and 20 days of music in iTunes, and while not all of it crashed, a big ol’ honkin’ chunk of it did. Now, I load a good chunk of music onto iTunes from home, but I also buy a lot from them — enough that I felt a block of ice in my stomach whenever I tried to assess the damage in terms of money. Then I had trouble getting my iPod to sync with my new hard drive, because it recognized the new drive as a whole new computer, and I wrote iTunes about it to find out what I could do. In passing, in this email, I mentioned that I’d lost a lot of music in the crash, and wanted to hold onto as much of what was left as I could.

I got very clear, painless instructions back on how to sync up the new computer, and then the tech said, basically, Hey, if you’ll go into your purchase history and tell me what you lost, I’ll see if maybe I can restore some of it for you.

Note I hadn’t even asked for this. In fact, if anyone had suggested I go begging to iTunes for my music, I’d have said, Sure, and I’ll ask them for a pony for Christmas while I’m at it.

But I did what the guy had suggested, and scrolled painstakingly through 21 pages and four years of purchase history. (Told you I buy a lot of music.) I listed order numbers, dates, and songs out the wazoo, and as I typed these into a historically long email, I thought, You’re going through a lot of trouble just for someone to tell you they’re sorry but you’re still screwed.

The next day I got an email back from the iTunes tech that told me to go into my account and click on “purchased music to download.” It turned out iTunes restored over 1200 songs that I’d bought in the past four years. Several were duplicates of music that hadn’t been lost, but frankly, this was such an unexpected blessing, I don’t care that I have to erase some duplicates: they still saved me probably $500 in music. And remember, I didn’t ask them to do this — their tech volunteered.

So anyway, there you have it — like my own little personal Angie’s List. Norton/Symantec was a pain in the ass on a par with getting my wisdom teeth yanked, and iTunes was like hitting the Pick 3 in the local lottery. Make of that whatever y’all want, but personally, I think it’s an even better advertisement of Apple than the PC/Mac commercials (which I love). And if I ever meet Steve Jobs, I’ll probably throw my arms around him. 

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12 Responses to “One Hard Drive Crash and Two Customer Reviews, Sort Of”

  1. The “blue screen of death” sounds horrible! Very cool of them to get your music back though.

  2. tigereye Says:

    It was! I was astonished. And I’d never heard the term “blue screen of death” before. If I’d heard it in conjunction with someone ELSE’S computer, I might have thought it was funny.

  3. Norton is useless. Download Avast- it’s free, and I’ve NEVER had a virus as long as I’ve had it. Wish I could say the same about Norton…

    That was extremely cool of iTunes.

  4. Apple rules, often (not always). Oh, and on Macs we generally refer to the “spinning wheel of death,” but it sounds like the blue screen of death is even worse.

    I have to take one of our computers in somewhere…I hope they can salvage what’s on it.

  5. pandemonic Says:

    Truly cool! I don’t have iTunes, or an iPod, but this might just get me into the mood to buy one. Great customer service is hard to find.

  6. My stomach hurts just thinking about all that.

  7. I have been to the Blue Screen and I know whereof you speak. In your experience you personify a successful Orpheus — whodathunk it could happen?

  8. I have to go get new memory because mine went into a continuous loop, and didn’t stop. I almost would have been grateful for the blue screen of death. I am glad you said that about ITunes, I need to remember that.

  9. I hate Norton. They freakin’ suck. There is some password manager that I kept trying to turn OFF all the time, and every time there was an update from Norton, it would – voila! – be baaaaaack! Of course this totally effs with Windows’ password manager so much that they either 1. cancel each other out or 2. freeze up the machine. Arrgh!

    As far as iTunes and my iPod, I luffs dem.

    AT&T, not so much… but that is the WIRELESS part of the company. Morons. But then, I think all cell phone providers suck pretty equally. 🙂

  10. If the conversation veers into wireless phone services, I will say that I received the rudest-ever email from a Verizon customer “service” rep last weekend. I’d guess they get a kickback from whatever pharmaceutical biz makes blood pressure meds.

  11. Bunny Dixonjugs Is Daners' Bond Girl Name Says:

    I hate the blue screen! I got it the other day after I downloaded Windows Defender (bastards). But luckily I got my nerd best friend to help me resuscitate it and I deleted Windows Defender. I fear for the day I cannot fix the shit myself and that day I will cry

  12. Anners Scribonia Says:

    Eww. I feel your pain. One time my computer crashed when I was in the middle of writing my final paper for some seminar. At 2 in the morning. Good times.

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