View Full Version : Consumer right regarding HDD repair?

The Error Guy
22-02-2012, 06:40 PM
I have been contacted by a mate who took his laptop into a little group in petone (who shall remain nameless for now) to address random BSOD's with his laptop and a broken USB socket on his WD External HDD.

They found nothing wrong with the laptop (I didn't think they would, BSOD's can be fickle) however apparently they managed to wipe or damage the HDD in some way so that is doesn't display its contents or show up in windows as a usable drive (not exactly sure whats wrong, From what I gathered it asks to be formatted).

Anyway, as far as the customer is concerned how should this be handled considering the HDD was effectively functioning as normal and now he has a blank disk?

I would assume he could dispute their service and make them pay for the recovery of the data or some such. What would you approach be?

I personally would say since it worked before you touched it and doesn't now I suggest you bust out the piggy bank whilst I go find someone to get that data back!



22-02-2012, 06:56 PM
I'd restore it from the backups.

Speedy Gonzales
22-02-2012, 07:00 PM
Remove the hdd and put it in a desktop. If he's got one. See if anything is on it.

22-02-2012, 07:07 PM
Agree with gcarmich, you can't blame the repair shop for data loss if you have no backups.

Which HDD are you talking about anyway, the internal laptop HDD or the external WD?
You said yourself the WD had a broken USB port so this could have done something to the WD HDD.

Did your mate sign anything when he took the equipment in? If he did you'll probably find that it says on there that they are not responsible for any data loss while the equipment is in the workshop.

22-02-2012, 07:28 PM
Any place that knows what they are doing should take reasonable care not to lose any data.

Since you titled up the thread " Consumer right"The exact wording by the CGA:

All service providers have to use reasonable care and skill when fixing things. If you weren't warned that your files would be deleted, and can show monetary loss, the company should compensate you. However, you will probably find it very hard to prove your case, and most files like photos are priceless. Always back-up your important files before handing over your computer.

Note:The bold above - thats also bold in the CGA.

This will apply top any external HDD as well.

The exception of course would be if the HDD were corrupted and data couldn't be saved Normally. If that were the case, the service place should contact the customer, explain in simple terms whats wrong and required to fix, advise that if they wanted the data to be recovered there would be an additional charge, they would then be given the choice of paying extra for a recovery, or wiping the drive and every thing gone or leaving "as is"

The Error Guy
22-02-2012, 08:10 PM
It was the external HDD that was damaged, and the drive was his backup drive. Before he sent in his computer he backed it up to that drive. Don't expect your every day casual joe to run around with backups of his backups, they don't. Infact most of US don't :p

The USB port was loose but I doubt that would cause the issue, apparently it (the damage) happened after it was installed in a new enclosure.

Where I get confused myself is HOW this happened? I have misused and abused my own HDD's when moving from PC to PC, in and out of enclosure and NEVER had a problem. I'm going to ring the company on behalf of the un tech savvy family in an effort to find out exactly what went wrong. Although the company probably cant be held responsible it smells fishy to me.

Ill get back with the shop's version. That will probably explain a lot!



23-02-2012, 09:14 AM
I have been contacted by a mate who took his laptop into a little group in petone (who shall remain nameless for now) to address random BSOD's with his laptop and a broken USB socket on his WD External HDD.

Note the passage Ive underlined.

I've seen a few times. Customer brings in a PC for repair
Because of the multiple faults we find on it (and tell them of these issues before attempting any repairs), cust turns around & says there was nothing wrong with it before we looked at it....... so why did they bring it in !!!!!

His HD was BROKEN when he took it in FOR REPAIR
dont be too surprised if his BROKEN hard drive has lost all the data
Also His backup software simply may not have been working

Hard drives fail all the time. It may not have been a faulty USB socket on the case.
If your mate had the skills to know for certain that it was only a USB socket, he would easily have had the skills to fix it himself & wouldnt send it away for repair.

Before you name & shame a repair company, you had better be 100% sure of the facts, not just what your mate told you. Defamation laws will apply here.

So go on then, Blame the guy you took it to for repairs

23-02-2012, 09:26 AM
I've had hard drives do that to me on usb ports, then fixed it by unplugging it and plugging it into another machine.
I've always thought it was caused by a dodgy USB connection which sounds possible in this case. Also seems to need 30 secs or so between attempts to work at times.
Also happens on my 2.5" portable if it doesn't get enough power, fixed but using the optional second usb connector supplied with it.

Do what speedy suggested and try the HDD out of the case, it may not be missing data at all.

The Error Guy
23-02-2012, 09:31 AM
I know that HD was fine itself. Passed SMART perfectly a week before, not saying that would cause it not to fail. The ONLY thing wrong with it (that I know of) was a loose USB socket, if the cable was held so it made proper contact it worked fine.

Now, I asked what you would do in this situation, and bear in mind I have ONLY heard the disgruntled customer side. Until I actually hear a proper response from the company with what is going on I will not point fingers.

My only observation is that this seems very unusual that a 13 month old WD HDD just dies like that. Apparently there was some "difficulty" with the transplant. But as said before, from what i head it doesn't sound right but I cant say for certain until I hear from the company.

23-02-2012, 09:50 AM
your words
"they managed to wipe or damage the HDD in some way so that is doesn't display its contents or show up in windows as a usable drive"

Hard drives die all he time. Even new ones. Thats why they have warranties :)
In fact HD's & PSU are the 2 most common things to fail in a PC .

Given that the USB socket was so 'iffy' , dont be surprised if there was a massive data loss/corruption. It happens.
Also Some USB hd's ONLY have a USB connector, there is no SATA or IDE interface....
so the repair co may have just tried to to the best they could, with a faulty external HD

Also you need to allow for the possibility that your mate was being possibly belligerent & difficult to deal with with in his discussions with the repair company, & wouldnt listen to their advice.

23-02-2012, 10:12 AM
Does testdisk see anything on the drive (use partition search and filesystem view tools)?

Also, if this was his backup drive as you stated earlier, why would he have lost anything? If he simply backs up his original data again, wouldn't this suffice? No need to go to extremes trying to recover data if the authoritative copy of that data is already available elsewhere.