176 Hours Later:

Written by on February 21, 2020

Two men, two machines, and double data disasters

Oh, the horror. a la mode Senior Support Technician Jason Petry and his appraiser customer, Joe Muslin, know too well the potential for (and pain of) losing their livelihood in a computer crash during a Windows update. Though their stories are years and 1,370 miles apart, Jason and Joe are proof that the terrors of technology spare no one.

Part I

Joe Muslin
Certified Appraiser & a la mode Customer of 5 months
Crash Year: 2020
Ardmore, PA

Joe, Elite member, certified appraiser, and self-appointed “Mr. Security”, knew he wasn’t immune to the sick side of the Windows 7 sunset – the potential for a tricky transition. (Are you transitioning to Windows 10? a la mode has important info for you.) His operating system expired, and it was time to switch out his five-year-old computer for a new machine. He also needed a guaranteed backup solution to protect his appraisal business during the transition.

“I have legal responsibilities as an appraiser. I have to keep all of my appraisal files intact for at least five years.”

That’s a ton of documentation. So, he purchased Carbonite, a popular, online data-backup service.

“It’s funny,” said Joe. “I was a Carbonite customer years ago, and a technician once told me, after a file restoration, ‘I’ve worked here two years, and you’re the first person I’ve seen every file come back to!’”

Talk about a confidence boost. Good thing Mr. Security also backed up his hard drive onto an external disk, just in case. With that, and help from the Windows Update Assistant, Joe had Windows 10 installed within six hours
– or so he thought. It looked like Windows, but it didn’t act like Windows.

“Within three seconds of signing in to my new computer, the screen went blank,” said Joe.

So, he called Carbonite for help.

The data restoration started at 10:00 AM on a Saturday. More than 101 hours later – nearly five days – Joe’s new computer and appraisal files were finally restored by Carbonite.

“This experience was like a guy on crutches – he can get out of the chair and into the kitchen, but it’s not easy, and it takes a lot longer than it normally should.”

Files finally in hand (on drive, rather), Joe leveraged his Elite status with a la mode and called 247×7 tech support for help installing TOTAL onto his new machine and retrieving appraisal files from the Carbonite backup.

And who did he get a hold of? a la mode support tech Jason Petry – former fellow Windows-crash victim; someone who understood.

“My a la mode techs got me up and running again. That’s worth every cent I pay. They provided unprecedented customer service.”

After watching his livelihood being compromised for nearly a week, tech support walked Joe through the a la mode cloud-based software, Titan Drive, which was already included in his Elite subscription. Titan Drive grants appraisers access to their entire business online, and, with that, Joe was back in business with guaranteed backup and the ability to restore everything from the cloud into TOTAL, confidently.

“People don’t often get what they pay for,” he said. “But with a la mode, you do. For years, I used ACI for everything, and I left because I just wanted my questions answered and to understand what I’m being told. a la mode is good at this.”

Joe takes comfort in watching Titan Drive back up his business, daily. If he has trouble with any area of TOTAL or Titan Drive, he knows he’s just a phone call away from 24×7 support.

His life motto? The key to happiness is a great wife, a great bed, and a great chair. Can we add “cloud backup” to that list, Joe?

Part II

Jason Petry
a la mode Sr. Tech Support Rep of 4 years
Crash Year: 2016
Oklahoma City, OK

A master’s student at the time, Jason’s PC was his livelihood. It not only stored his 20-page MBA papers, but it was home to family photos and important documents he’d saved over time.

“I typically store all of my files in folders I create myself, not traditional folders, like ‘Documents,’” said Jason.

“These are the important things I thought I was paying Carbonite to back up during my transition from Windows 8.1 to 10.”

Apparently, Jason wasn’t paying enough – because he lost all of his data in that transition.

“Talk about embarrassing – having to tell your tenure professor that you can’t turn in a report that’s due,” said Jason.

Yep. Jason lost all of his master’s-level work, family photos, and important documents in an unexpected PC crash during his Windows 10 upgrade. Thankfully, he was paying Carbonite to back up his files. Right? Wrong.

On his $6/month Carbonite plan, Jason only had basic file backup – the ready-made files that everybody starts out with; you know, the files he hadn’t used, since he’d created his own.­­

“I thought Carbonite had my back when it came to backup.”

“When I called Carbonite after the crash, I was told that I’d need the $400/year or $600/year plan to back up everything on my computer. And that ‘everything’ includes backing up viruses and corrupt files that might be on your computer, which isn’t something you want.”

As a software tech and student, that was a bullet Jason wasn’t willing to bite. So, after 75 hours (and one docked term paper), Carbonite was able to only restore the basic files to Jason’s computer – Documents, Pictures, and Videos – none of which were useful to him.

“It was a very long and painful experience. It’s a good thing I didn’t keep my business on that computer, or I would’ve been in serious trouble with
my clients.”

Sometimes it takes a catastrophe to make us realize how real and imminent certain threats are – especially in a world where technology is the ever-evolving leader, and the leader is always susceptible to threats.

“The greatest lesson Joe and I learned is that you 100% need a reliable, all-inclusive backup solution; one that works without any effort,” said Jason.

Most of the popular backup solutions out there – Carbonite, Dropbox, Google Drive – are noninclusive, offer limited file storage, cost $500+ per year, and/or could leave your business down for at least 24 hours.

“If I had a program, at the time, that auto-uploaded files to the cloud and downloaded them instantly, it would’ve saved me so much time, money, and frustration,” said Jason. “That’s exactly what Titan Drive does for our appraisal customers. Your work will be restored within minutes, if needed.”

The Takeaway

It’s kind of encouraging – two people from different backgrounds, miles a part, bonding over 176 hours of combined downtime. Sometimes it takes a disaster to bring people together. Though, if given the choice, wouldn’t we rather connect over how confident we are in our backup solutions, instead of how distraught we are over years of work lost in a matter of minutes?

Whether you’re an appraiser or a college student (or the gatekeeper of family photos), investing in a guaranteed backup solution is a must in 2020. And not a basic solution, because you’ll get exactly that: basic backup, the kind of protection that Joe and Jason received.

Don’t let the digital age and its potential for data disasters intimidate you – let it prepare you. Where there’s a need for improvement and innovation, there’s somebody filling it, and that’s exactly what a la mode is doing for its customers and their backup needs.