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Make personal data a personal responsibility

You can back up all your data on an external drive. 
Modern drives are reasonably priced and offer enough storage space for most computer users. 
I recommend redundancy in backups.

The information, data, documents, backups, pictures, music and everything else trusted to the computer’s hard drive is the responsibility of the computer owner, and not the repair tech.
The time to take responsibility for your data is now and not AFTER the crash, when the hard drive may be damaged beyond readability.

Can the data be read after the crash? Sometimes.
Do not format the drive after a crash.
Is there any guarantee implied? NO.
If you bring in your computer for work, I accept no responsibility for loss of any data whatsoever. 
You may pay extra to watch and input in the process of attempting to backup your data with no promise given because mechanical devices fail.

Backup Types:
External Hard Drive,
USB "Thumb Drives",
Online "CLOUD" Backup,
Network Attached "NAS" storage,

Before the hard drive fails and loss and files and data.
Having reloaded a number of computers for people after severe system problems, I can tell you that the hard drive is likely to fail several times in the life of the average computer. How you walk away from the crash will either demonstrate good planning, great luck, or great loss.
One customer lost ALL data except for a CD copy he had made of files relating to a hobby project.
Estimate by third party vendor to ATTEMPT to recover the data on the failed hard drive was $200.00 with no guarantee or warranty or parts used.

Making simple copies of your personal data and system folders, favorites, email and settings is a good plan against hard drive crashes. Knowing passwords and online account information is a must!


Hard drives are electro-mechanical devices with stacks or disks spinning very fast, reading data from both sides of several disks inside the case. Vibration, heat, and prolonged use are guaranteed destructive forces that are working against the hard drive and the data on the drive.

Sometimes a virus or a damaged hard drive will cause the system to become corrupt and start giving you problems, and may require a complete reload. Having backup copies of your personal files will give you some peace of mind when computer-generated panic strikes.

Suggestions of files to back up (make copies of files and folders onto Online backup, external hard drive or USB drives, DVD's or CD recordable disc):

1.      The Documents folder

2.      The Favorites folder

3.      Microsoft Outlook .pst file or Outlook Express .dbx files and Windows address book .wab file.

4.      My Pictures folder

5.      Backup iTunes to disk or the iTunes Music folder on removable media.

6.      Any folders you make to store other files.

7.      Passwords, device drivers, and user specific settings

8.      Documents and Photos and Pictures in your personal folder (the User folder for your profile.).


Another excellent backup option is the DRIVE IMAGE, that is, an exact copy of the hard drive in a bootable format, allowing the user to swap out the bad drive and replace it with the imaged drive. The imaged or cloned drive can then boot the computer exactly as the previous drive, with all programs and data intact, up to the image creation date.

The Documents and Settings folder contains information about general system settings that pertain to all users, and individual users' settings, files, and favorites. Within the personal folder is the Applications Data Folder and it may contain important email settings and archives.

Copying or burning a copy of this folder or copying the folder onto an external drive saves important information that can be retrieved later.

After a computer is used for a year or more, installing and uninstalling programs, with plenty Internet activity and a ton of those frustrating moments when you just turn the computer off can lead to system hang-ups and slow-downs. Often unscrupulous Internet sites will trick or urge the computer users to download and install "helper" programs that contain bugs, spyware and other undesirable programs and settings. Sometimes these little problems grow to cause the system to be slow, unresponsive and begging for a reload and updates to bring it back to good use. Visits to “bad” or “adult” content sites can leave the computer in a very bad state for sure.

If you have a system in need of reload, and if you have your personal data backed-up, your computer can be reloaded to typically BETTER than factory fresh condition. You can even do it yourself. It is not difficult, but time consuming. Time is money, so remember to spend the time before the crash to backup data, and do not leave data to chance, to the computer repair guy, or some stranger to copy onto another machine.

 If you do not make backups and your hard drive crashes, You may be paying 50 dollars per hour, or more, with no guarantee of results, for data recovery when your drive crashes.

There is hope: Sometimes even if WINDOWS crashes and the computer will not run, in an hour or two I can very often move old data off the crashed hard drive. Two Hours? Add 60 dollars to the reload charge.

If you have a hard drive crash, DO NOT USE your system restore CD or recovery partition (Dell: Ctrl + F11; HP: F11 on boot-up) unless you know exactly what you are doing. You might end up destroying data that could have been recovered. ALWAYS use caution when recovering a drive or using system restore or system recovery.

Back up and restore Outlook Express:;en-us;270670
How to Backup and Restore Outlook Express Blocked Senders List and Other Mail Rules:;en-us;276511


This page is offered to remind computer users that the information, data, documents, backups, pictures, music and everything else trusted to the computer’s hard drive is the responsibility of the computer owner, and not the repair tech. The time to take responsibility for your data is now and not AFTER the crash, when the hard drive may be damaged beyond readability.

Please email for rates and availability.


I am not an answer line and not subsidized by any computer seller.
Have cash, check or credit card ready when calling or receiving me for assistance.

I do not know all the answers. I am paid to think and find solutions.
If I do not know the solution, you can pay me to attempt to find the solution.
If I do not find the solution I will stop every hour and ask if you want me to continue to charge to continue to attempt to find the solution.
I give my customer’s undivided attention when it is their turn, and their money.

It is possible for example to buy a computer for 400 dollars and spend 1500 dollars or more per year in training and maintenance.

If your computer is infected by a virus my suggestion is purchase a new hard drive and install windows cleanly and then reinstall app programs at a per program installation fee.

The reason I suggest a NEW HARD DRIVE is because hard drives fail because of time, heat, boot sector seeking and bad luck.  

REPAIR                 RELOAD

TRAIN                        UPGRADE



Thomas Roll
1707 Crittenden Road
Alden , New York 14004-1130