Of Hard Drives, Hallelujah and Trust

June 22nd, 2010 | Shonali Burke | 6 Comments

Well, it’s finally done. My old hard drive is dead and I will shortly be giving it a funeral service. But, as they say, it’s an ill wind that blows no one any good.

Let me bring you up to speed.

As you may have followed, I had a bit of a meltdown last week, when my hard drive crashed. Having (stupidly) not backed up my data recently and being between laptops, I was ready to do anything – anything – to get my data back.

When the Geek Squad didn’t come up to snuff, I turned in desperation to Arthur Zilberman of LaptopMD, who was referred to me on Twitter by Janet Falk. Even though Arthur and I are not in the same physical location, I felt comfortable enough with him to ship my drive off to NYC, to see if he could retrieve what I needed.

I heard from him last night.

The bad news: my drive was in the 30-odd-percent of drives he receives that he can’t do anything for.

The good news: he works with a company in Canada that could probably – but no promises – retrieve my stuff.

The bad news: It would probably cost me $1k+ (factoring in customs, etc.).

The good news: This is less than what it would usually cost me, because of the connection we made through aforesaid Twitter.

(This is starting to sound like one of those bad news/good news jokes, isn’t it?).

Anyhoo, I told Arthur I’d think about it and get back to him today. Then I came home (I was teaching my summer class at Johns Hopkins when he called yesterday) and talked to my husband about it.

“What should I do?” I asked.

He sagely said, “If you can’t live without it, that’s a good price.”

Thanks, hun.

Having had a few days to calm down (and working on my beautiful shiny new MacBook Pro 15″, take that, Mr. PC), I realized that what I was freaking out most about was a particular document on the drive. Almost everything else could be retrieved since, at one point or another, I’d emailed it to someone… and all those emails are captured in my Gmail account.

And this morning, I found I had that document in my email.


(You gotta watch that video, btw, it’s hilarious.)

So I called Arthur this evening and told him I was going to pass. He was delighted for me, and I heaved a sigh of relief.

So, the good news: I’m (almost) back on track.

(I promise, there’s no bad news … at least, not now).

All this got me thinking, though.

I had such a bad experience with an organization that I have physically had dealings with, that I sent one of my most valuable possessions to someone I’ve never met, simply because he was referred to me by someone whom, again, I’ve never met, but whom I trust, because of her online reputation and dealings with me, limited as they have been.

In turn, I transferred that trust to Arthur, and his consistently reassuring and down-to-earth communication with me did nothing but bolster my trust in him.

And when I decided to go another way, he didn’t try to stop me; he was happy for me.

I’ve never met Arthur Zilberman. But I entrusted my digital life to him. And if ever I need someone to dig me out of a digital hole, Arthur will be the first person I call.

Can you say that for your company, brand, or PR agency?

In other words…

Got Trust?

Image: Tony Mann, Creative Commons

Shonali Burke
Head honcho of Waxing UnLyrical, Shonali Burke is President & CEO of Shonali Burke Consulting, Inc. Based in the Washington, D.C., area, she loves helping for- and non-profit clients, both small and large, turn corporate codswallop into community cool™. She also loves ABBA, bacon, cooking, dogs, and Elvis. Wouldn't you like to be in her kitchen?
Shonali Burke
Shonali Burke
Shonali Burke

Latest posts by Shonali Burke (see all)

Print Friendly
Opt In Image

"A Little Birdie Told Me" could fly into your inbox just once a month. It's Shonali-as-seen-nowhere-else. What're you waiting for?

Arthur Zilberman
Arthur Zilberman

Thank you Shonali for your kind words. The repair is being processed and will return to you via FedEx. I am very glad we are able to help you and you have placed your trust with us. This is not something we take lightly, as we strive to provide quality laptop repair and hard drive recovery service.

Do not hesitate to contact me if you have any questions.

Arthur Zilberman

Kami Huyse
Kami Huyse

All I could think of while I was reading this was that you did a backup via gmail. LOL. Sorry, it's late.

Shonali Burke
Shonali Burke

I've already received it, Arthur - thank you! Again, I really appreciate everything you helped me with. You rock! And like I said, the next time I'm in NYC, the drinks are on me. :)

Shonali Burke
Shonali Burke

I know, Kami - I was thinking the same thing! Thanks to Gmail, I'll be able to recover 90% of what I lost. Sure, it'll take me some time, but better that than nothing.


  1. [...] a part of Shonali’s hard drive recovery ordeal in her own words: Contrary to the image it portrays, the Geek Squad does not swoop into its [...]

  2. [...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Kami Huyse, Shonali Burke. Shonali Burke said: My hard drive saga comes to an end: http://ht.ly/220Xl. There's a lesson in everything though; got trust? cc @laptopMD @JanetLFalk [...]