Gripe Line reader Mike wrote in to share an email conversation he had with the support technicians at Data Robotics that left him feeling frustrated, angry, and wronged. Mike's email conversation illustrates rather neatly that, although it may be cheaper and seemingly less time-consuming to use email, sometimes a phone call can quickly clean up a mess. After all, when someone is angry and the topic is complex, email can often turn a situation from bad to worse.
After installing a recommended Drobo firmware upgrade for his data storage unit, Mike was unable to write to the device, although he could still access the files on it. He went to company's Website, found an email address, and asked for help.
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"They told me to run a chkdsk," he says. "When that didn't fix the problem, they asked for a screenshot of the chkdsk run. When I sent that, they told me to go buy recovery software."
Well, that made him angry. Were they telling him he was on his own? This drive was working fine before he ran the firmware upgrade, so he asked to escalate his complaint. That only got him a more detailed explanation of why he was on his own.
"This tech told me that the diagnostics file showed several shutdowns by powering down instead of by software shutdowns, plus an OS crash on one of the machines connected to the Drobo. In effect he said it was my fault. He also referred me to a line in their 'best practices' document -- something I hadn't heard about before -- that says I should be doing monthly chkdsks," Mike reports.
The email from this tech also pointed out that data corruption can be caused by improper hardware shutdowns, a malfunctioning UPS (uninterruptible power supply) or by running a third-party disk-partitioning utility on the Drobo product. As for his lost data, the technician suggested that not only should he run regular maintenance but keep his data in more than one place.
Of course, this is all sound advice, but it didn't fix Mike's drive, which is what he wanted a technician's help with. If this was the end of the road for his drive, it was a flaming end for his opinion of Data Robotics support.
"I wrote them a snotty reply and am now forwarding the thread to you," he wrote in his letter to the Gripe Line.