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Information to Have Ready When You Call Software Technical Support

Here is a list of things to have ready when you call for technical support, this is in order to try and make the experience a little nicer. Most people who call me are very frustrated already, due to the loss of data, and I find that sometimes that frustration is enhanced when they are unable to answer my questions.

  1. Be at the computer with the problem when you call.
  2. Know what operating system the computer is running
  3. Know how many partitions the hard drive has.
  4. Make a mental not of what happened to the drive and the steps you have taken to get the data back.
  5. Know which pieces of hard drive recovery software you have run on the hard drive
  6. If it is a memory card you are trying to recover, be sure it is mounting as a mass storage device. This means either in a camera that mounts like a hard drive, or in a card reader.
  7. If this is a Raid, make sure you let the technician know that ahead of time, data on Raids is written differently the data on a non raid drive.
  8. Make sure you have administrative rights to the computer you are trying to recover.
  9. Have a pen and paper ready, in case the technician has a list of steps they would like for you to perform.
  10. Write down any errors you have received, I will be asking you.
  11. If you have taken the machine to a computer repair shop, what they told you and that they did would be helpful to know.

I hope this helps make things a little easier, and of course if you have none of the above I will still be able to help!


5 Responses to “Information to Have Ready When You Call Software Technical Support”

  1. Cynthia Sobkowich April 5, 2008 11:25 pm #

    I downloaded the demo and it worked great until I got to the area where it was supposed to build the file list. I got this error COULD NOT READ SECTOR 200330315 and it shut down the software when I clicked on OK.

    I wanted to purchase the software if I could recover the files on a brand new 500 GB Western Digital Hard Drive I’ve had 2.5 months. The scan shows the number of folders and files on the disk but will not list them in the “Build the File List” area. I get the above error and it shuts down immediately.

    Is there a fix for this so I can download and purchase the software to recover my files?

    I am a photographer and I have 2000 photos backed up for “safe keeping” on this drive. I’m feeling very ill right now.


  2. DTI Data Recovery August 11, 2008 6:15 pm #


    What operating system are you using? If it is XP you are going to have to have service pack 2 installed to see large drives. The worst case scenario is that you might have to format the other space (it will appear as unallocated) after the service pack is installed.

  3. Ramon August 11, 2008 5:27 pm #

    Hi! I installed a 250Gb hard-drive but it only accepts half of that what do I need to do

  4. Hueberg Oyatsi January 8, 2009 5:13 am #

    When installing several comps with similar m/boards, I used to copy Windows 98 from one hdd to another with ease. How can I do the same in XP?

    • Jacqui Best January 8, 2009 12:18 pm #


      Yeah with the update in the operating system they got rid of the ability to do that since it was NEVER their intention to be able to. Windows XP has what is call the HAL (hardware authentication list) which works by tagging all the serial numbers in the computer and if they change recognizing that. If the Hard Drive serial number changes then the OS will no longer boot. I have found there is a few ways to get around this.
      1. Using SYSPREP to make an image of the drive with the XP key as well as all tagged system info pulled out. This is the Microsoft preferred method but even after take a 2 day class from Microsoft on how to do it properly I have still yet to make it work so it is up to you.
      2. Acronis will allow you to make an image much like that of sysprep it will pull out system information and allow you to blow the image out to multi drives over a network or locally. Again you will have to enter a valid code and user info when the machine boots.
      3. You can do a straight clone of the drive and when it boot reinstall windows over the top. This would allow for any programs and such to still be installed and register in the registry but would allow you to fix the problem being generated by the HAL.

      Sorry that there is no easy fix, but Microsoft took the copy protection in Windows XP very serious, which makes generating a single image for easy of multi machine builds a little more tricky then in the old days.

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