Pardon me, your ignorance is showing

The barrier to entry in IT support is alarmingly low. I see guys fresh out of high school claiming they can fix any computer for $25! While I understand the allure of saving money, warning bells should be going off. Below is an event that recently occurred where a client lost several months’ worth of email due to a careless IT group that wasn’t paying attention and had never tested their backup system.

I recently got an urgent call from a business because the boss’s email host had lost several months’ worth of her email, and she needed help in recovering it. I spent hours dealing with the email host, who HAD been the IT for this company. This guy did three unforgivable things in the world of IT:

1) He blamed the client
2) He did not check his backups
3) He did not understand the importance of email

Instead of immediately rolling back the email to a time prior to the loss, he insisted that the email must be somewhere on the client’s hard drive. This, despite the fact that the client had been using IMAP, a protocol in which the computer mirrors what’s on the server.

His ignorance further shone through when he recommended a system restore to fix email. Anyone in IT can tell you that a system restore won’t fix data. Even System Restore tells you that it will not affect your files!

Overall, the biggest issue was his lack of concern. His initial reply was that it was OK, she had all her emails from June, right? So she was only missing the last 5 months.

Be absolutely sure your IT department is testing backups and is backing up the right things!