The Computer Repair Genius by
(15 Stories)

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Many years ago, I had a problem with the hard drive on my desktop computer. I called the support line, and as I was following the support guy’s directions, the hard drive crashed. His comment, “that happens sometimes,” did not fill me with confidence in his diagnostic or repair skills.

You never know when you will need a computer repair genius.

So I asked around to see what other people did to get their data off a dead hard drive. One friend, who lost his business files when his hard drive crashed, had paid hundreds of dollars to some company to get his files back. I did not want to do that.

I also got the name of a guy who was supposedly a genius at repairing computers. I called his number and he told me when to bring it in. It seemed that his office was only open at certain times; apparently, this was sort of a hobby/second job for him. In order to get there, I had to carry my computer up a flight of stairs to the second floor of a strip shopping center. When I got there, his office was just one big room stacked with computer parts and he was the only person there. He took the computer and said he would call me.

When I hadn’t heard from him in a week, I was afraid all my files were gone forever. Then he called. He said that he had put my hard drive in the freezer until it was frozen solid, then gradually thawed it out until he was able to get at the data. Miraculously, he was able to retrieve all my files before it crashed again. I had never heard of this particular repair technique, but I was very happy to get my files back. He also said that if I bought a new hard drive and brought it with me when I came to pick up the computer, he would install it for me. He charged me only a nominal repair fee and installed the hard drive for free as I was waiting.

In the years since, I have given his name to several people looking for someone to fix a computer problem. His business card is one of a select few allowed space on the bulletin board above my desk. At this point, I have not been in contact with him for a long time and I don’t know if he is still in business. I hope so, as you never know when you will need a computer repair genius.

Profile photo of Kathy Porter Kathy Porter

Characterizations: been there, funny, right on!, well written


  1. Suzy says:

    Great story, Kathy, and a perfect picture! The guy I take my computer to sounds a little like your guy, although at least mine is at street level. I love his solution of putting your hard drive in the freezer and then gradually thawing it out. This does seem like a “don’t try this at home” kind of fix though – you have to know what you are doing or else you just end up with a frozen hard drive and no data. Glad you haven’t needed to use him again.

  2. Betsy Pfau says:

    I’ve never heard of that technique either Kathy, but it sure worked for you. It sounds like you found a real gem; thank goodness!

  3. So that’s what they mean when they say “the computer froze!

    My tech advice – Don’t lose that guy’s business card

  4. Marian says:

    Wow, freezing a hard drive is a new one, Kathy, but I’m glad it worked out for you. Sometimes I long for the days when computer repair was less corporate and there were more guys like yours.

  5. Laurie Levy says:

    What an amazing story, Kathy. Of course, I have never heard of this technique, but I will be sure to remember it!

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