I’ve mentioned Storage Depot before, when I posted about the mini hard drive I bought from them back in January. They are a great little specialist local company, who are focusing on a specific market – computer storage including external hard drives, CD/DVD writers and more specialist devices to back up digital cameras, and provide networked storage (NAS). Essentially, I think they’re a good example of the kind of Global Microbrand that Hugh McLeod often talks about – concentrating on a small market but using the internet to provide a large customer base.
Today I got a bit more experience of their service. One of my earlier purchases from them was a 160Gb desktop firewire drive, that I used as a backup device when I was experimenting with the Tiger upgrade last year. Ultimately it proved to be a good purchase, as it allowed me to swap back to Panther when I had problems.
After the upgrade, I essentially put it on a shelf until I needed it again, which was at the end of last week, when I wanted to backup the contents of my laptop. However, when I plugged the drive in, although it sounded like the drive inside spun up to speed, it didn’t register on the computer. After trying different cables, sockets and so on, I still couldn’t get it to appear, so I popped off an e-mail to the Storage Depot address. In the e-mail I mentioned that as I worked in Wokingham, I could drop the drive off if that was okay.
I got a reply yesterday morning from TiÃ«l Holdstock saying that their warehouse was down at Winnersh, but that he lived in the centre of Wokingham, and if I wanted to drop the drive off at his house he would take a look. I didn’t have the drive with me, but this lunchtime I dropped it by his house, and within a couple of hours he’d contacted me saying that he’d checked the unit and replaced the interface card. Although he didn’t have a Mac, so he couldn’t check the contents of the drive, it was now appearing on his computer. He said that if I wanted him to test it properly he would have to format it, but if I was happy to test it myself, he’d happily take another look. I went and collected the drive on the way home from work, and plugged it in and it worked fine. I’ve since repartitioned the drive, and copied data onto it, all without problems so all appears well. When I collected it he was very apologetic about the failure of the interface board, but as I said to him, it’s not a problem, these things occasionally fail – indeed that is the whole point of taking a backup! What marks it out is the standard of response you get when something goes wrong, and here Storage Depot were great, and I’d happily recommend them to anyone who is looking for any kind of storage – and they do everything from the smallest 256Mb pen drives right up to 1.6Tb network storage.