• FreeAdvice has a new Terms of Service and Privacy Policy, effective May 25, 2018.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our Terms of Service and use of cookies.

store formatted my drive - value of destroyed photos?

Accident - Bankruptcy - Criminal Law / DUI - Business - Consumer - Employment - Family - Immigration - Real Estate - Tax - Traffic - Wills   Please click a topic or scroll down for more.


Junior Member
What is the name of your state?What is the name of your state?I'm in NJ. On May 14, 2005, I turned my CPU in to the local branch of a national elecronics store that has a computer repair department. I wanted some data retrieved from my hard drive C: to portable media because the D: drive had crashed and it stored the only other copy of the photos I treasured. I had already started the process myself, but there were over 1000 photos and the process was very slow for me. They said they could for Data Migration to CDs. They note that I turned in a list of the files to be copied. The person I spoke with said he would do the migration himself when he is not busy. He said the job would be ready in a day or two.

Nobody called for more than a week. I stopped in and the job was not yet done. Nobody knew why. When I checked in more than a week later, I was told that the job was done. I picked up my CPU and the CD on my lunch break. At work, I couldn’t wait to see the photos I thought had been lost. When I put the CD in my office computer, it showed nothing was on the CD. In a panic, I called Circuit City and they explained that the media was DVD, not CD. I did not have a DVD drive on my computer at work or home, I told them, and they said it would not work in a CD drive. I must have a DVD drive. Anyway, they said, I had Windows 98 and should be upgrading to XP because so many programs now require XP. I was so excited that I had my photos, and because I was running Windows 98 and I trusted them when they told me it was time to update the system, I reluctantly started to look for a new computer, which was not in my financial or any other plan. I felt I had no other choice. I went to their store to shop, but had to figure out how I would pay. They discussed financing with me, which I have never done, but they were out of the one I would consider anyway. I saw the same one in the Banother store's ad with deferred payments and ended up buying the unit there because I could defer the payments for close to a year, something I have never done or had to do before.

I set up my new computer and put in the DVD. NONE of the “thumb” files are on it! Actually, there are very few files on the DVD. Since I knew I had to go back to have the job completed, I set up my original computer to make another list of the files I wanted moved to CD, and the computer wouldn’t boot up. It said it couldn’t find the operating system.

I took the unit back and they set it up to check why it wouldn’t start for me. They informed me that the C: drive had been formatted by the technician and that all the data that had been on it was lost! I said that formatting the disk was not part of the job I had requested, and that there had been no reason to format it since the computer worked fine when I brought it in. I was told that they probably just gave it to someone to do who was not Brian so it could get done and that the tech had formatted it and that they were sorry. I was very upset and angry. They said I should talk to the person I originally spoke to.

June 2, 2005
I called and spoke with him. I explained the problem. He said that if the drive was formatted, the data was lost. He said if I brought the unit back in, he would check it and try to get anything he could from the D: even though it had crashed.

June 4, 2005
I returned to Circuit City. I explained my problem again and they could not explain why anyone had formatted the C: drive. I had written a note to the original guy and I left the unit for him.

About two weeks later, when I had not heard anything, I called and was told to come in. I went to Circuit City and was given a note that said he couldn’t retrieve the pictures and that someone had to speak to the associate who had worked on the PC.

Several weeks went by and I heard nothing so I called again. I was told to bring the unit in and they would try something else. I did bring the unit in, and heard nothing.

In July, I stopped in several times and each time I was told that they would try again. I was also advised for the first time, after again telling my story including my purchase of a new computer, that they could still have put my migrated files on CD instead of DVD. Actually, the original work order says that they should have done exactly that! This was the first time anyone mentioned this to me after the migration was done, or I would have had them move the little bit of data they did migrate to CD instead of buying a computer that I did not need. Of course, since they formatted my hard drive, they made it necessary for me to buy a new computer, only necessary because of their errors. I have started to wonder, upon discussing this issue with friends, whether they could at least have reinstalled Windows for me after my drive was formatted, so that I would not have had to buy a computer after they formatted mine. Their two errors cost me over a thousand dollars plus the loss of approximately a thousand family pictures, if not more.

It is now September. I have been told that there is nothing they can do. I was shown by two associates the paragraph that they are not responsible fore hardware or software problems.

This was not a hardware or software problem. I turned in a working computer with a thousnd or more family photos in “thumb” files and paid to have them migrated to CD’s because the tasks was too time consuming for me and would require so many disks. The hardware and software were both working fine. I, the novice, was able to locate and copy some of the thumb files successfully to a disk while the paid “experts” did not find them, move them or copy them, and instead destroyed them!

I feel the store needs to take responsibility for these errors and the damage they caused. Their errors have not only led to the destruction of close to a thousand precious family photos, but to the previously unnecessary purchase of a computer costing more than $1000.

They want to know what I want them to do. WHat is the value of lost photos? What is reasonable compensation for having to buy a new computer and losing so many precious memories? :confused:


Senior Member
I wanted some data retrieved from my hard drive C: to portable media because the D: drive had crashed and it stored the only other copy of the photos I treasured.
I actually read this ....

First my comments : I'm trying to get my bearings here , you wanted Data from C: drive retrieved because D: had crashed and That Stored Family Photos ?

Was this a dual Hard drive set up ?

Your first mistake was taking it to Circuit City . There should be plenty of Local PC technical places that can attempt to retrieve photos off damaged drives .

( You actually stated they did copy " A FEW " to media .)

Secondly , even After CC botched your Job and Formatted C: , you continued to let them give you the run around .

Third : The recommended ( didn't break your arm, hold a gun to your head ) , to upgrade to XP . It was YOUR choice to buy a New PC .

Now , They want to know what you want out of this mess ????

Do you have a 98 OS CD ? ( oh by the way you contradict yourself - you state the D: had crashed , they after all this mess you state there was nothing wrong with the PC )

Well your Photos are History , unless you can take the Drive the Pics are on to a highly qualify PC tech . Look in the Paper or in your area for ads that state the can retrieve Data , ( you might have to pay extra bucks ) .

This is What I would want ,:
A) For them to Load 98 either with Your Cd , or If you don't have one , they pay for it , load it , and give you the CD , and ALL the drivers for your PC hardware to work .

B) Go see if a highly Qualified Tech . can retrieve them to CD , and request the cost once it is done , or a store credit in that amount .

Forget the cost of the NEW PC . When your old PC is up and running , sell it .

By the way , if You & CC can't come to an agreement , File a Complaint with the Local Attorney General's Office , and the BBB . The Complaint forms will also ask , what you want CC to do .

Plan on CC to fight you every inch of the Way . Holler, yell , what ever it takes .

You are 1/2 at fault for not searching out reputable PC techs. that may be able to do the Job .
Last edited:

Find the Right Lawyer for Your Legal Issue!

Fast, Free, and Confidential