A tale of two crashes

One of our long time customers recently sent me an email with a desperate plea for help. The customer would like to remain anonymous, so we will just call him “Joe”. Joe asked if I would be so kind as to extract the scripts from all the packaged executables that he had created with PrimalScript and PowerShell Studio. He said he had lost all the original script files when his hard drive crashed.



When I read this email I had a certain sense of déjà vu. I distinctly remembered getting an email just like this one from Joe about a year ago. I searched through my archived emails and sure enough, in the beginning of August last year, I received a very similar email from him about the same subject.

At the time I recovered a good number of scripts for him and sent them back to him. Since we had just launched the community preview of VersionRecall at that time I pointed it out to Joe. I asked him to consider giving it a try. Any kind of version control and/or backup would have saved him a lot of trouble. Joe said he would check it out. So, naturally, I asked him whether he had used any kind of version control software or VersionRecall in particular. Here is his answer:


“Yes, I did try the VersionRecall community thing. It seemed like a neat piece of kit and I was actually impressed about how easy it was to set up and then just forget about it. 🙂 I wanted to buy it when the community preview expired but I was told that I cannot spend $180 dollars on something that doesn’t make me more productive. I should just backup my stuff myself.”




So here we are, only a few months later, and Joe has lost most, if not all, of his source code again. I asked him why he didn’t back up his stuff. He answered, “Don’t know, I didn’t think the new drive would die that soon.

I asked Joe for a tally of hours and money spent to recover his scripts and restore a working environment.



I am excluding all the costs Joe would incur even if he had a full current backup. So we will exclude any time and cost for getting a new hard drive, computer, installing the OS etc.

We will assume an hourly cost of $55.00 for Joe’s employer. Please feel free to fill in your rate after asking your HR department.


1. Data rescue company, trying to retrieve documents and data from the crashed drive: $ 2600.00 (no result)

2. 10 hours searching servers, flash drives, colleagues computers etc. for scripts and packaged executables: $550.00

3. 2 days (16 hours) waiting for permission to send the files to us (SAPIEN) to extract scripts. $880.00

4. 8 hours evaluating retrieved files for their versions and current state. $440.00

5. 8 hours restoring projects, dialogs and screen layouts from recovered scripts. $440.00

6. 4 days (32 hours) testing the recovered and updated scripts so they can be redeployed to production. $1760.00


We have not included the cost of the two contractors who were twiddling their thumbs while waiting for Joe to catch up again.
Or, the value of scripts lost because they were not published anywhere yet, or the value for a lost version history. The first is hard to quantify and the last one, well, it didn’t exist in the first place.

So Joe’s employer just spent $6670 to avoid a $179.00 software purchase.


We are well aware that Joe could have avoided this disaster and a lot of the costs by using conventional backup software. Or a mirror drive. Or Dropbox. Or copying files to network folder.

We are using this example to point out how costly it can be NOT to have any type of backup or version control. Joe is also only one person. Imagine a similar disaster for a team.

VersionRecall can save your bacon automatically. Give it a try.