Here’s how an online backup got a woman her computer back after 17 months of hell

Here’s how an online backup got a woman her computer back after 17 months of hell

We’ve all been there: you leave behind something important like a phone or laptop, and the panic sets in. If you don’t find it, the typical response is to give up and think about buying a new device. For Una from Ireland, 17 months and a ‘locate my computer’ feature from Backblaze helped her get back what was hers.

During a stopover in Turkey on her way to Dubai, Una left her computer on the plane. The staff wouldn’t let her go back on the plane to retrieve it, instead telling her to fly on to Dubai and check back with the airport’s lost and found.

When she landed in Dubai, she called the airport in Turkey to find they had not seen her computer. On her way back home, she went through the same airport — lost and found still didn’t have her computer.

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As time ticks by, Una tells her local Garda station about her problems, but they’re unable to do anything for her. Turkish Airlines isn’t helpful either. Uda borrows a computer from a friend and starts recovering files from Backblaze. Seeing a ‘locate my computer’ button, Uda figures ‘why not’ and clicks it:

The records show my laptop has been online since the theft!! Not only that, but Backblaze has continued to back up files, so I can see all files the thief has created on my computer. My laptop has last been online in, of all the places, Thailand.

The automatic backup feature on her stolen computer was active, and Uda figures out from new uploads that the guy sitting next to her snatched her computer.

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Unable to find a champion for her cause, Uda plays the waiting game. Her former row-mate saved a boarding pass to her his computer, complete with a name, address, phone number — and destination. Uda now knew who this guy was, where he lived, and that he had her computer.

She phones his local police station in Australia and tells them what’s going on. They inform her that she can press charges and wait years to get her laptop back, or just have them recover it and get it returned in a few months. No brainer; get your computer back.

After finding a friend who was flying back from Australia (and kind enough to retrieve her computer and bring it with them on the flight to Ireland), Uda Long story short: always back your computer up, even if you don’t have a ‘find my computer’ feature.

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