PCR speaks to Computer Doctor managing director Joseph Nathdi about custom-built data recovery stations, the dangers of ransomware and the popularity of gaming PCs.
How did Computer Doctor get started?
I just qualified as a Microsoft Certified Systems Engineer (MCSE) in 2002, got a £1000 loan from a friend and started trading as Computer Doctor in Barnet. At the time, the internet was in its early days and Google had only been about for four years at the time, but I decided to register a domain, create a website and started trading as a computer specialist. In a short period of time, the website was indexed by Google and as a result of that online exposure, service and solution inquiries started to come in. A year later, Computer Doctor – which started life as a one-man show – had become a company of five highly motivated and highly skilled businesses that had several SMB IT service contracts built around supporting and maintaining computer networks of various sizes.
From the very start, we knew that the main ingredient of success in the business of information technology was providing solutions coupled with high quality IT support, and not just resolving computer problems after they have happened. A pro-active approach in IT helped us continue maintaining quite a few small business networks and learn from our experience and growth at the same time.
What can you tell us about your laptop repair and system building services?
We primarily provide services, but do have a fully equipped workshop for computer hardware repairs. The most requests we get are about data recovery, and as a result of overwhelming demand from our clients - we invested in a data recovery lab with 16 custom-built data recovery stations. This has enabled us to conduct data recovery from faulty hard drives, RAID arrays, servers and laptop computers. We have had a specialist data recovery team since 2009 with its own dedicated website (www.datarecovery.london) which has been very successful. Another popular service we provide is gaming laptop and PC repair and upgrade services. We have built ourselves a very good reputation in service and repair. We also upgrade four to five gaming computers each week.
Why do you think gaming laptops have become so popular?
The trend for gaming laptops has increased, but hardcore gamers do seem to prefer custom-built gaming PCs because it gives them full control in customising and upgrading at relatively lower costs when compared with pre-built systems.
We have serviced and optimised gaming PCs starting from £2,500 to £25,000 with massive cooling units that require a van to collect them from clients, and returning them with a lot of care. For those gamers where money is less of a consideration, we have seen people going to outrageous extremes in building their dream gaming powerhouse with 4 x 12 core CPUs, 4 SLR expensive GPUs and 4x1TB RAID0 solid state hard drives that are cooled by massive water-cooling systems with all the cool flashing lights that are powered by a 2000W Platinum PSU.
Customers are becoming more concerned about security and falling victim to hackers. Data or server recovery must also be another popular request for you.
In fact, one of the most important and frequent requests from our existing and prospective clients are about email security and what measures need to be taken to initiate or enhance security in wired, wireless networks and the computers connected to them. Ramsonware has become a particularly thorny issue. We have received quite a few inquiries from clients whose computers have been infected with ramsomware and who have had their data encrypted behind a paywall.
Most of these infections come through unsolicited emails, or deceptively familiar recipients whose own mailboxes have been compromised. Email security is a major concern nowadays and we offer solutions to address the issues that our customers have with them.
Year established: 2002
Members of staff: 14
Dephna House, 24-26 Arcadia Avenue, London N3 2JU
Telephone: 0207 516 1077