TORNADO RELIEF: Tech duo helps victims recover computer files

Business students, from left, (gray sweater) Kelry Burton, human resources and general manager senior from Nashville; Nia Buntin, accounting and business information technology junior from Nashville; Bianca Chavez, finance senior from Cookeville; and AJ McGugin, finance sophomore from Cookeville; Katie Bilbrey, accounting senior from Monterey; Taylor Anderson, accounting junior from White House and Bailey Thornton, marketing junior from Portland, listen as “Doc” Wells talks about computer forensics.

COOKEVILLE – Following a disaster, recovering computer files can be a challenge. But a pair of Tennessee Tech faculty want to help those impacted by the March 3 tornado recover their files.

Stuart “Doc” Wells, a professor in the department of decision sciences and management, and his wife Susan Wells, a lecturer in the department of decision sciences and management, own a business called My CFI and teach data recovery in their classes.

“This is my forte,” Doc said of computer data recovery. “Everyone’s lives are pretty much digital now.”

They are offering this service free of charge to anyone affected by the storms and to those who find any computers in the debris.

“We’d like to try to connect them with the rightful owners,” Susan said.

The idea came shortly after the storm hit when they got a phone call from a woman who asked if they could recover files from a computer.

“We will be taking computers, tablets, notebooks, anything with a hard drive, starting Monday, March 9, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. in the first floor lobby of Johnson Hall,” Susan said.  “It can be in any condition from wet to beat up. We don’t want you to throw it away, we can help salvage files.”

It’s also a way for students to get hands-on experience, as they will begin working on them after spring break.

If there are large files to be recovered, an external hard drive is requested to be brought along. The university will supply thumb drives for smaller files.

Another service offered by the Tech Archives will help those affected by the storms have their photos and memories restored.

Anyone who has paper, photographs, journals or other archival material found that belongs to an unknown person, bring it to the archives or contact staff for pickup at, call 931-372-3958 or by sending a message on Facebook messenger. Staff will put the materials into a single location so that they can be reunited with their original owners.

All photos and papers brought to the archives will be digitized and available at Users with a Flickr account can post comments on the photos, such as who you think may be in them or own the photos.

A blood drive is also scheduled to be held on campus Tuesday, March 10, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. in the Tech Pride Room. To schedule an appointment, visit and enter sponsor code TTU19.

The College of Business will also open the Clothes Closet up to students who have been affected by the storm on Tuesdays and Wednesdays until the end of the semester. More information about the Clothes Closet can be found at

For other ways to help, visit for a link to donations and other information. 

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