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SyQuest comes back to life, barely

The struggling storage manufacturer reopens its Web site and is answering customer complaints, but recovery is still a long way off.

Struggling storage manufacturer SyQuest has reopened its Web site and is answering customer complaints, but recovery is still a long way off.

SyQuest, which filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy on November 17, reactivated its Web site yesterday to provide customers with access to "product information, specifications, software drivers, utilities, downloads, and [the company] knowledge-base." SyQuest also said it may begin to perform warranty work again within a month.

The return of the site, which abruptly went dark about a month ago, and some customer service should alleviate SyQuest customers' frustration to a small degree. SyQuest users have been flooding the company, computer dealers, and press organizations with angry email messages and letters about the sudden termination of operations in the wake of the bankruptcy filing.

"I guess I feel dejected and abandoned...I bought the best based on performance and price, and the drive met all my expectations," wrote Robert Pace in an email message to CNET News.com in November. "Now without tech support, I will attempt to find a way to retrieve my data and switch to another media."

Although SyQuest cannot currently accept drives for warranty repair, the site claims that the firm is trying to get approval from the bankruptcy court to begin performing warranty work within the next 30 days. The site also reminds the world that consumers can still purchase SyQuest products.

"The fact that you are reading this on the SyQuest Web site is positive evidence that the company is working toward restoring additional operations, services, and support as allowed," the SyQuest site says. "For now, please feel free to send us email at 'info@syquest.com.' We will respond as quickly as possible, but please understand that it may take a while, given our current resource constraints.

SyQuest's troubles started with a credit crunch. One of its lenders cut the company's credit line to $10 million from more than $30 million after the company failed to meet lending requirements.

And efforts to secure a $13 million loan from its investors also failed to materialize, because investors had requested that SyQuest secure an additional funding source, according to Securities and Exchange Commission filings.