Data Recovery Services

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by teflon, Apr 26, 2009.

  1. teflon macrumors 6502a

    teflon

    Joined:
    May 28, 2007
    #1
    A couple days ago, my Macbook shut down and refused to boot. After taking it into a Mac repair shop, it has been determined that the hard drive has mechanical damage. Yes, I was extremely, extremely stupid and did not back up my data. I'm kicking myself every second since the Macbook died. However, I really want my data back, so I'm looking at professional data recovery companies and I have a few question.
    Looking around the internet, it seems that there are a million different companies out there, all claiming to do the same services, and all claiming that they have the highest experience/success rate. Is there any way to determine the reliability of the companies? Does having a class 100 clean room automatically mean that they are capable? Can they lie about their equipment online? It's especially confusing since the prices seem to vary widely, from starting at $250-350 to flat rate of $1500, or hourly rate of $50-80 to rate depending on the gb of data recovered.
    Also, does anyone have any good experience with a data recovery company, or recommendations? Companies located in the Greater Vancouver area, or at least, Canada, will be especially welcomed.
    Thanks in advance!
     
  2. superplus macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Apr 24, 2009
    #2
    I would try to find a service locally and talk to them in person. I had a scare a few months ago and was quoted at around $2000 for recovery of my 500gb external. Lucky for me it turned out that the disk was just corrupted and I was able to save the files myself. You might be able to find it for a few hundred dollars somewhere but be prepared to shell out the big bucks. I would check out Disk Doctors
     
  3. skubish macrumors 68030

    skubish

    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2005
    Location:
    Ann Arbor, Michigan
  4. srl7741 macrumors 68020

    srl7741

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2008
    Location:
    In my world
    #4
    Depends

    What kind of mechanical damage did they say you have? Does the drive still get power or can it be powered on?

    When looking at another company's claims ask them what software they use to recover the data. The clean room has nothing to do with what you want. Heck I could recover your data in a dirt field. If all your wanting is the data copied off the damaged drive and saved to another type of media that is pretty easy to do depending on they type of damage to the drive. The clean room specs come into play for court standards etc.

    EnCase

    Access Data

    Both will assist you in recovering your data.
     
  5. teflon thread starter macrumors 6502a

    teflon

    Joined:
    May 28, 2007
    #5
    The one thing that makes me a little reluctant to talk to local services is that I question their reliability. The technician at the Macstation told me that a clean room is essential because if dust gets on the platter it can ruin the data. I don't want to make the problem worse. Thanks for the suggestion, I've sent diskdoctors an online inquiry :).

    I've checked the application out. It looks like it's more for logical damage than mechanical damage? If it's for logical damage it wouldn't work. Plus the hard drive has been taken out of the computer and I want to avoid messing with it since I've been advised that I could make it worse :(.

    The technician didn't say what kind of mechanical damage it was. I don't think the drive can be powered on, as they tried to mount it in their machine and it refused to mount. I'm not too sure what "machine" they're referring to exactly. The hard drive made a clicking sound, so I think the head is probably damaged.
    Regarding the cleaning room, I was under the impression that they were essential? If the environment wasn't dust free, wouldn't particles/dust get on the platter and ruin the data? Also, for software, the websites all seem to say "advanced software and hardware techniques" or "proprietary techniques and technologies". What software should I be looking for? When/if they tell me what software they use, how do I determine if it's good or not?
    Sorry, for those 2 links, I didn't find a category that says data recovery :confused:. Is it still part of their services?

    Thanks for the advices so far guys!!
     
  6. srl7741 macrumors 68020

    srl7741

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2008
    Location:
    In my world
    #6
    More

    Those links are for data recovery software. Anyone who uses one or both of those will know what they are doing. Back to the clean room, i would not get to focused on that for your needs. That is just another marketing banner even tho I agree it makes a difference it really does not mean much to a person who simply needs their data recovered.
    If the drive can not be powered up your probably SOL. If the drive will not power up you/they will have to tear down the drive and replace the bad parts with good parts from a working drive identical to it. That will cost you a lot to get done. That is time consuming and a pain in the rear end.

    If the drive can be powered up and mounted then it should not cost you too much to have someone recover the data ($500 or less).

    Plugging in the drive mounting it and recovering the data can be done in less than an hour depending on how much data needs recovered.

    Another thing to keep in mind is minimizing what files you need back. You don't need all the data on the drive back so if you know the folder(s) or tree structure location on the drive that will cut down on the time it takes to locate the files and copy them off the drive to another media.
    For example: If you need all documents in a folder named "Work Files" then you will want them to only recover the one folder named "Work Files". It really helps when the person does not have to go looking through thousands of files.
     
  7. teflon thread starter macrumors 6502a

    teflon

    Joined:
    May 28, 2007
    #7
    I got an email back from one company that said the head is probably broken and needs replacing :(. Argh... does that mean it'll be up in the thousands?

    I cannot remember the names of all the folders that I needed, but I know I only need picture and document files (music is on my iPod and the movies are ripped from my DVDs). Would that help in any way?

    Thanks for the advice on the software! I'll definitely ask them that when I start calling up the companies tomorrow.
     
  8. srl7741 macrumors 68020

    srl7741

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2008
    Location:
    In my world
    #8
    thoughts

    Unfortunatley there are not a lot of options if the heads are broken and you want the data back. Food for thought I guess, it certainly pays for itself to pay the extra $ for backup media (any type) considering the cost to recover it later. I've been in data recovery for over 5 years now and the first thing I learned was that I can never have enough backup devices. I have at least 3 of everything and on seperate media, one of which is not stored on site.

    Just last night I noticed one of my LaCie external FW drives went out and is dead. After removing it from the enclosure it seems I can't even get power to it. So I am going to monkey around with it a little more to be sure but if it turns out to be really dead I'm going to just tear it apart into pieces and throw it away because I have all the data in other places and it's just easier to replace the drive and copy over all the data from another backup.
     

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