Data Recovery

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by Nick D, Nov 9, 2008.

  1. Nick D macrumors member

    Nick D

    Sep 7, 2008
    Hello all, I need some help and was wondering if anyone here had some answers for me.
    My HDD just crashed completely, hardware failure type of crash. I have all of my stuff back up, but my brother does not (same computer) what would be the cheapest and most reliable form of data recovery?

    Thanks in advance to everyone who replies to this!
  2. sickmacdoc macrumors 68020


    Jun 14, 2008
    New Hampshire
    Well, if it is indeed a hardware failure the type of data recovery needed could only be provided by a professional firm like OnTrack Data Recovery that has the facilities (clean room) and knowledge to probably have to disassemble the drive to retrieve the platters, etc.

    The downside to a firm that has made the investment in the professional services/facilities required for this is that is does NOT come cheap I'm sorry to say.:( The depth of services that a professional data recovery firm can go to to retrieve data are lightyears ahead of the local computer store who might offer to try to run a software scan on it for $50 and call that "data recovery".

    I have had clients bite the bullet and pay for that in the past because of critical data they did not have backed up- the cheapest one was about $650 and the most expensive was just under $2000. And that is a single drive mind you! :( There is a $100 diagnostic fee that is not refundable if you decide not to go ahead after hearing the final quote.

    I exchanged info with them recently regarding a 320 Gb 3.5" drive and they quoted prior to inspection a price range of $500-$2200.

    So, it all depends on the nature of the crash. If it is a failed drive motor it is toward the high end of the scale as it will need to be disassembled in a clean room- but if it is an attached circuit board issue it is on the low end since they can attach a known good one long enough to recover the data normally.

    What I guess I am saying is twofold-

    1. Your brother has to determine what it is worth to him to make up for his lack of a backup (which by the way in the future should be taken care of with simply cloning the whole disk with SuperDuper, Carbon Copy Cloner or by using Time Machine in Leopard, rather than however you are doing a partial backup now that results in only your stuff being backed up).

    2. You need to make darn sure the hardware has actually failed before even considering a data recovery service! The downside to that is that the longer you try simpler methods like using the excellent program Data Rescue II by ProSoft the more chance there is to do further damage to the drive.

    No easy answers unfortunately- and few if any cheap ones. You can get cheap or you can get successful. This is one of those cases where you will seldom find both terms used in the same sentence when talking about a true hardware failure recovery. :(

    BTW- I realize I may sound like I have some ties to data recovery firms, but rest assured I do not. I just know how happy it has made some clients to be able to retrieve certain data at pretty much any cost since OnTrack anyhow is usually successful.
  3. Nick D thread starter macrumors member

    Nick D

    Sep 7, 2008
    Thank you very much sickmacdoc!
    I will definitely give that a try! It just sucks how expensive it will be. Oh well, at least that will teach my brother to back his stuff up next time.

    Thanks again for all the help

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