A few days ago everything froze on my MacBook Pro (OS X 10.8). As I could not get anything to happen I manually shut it down and then it would not reboot. Tried a few things in Disk Utility mode but nothing worked, so in to the Apple service place it went. The technician called me a day later and said that while everything checked out, no hard drive problems BUT that the Operating System had failed and that he could recover nothing of my files - my last back-up (I plead guilty) had been a couple of weeks before and so there was a lot of quite valuable more recent files and work lost. The technician suggested just wiping the drive clean and reinstalling the latest OS X, but before doing that I would like to see if there is some not prohibitively expensive way to get some of the files recovered. A few years ago I managed to drop an earlier MacBook pro on a hard floor and it scuttled the hard drive. This happened about 100 yards from an Apple Store and they replaced the hard drive and gave me the old damaged one in a bag. I asked about any possibility of recovering some data (there was a lot of music, unbacked up on that one) and they suggested I buy this rather simple device which could be hooked to the bad drive and then via USB into the computer. It worked pretty well and so I am trying to remember what that device would have been called - I gave it away thinking (wrongly) I never would need it again and that person is long gone. Now I can't really recall what the connecting device was called - I only remember it was about the size of an external hard drive. So - two questions: a) does any more technologically able person than me know what that device might have been? b) any other suggestions for a hard drive that is itself undamaged but loaded with files per a defunct OS X?