Where can I get a good,but cheap data recovery guy?

So i have a fried hard drive but it has lots of files and important pictures I want to retrieve i.e. wedding, baby,etc.

Local techs cant get hard drive to work , said I need to go to “data recovery” specialist…

Anyone have any experience with this?

thanks, ill take your answer off the air.

Based on other threads on this topic, unless you have a friend who can do the job, there’s no such thing as good AND cheap data recovery.

You don’t specify what steps the “local techs” have taken in attempting to read the drive, but it might be worthwhile for you to invest some of your own time in attempting to recover data.


Is the drive spinning at all? If the drive simply has enough of its file-structure and descriptors damaged so that it can’t be mounted by your OS, there’s a decent chance that you can obtain some decent software based recovery. If the drive doesn’t spin up at all, like runner_pat said, you’re unlikely to experience a convergence of good and cheap.

thanks dude^^^^

yeah its spinning , but not doing anything after windows screen buffers for 20 minutes. Tech guys say they cant read it and need to take it to data recovery guy. I’ll try your advice but if I cant get to desktop wont be able to load software

oh and it says “unmountable boot volume” . I understand good and cheap isnt likely but dam, they want like a 1000 bucks

Yup, it ain’t cheap, that’s for sure. But the amount of labor needed to actually recover the data can be extensive. Cheap won’t get you that.

Of course. If you truly value the contents of the drive, don’t even *attempt *to run an OS off of it. Further use may expand the unrecoverable portions of the drive. I never imagined that you were attempting to do this “data recovery” on your own computer. If you cannot borrow a computer, go out and buy at least a new hard drive now (shouldn’t be overly expensive) from newegg.com, reinstall your OS onto that drive, and run your data recovery software from that new installation.

In the future, always make a backup of your data. I don’t know if it really is true, but approach your storage with the philosophy that, “All hard drives are in the process of failing.”

If your disk is spinning, that’s good. If the “guys” can’t get data off it, they may not be trying hard enough.

I was banging my head against the wall trying to get some files off a boot drive with bad sectors - after hooking it up as a non-bootable drive on a computer with a working OS - and finally struck gold when I found TestDisk.

It’s free, but it’s not the most glamorous of applications, and it took me a bit of Googling to find decent instructions - but it totally saved my friend’s email file from a bad sector.

So true. Yesterday, I just had a hard drive (with all my documents over the last 15 years) crash. But it was non issue because that drive was part of a RAID1 mirror set. Plus I had a recent backup that was 2 days old. No data loss; no stress.

The Western Digital drive was one of the newer 1 terabyte drives. It lasted only 11 months. Don’t fool yourself into thinking a brand new drive will last 3 to 5 years.

I don’t mean to nitpick, but for the benefit of others reading, a RAID1 mirror set in and of itself is not sufficient to be used as a backup. It may help to protect and quickly recover from hard-drive failures, but if you or malicious code on your computer directs your RAID drive to delete those files, the files on both drives might be obliterated at a synchronized, and possibly very rapid rate.

You have two paths here:

  1. Stop playing with it and potentially making it much, much worse and pay someone to recover data from it.


  1. Take a chance with SpinRight.

What? Youre not going to boot with this, you are going to add it to a computer via its native SATA/IDE or with a USB enclosure.

It’s spinning and tries to boot. This is good.

Disconnect all cables from it and leave it alone for now.

Buy a new hard drive and install it. Install your OS onto the new drive. Apply all MS updates and install an antivirus. Avast! if you need a recommendation.

Reconnect your old drive as a secondary. You can move the connections from the CD if you need to.

Boot it up. Your old drive should appear as D:, E:, or possibly F:.

Copy your files to the new drive.


Tried that. Cant read the harddrive

If you’re willing to experiment, you may be able to read the drive after freezing it.

I just went through this last week, with a laptop harddrive. I bought one of these to try to read it, only 20 bucks here in Canada:


No luck at all. I then tried about thirty different programs that I got from download.com and google, still no luck. One of the programs, I don’t remember which, was the only one to recognize the drive as being there but after about a one hour scan it found nothing at all. I will be following this threrad in hopes that someone may have an answer, I would hate to lose some of the pics of the kids and a shitload of expensive automation software.

Freezing is only good for getting the drive to spin when it doesn’t. Usually what happens is the arm sticks and either freezing it or wacking it on the size, will free the arm up enough to get the data off of it.

There are places on the web that will show you how to disassemble a drive and put it back together. I tried, when I worked as a system admin and we had a lot of very old hardrives that were only like 2gs and they were going to be thrown out. I practiced taking it apart and putting them back together. It can be done, but you can ruin things as well.

You also have to buy a good drive or have someone with a working drive to get the working parts off of.

I would not recommend this to anyone with data the need. I WOULD recommend this if you’re gonna throw out the computer anyway. It’s a fun project, if you don’t care about data and just want to try to play with the hard drive.

As for a thousand bucks to get the data off. Yeah that is approx what it costs. I’ve seen them go up to $2000.00, so the price quotes are in the range.

If you do decide to go that route, make sure the companie only bills you if they sucssefully recover the data or portions of it.

Also make sure you have the same OS when you tried to get the data off. If your old drive was WinXP and the computer you try to tap into it is Vista there may be a conflict.


I have successfully used r-studio to recover data from badly corrupted drives. You can download the demo to see if it will pick up anthing from yours.

64k size limit for recovered files on the demo, but it will display everything it finds.

I think this is appropriate here.
I’ve had this iMac for a couple years and I’ve never backed up anything. I want to, but don’t know how. So, where can I learn what I need and how to use it to back up what I have, and start backing up what I do from now on. A link to a good site would be perfect.
I’m not very adept at computer stuff, and I’m old. :stuck_out_tongue:
Thanks, crippyboy, for reminding me. You may have saved me from sharing your fate.

One easy way is to use an online backup service like Mozy. You can back up 2 GB for free, or an unlimited amount for $4.95 a month. The client is easy to use, and is available for Mac OS and Windows.

The initial upload can take a long time, but after that it does relatively quick incrementals. Everything’s encrypted before it gets uploaded.

It’s a good deal, and much less of a pain than manually backing stuff up and storing it offsite.

That looks good, Number. I’ve heard about the service, but didn’t know the specific provider. I’ll check them out, and maybe sign up.