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Need help with finding a reputable data recovery company

by dee02dee / June 27, 2013 2:26 AM PDT

Took my Sony laptap to Geek Squad because computer can't get past windows screen. They said the hard drive is corrupt and needs to be sent for a "higher level" recovery. After doing internet search, not sure where to turn. I have lots of JPEG and video files, along with some Word docs. Want the files but the costs seem high with an even higher chance of being scammed. Help.

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All Answers

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Before you go to a service.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / June 27, 2013 2:34 AM PDT
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Not sure about cable
by dee02dee / June 27, 2013 2:53 AM PDT

I'm not sure what GEEK Squad did to come to the conclusion they did. What are the cable/enclosures you are referring too? Is it software? Does this make it harder to remove data if if doesn't work? Sorry but, I'm not real tech savvy about this. Thanks for any insight/help

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Link supplied.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / June 27, 2013 3:02 AM PDT
In reply to: Not sure about cable

Sorry but as I did supply a link to a cable I carry with me on PC emergencies I have to write this is not for you.

The last link notes the usual

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The service is costly
by Willy / June 27, 2013 5:57 AM PDT
In reply to: Not sure about cable

If you have to go that route it will cost depending on size of HD and nature of failure. review what Robert has provided.

If the HD is accessible but not bootable then try the ext. USB case or mount in an desktop/laptop using some cable or direct as 2nd HD in desktop. All the clues, tips, fixes and hints are provided in the sticky Robert mentioned. However, if you set it up via some adapter setup or ext. USB case and becomes accessible that's going to be a lot cheaper than the service and the cost isn't much against the service. The prime recovery service is "Disk Savers" and they will do a very good job practically 100% to get data.

Since, it appears your Sony HD is "corrupt" and may not be truly damaged physically try a "OS mode repair" or use of repair disc. Of course, you proceed at your own risk but its not that difficult if you use some grey matter. Google for your OS repair disc or repair mode if you already have recovery/restore install disc or can access the hidden partition that is the laptop typical recovery/restore area.Your manual or docs will explain what to do. If none, then visit the Sony support website for your model# laptop and check there how to access that partition.

tada -----Willy Happy

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by Zouch / June 29, 2013 1:51 AM PDT

Hi, I agree with Willy, data recovery services can be effective but are very expensive. Ontrack data recovery used to have a free help line that you could call, describe your problem and they would offer advice as to the best approach - often using their services but not always. You'd have to research them in your country. They are very good but not cheap.

From your notes, I think you recognise that it is important not to change the disk in any way until you are nearer understanding the solution. Recovery disk and partitions tend to wipe data. Be careful!

Bob's suggestion is very helpful in a lot of cases, if you know what you are doing. Essentially you hang the corrupt disk off a cable or put it in a caddy that you can plug into another working machine. It gets you round the situation where the corruption is stopping your machine from booting. If you aren't comfortable with that explanation, it likely isn't for you.

Another option is to get hold of a Linux Live CD - I like Knoppix for this. If you have access to a working machine or a friend with one, you can download the iso for free and burn it into a CD. You then boot your machine from the CD - don't worry, the bits you want are all in the GUI via your mouse - and then you can mount the corrupt disk read only and you may be able to see the files. If so, just copy them to an external drive (Linux is a lot more tolerant of less than perfect files - it works on content).

If all this fails and you can't afford the cost of professional recovery, there are utilities that can repair SOME forms of disk corruption. One such is Partition Table Doctor (Google it) which can repair corruption in the Partition Table, Boot Sector and File Allocation Table. NOTE these tools can be VERY dangerous to your data - if you don't feel that your skills or understanding of disk structures is strong enough, don't try it yourself, find someone who does know.

Finally, I'll say it since nobody else has! If and when you get your files back, the FIRST thing you should do is make two independent backups before you do anything else, then keep the backups up to date.

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USB adapter cable
by rje49 / July 1, 2013 11:48 AM PDT

I've used a USB to SATA/IDE adapter cable to easily recover files from hard drives about 15 to 20 times. Using the bad HD as an external storage drive, the only time it couldn't do the job was a Seagate out of an iMac that wouldn't spin for more than about 20 seconds before stopping. There have also been a few that took hours longer than expected, but lasted long enough to finish the job.

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