CNET News Video: Hard-drive CPR
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CNET News Video: Hard-drive CPR

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You know that sinking feeling. You press power...and nothing. Not to fear. For some serious cash, there are data recovery services out there that can bring your hard drive back to life. CNET News.com's Kara Tsuboi takes us through the process of recovery while stressing the importance of backing up files.

[ Music ] ^M00:00:03 >> I was working on three books simultaneously, got off the airplane, got to the hotel, turn on the computer and it didn't turn on, it was just completely dead. So, I went to an Apple store and they said your hard disk was fried. Of course, I hadn't backed it up in about three weeks. >> My first time was I basically burst into tears, because it was five days of great photos and it was like, oh my god. >> Two photographers, one professional, one amateur, both desperate and in despair over lost photographs. >> Format memory card. Cancel or Okay. I hit Okay. >> I was really, really, really in deep trouble. I have creative work of probably 200 people sitting on my computer. >> Rick and Anne Marie are good examples of the 15,000 customers DriveSavers, a data recovery service company handles a month. >> That's one reason I think our phone has been ringing so much is because there's so many places to store data and there's so many ways to lose data. >> House fires in Center Phil. It was so hot, this tape were actually melted to the [inaudible] of this desktop computer. This is actually a drive that came out of hurricane Ivan. This one was run over by this 18-wheeler. >> DriveSavers Data Recovery, this is Jeannie. >> A desperate customer will call the 24-hour hotline with their disasters. It's just like calling 911 in an emergency. >> What's the brand on this external? >> If the caller is really distressed, they'll talk to Kelly, the data crisis counselor. >> I used to volunteer and manage a suicide prevention and crisis on management need for somebody to help our most troubled client get through moment of crisis, to help them realize that everything will be okay and we can recover their file. >> Once the company receives the drive, the first step is to do a triage to assess the damage. >> Practically everything is a serious challenge. I would say almost a miracle to get some of the stuff back the way it comes in. >> The serious cases go straight the sterile clean room. >> It is where we disassemble the drives and we'll replace components and -- in order to try to make them as functional as possible. >> From there, the drive is off to either the Mac or the PC room. >> We actually put all the file names back together and back in their original folders and get it back to a state where the customer can see the data the way they saw it before the crash. >> Every hard drive out there is going to fail at some point and people don't realize that and that will happen. >> Service like this doesn't come cheap. Prices start at 400 bucks that can easily climb to the thousands depending on the amount of data and the urgency. >> Real data recovery cost real money. >> But, at least there's a guarantee. >> No data, no money. >> Over the years, DriveSavers has helped out a number of famous clients from the folks at the industrial light and magic to Sean Connery. >> Bond. James Bond. >> I always watch the James Bond films and they always have such high tech, yet they couldn't recover the hard drive like we did. As humans are involved, we're gonna do well. >> I know what I'm doing tonight. >> There you go. Back your stuff up. >> Yeah. I'm Kara Tsuboi, off to buy an external hard drive, probably a surge protector and battery back up reporting for CNET News.com. ^M00:03:13 [ Music ]

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