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Can anyone recommend hdd recovery service?

by effyman / August 8, 2008 1:37 AM PDT

Hi - I recently had a Seagate HDD go bad and am in desperate need to get my data off of it. I believe that there is a physical problem with the drive and not something like a virus. I attempted to send the drive in for warranty repair, but they would only give me a new drive, and would not guarantee the data. I was told to send it to Seagate's data recovery service first. Well, when I did that and got a quote back from them, I felt like I was being punched in the stomach - $1,600.00. I was expecting less than $500. Can anyone recommend a good recovery service, with reasonable prices? Anything has to be better than $1600. Thanks for the help.

Oh, and back up your data, often. I know I'm going to be when this blows over.

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Sorry but the prices do tend to be well above that.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / August 8, 2008 2:48 AM PDT

Backups and your disaster plans are cheaper than recovery any day.

-> is what we use all the time. However there are no discount places we dare use since we must succeed and some find the discount shop destroys the drive rendering a trip to the usual place a wish that will never come true.

The 1,600 is the right price. We had some medical test results that absolutely had to be saved. (Dumb IT staff) The price was 28,000 and worth every dime.

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I concur with your post.
by BigGuns149 / August 10, 2008 5:22 PM PDT

Much like the cliche an ounce of prevention really is worth a pound of cure. $1000+ quotations for clean room drive recovery is typical.

Spending a ~$100 on a HDD for backup would save you from having to pay a data recovery firm in many cases that is >10 times the cost of the backup drive. Obviously backups wouldn't due you any good if you don't backup data regularly or a disaster like Katrina damages both the main copy and the backup, but simple wear and tear causing the motor of the drive to fail and the head to crash onto the platter is far more common than the Katrina like disaster.

Drivesavers is a good choice with a good track record of recovery, but this guy should probably look for a Drivesavers affiliate. Customers of repair shops that are Drivesavers affiliates can get a referral discount of 10% discount. If the drive is physically damaged the quotation will still probably exceed $1000, but even competitors like OnTrack will likely quote about $1000 as well.

If the drive won't physically spin and you aren't willing to pay ~$1000 you probably aren't really willing to recover the data.

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In addition to DriveSavers ...
by Edward ODaniel / August 8, 2008 1:06 PM PDT is well established and does a good job.

Their pricing should be within the same neighborhood as the rest however because data recovery IS NOT CHEAP (although it really is a lot cheaper than it was just a few years back).
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also try
by forumadvisor / April 27, 2009 9:10 PM PDT
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Certain it is physical?
by DOSpower / August 8, 2008 9:08 PM PDT

If the damage is physical (disk noises?) then the $1600 sounds like a cheap deal. If you think the damage is not physical then go for Ontrack's EasyRecovery. It is not a cheap piece of software but is cheaper than the $1600 and is fast (relatively speaking), thorough and easy to use.

Good luck

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data recovery-YES!
by artistasandy / August 9, 2008 2:44 AM PDT

2 yrs ago I had the same problem and took the computer to the G. Squad (sorry guys) and they told us it was impossible to get at. Another friend recommended an ex FBI guy who fixed hers for $1200. We found instead a wonderful woman here in Naples who fixed that time.. for around $350. She was amazing! She recovered everything but a few of my graphics files. The name of her bus. is Miriams By the Shore Computer Repair. 239 777-5574 Good Luck.

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data recovery - MAYBE!
by zepper / August 9, 2008 3:39 AM PDT
In reply to: data recovery-YES!

Most local services like that can only recover data if the drive is mechanically and electronically sound. If there are mechanical/electronic problems, the platters have to be removed and placed in a test jig (which has its own motors and heads) in a clean room to get the data back. Only the pro services have that type of expensive facility.
. You can get software like "Get Data Back" or's R-Studio or similar software and do what the recommended local shop did by yourself - no need to pay the middle man unless you don't have the time to do it yourself. Most of the data recovery softwares have free trial downloads so you can see what they can do before paying. If you see that it can do what you need, you can then pay and enable the recovery part of the software. OnTrack used to sell a program called "Lost & Found" which they bought from the folks that made "Partition Magic" it was very effective at the time. Now they sell something much more expensive as each person that buys a copy could grab some of their potential business if he wanted to.


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Yup, the recovery services tend to squeeze the stones
by zepper / August 9, 2008 3:19 AM PDT

The one most are familiar with is Ontrack Data Services. They have regional labs and are quite expensive. Make sure you find out their data privacy policies and methods before using any service. I listen to the Kim Komando show on the radio most weekends and she has a few recommendations on her site: including a service she has used a time or two. If you hear a mechanical noise you've not heard back when the drive was good, be very careful about doing any testing as every time you start it up you could be physically damaging more data locations - physical damage to the magnetic media is generally unrecoverable even by the services.
Good luck!
. And as was mentioned above, a good backup plan religiously adhered to is far better than any data recovery service as none of those are likely to get you 100% of your data back. I recommend an external hard drive (one with an eSATA connection is best if you can rig your computer to support it, but Firewire or USB 2 is adequate though usually slower.) and a file-by-file backup software like Nova Backup (the new version just got a great review from PC World - Nova is what I've relied on for a long time). Many suggest imaging software like Acronis True Image, but if a small spot in your image becomes corrupted on the storage medium then your entire backup image may be lost (at least everything beyond the corrupt spot), while with file-by-file, only the file the corrupted spot is in is lost. If your drive contains critical data (financial, etc.) that is unrecoverable from your paper files, then you should use several external drives and rotate them as suggested for tapes with a tape backup drive. Drives are much cheaper than a trip to a professional recovery service and you generally have to pay even if they can't recover what you need.

It is best to do your backups before shutting down for the day as most computer problems (drive or otherwise) seem to be noticed on power up in the morning. The external hard drive will have to be tested and maintained just as your main drives do. Each drive mfr. provides a basic test for their drives that will check the features of their drives as well as the media surfaces. That should be done at least once a month to catch problems early - most drives should give at least three years of trouble-free service (most IT departments rotate their drives out on a fixed schedule of about 3 years), but one never knows. Most drives will pick up a bad spot or two over time, the danger signal is when the errors begin to increase significantly from test to test. The first time you test and find an error, do a second test immediately. If there is another new error on the second test, get a new drive and move your data! No sense taking chances. Hard drives are cheap these days, your data can be irreplaceable...


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Recovery made easy.
by ennarsuresh / August 9, 2008 3:56 AM PDT

Please download Recover My Files from
You might search for CRACK. Free and easy way to recover.

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helping you with hard drive
by tonyhow123 / August 9, 2008 5:21 AM PDT

are you looking to set up the hard drive ?you said that you got a new hard if your hdd is bad there is no way to get the data off it !!! the price that they gave you was just about right. have you put the new one in yet your v memory may have it some of it in there . go to start files folders and put in the data that you are looking for this is not a sure thing but it may help you

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by Zouch / August 9, 2008 8:52 AM PDT

As other responders have recommended, Kroll-Ontrack are one of the best established and reliable recovery service, if not the cheapest but then you get what you pay for. Don't mess with the disk yourself before you talk to whatever recovery service you opt for - you can do more damage and possibly ruin any chance of recovery.

In most locations, Ontrack have a call-in phone service, where you can discuss your specific situation with one of their technicians and decide the best option in your circumstances. Check their website for your local contact number.

Good luck!

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Hard drive recovery.
by kleebates / August 9, 2008 9:32 AM PDT

Doesn't PC Tools have a program for this ? Several years ago I had similiar problems and most of the stored data was business related.
PC Tools took care of this problem.

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This might help.
by The Masked Villain / August 9, 2008 11:05 AM PDT

Unless the drive is completely dead, i.e. the drive wont spin, there are two programs you could try. The first is SpinRite, the second is LSoft Active Undelete Pro. I have used both to recover data from bad drives. I hope this helps.

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by effyman / August 9, 2008 1:18 PM PDT

Thanks for the replies, everyone, they were very helpful. Unfortunately it looks like I'll have to bite the bullet on this one. I believe that this is a mechanical/electrical situation, and not a problem with the data itself. It is a secondary hard drive that I only use for data (photos, AutoCAD drawings, etc.), and when I have it in the computer and hooked up, I cannot get the computer to even load up windows. The bios (?) tells me that it can't read either the primary drive or this one. When I disconnect it I can get into Windows and use the computer. Seagate believes that all of the data is recoverable at least, so this will be an expensive lesson to back it up. It looks like I'll have to take a few extra side jobs to pay for it.
Thanks again for the help. And thanks to the guy's who put together the CNET's weekly newsletter for putting a link to my question in Friday's edition.

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Impress with Data Recovery company !
by tomM3177 / February 3, 2011 9:30 AM PST
In reply to: Thanks

Guys i have to say that i was so frustrated with my hard drive , i saw smoke coming out of it , i sent it to it only cost me 200 bucks
Wow !!! Got it all back i highly recommend them .

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The truth on Data Recovery...
by JimInDC / August 9, 2008 1:21 PM PDT

I had a hard drive filled with music. Nothing else.
It crashed. I wanted all my music back. I sent it to
The first quote I got was $1600.
I wrote back and said, "Nah, nevermind, it was just some music, I can live without it."
They then wrote me back and said "Sir, after reviewing your case we have decided to offer you a discounted rate of $1200"
Again, I wrote them back and said, "Nah, thanks, but too expensive, throw it in the trash."
They then wrote me back again and said they could do it for $800.
Again I said to throw it in the trash.
They wrote me back again and asked what sort of price I was willing to pay. I said $600 and they accepted.
So, the moral of the story is: They love desperate people. If you aren't desperate and you haggle, you can get a great deal.
I had them repair the drive for $600 and they did an excellent job, it is still working fine two years later.

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data recovery services
by martin678 / August 17, 2008 5:35 PM PDT

My hard disk recently damaged.I have shown it to Stellar data recovery company.
They recover all my data in just $500.They have high class data recovery labs.They also provide the free analysis of your media.

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by tanc87 / August 27, 2009 4:45 PM PDT
In reply to: data recovery services
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Re: list of data recovery companies
by Kees_B Forum moderator / February 3, 2011 5:37 PM PST
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Affordble Data Recovery
by Data_Recovery_Expert / March 3, 2011 9:01 AM PST


First of all, data recovery is not cheap, but you can find pro data recovery for affordble price. Try they have much better price ranges

Best Regards,
Robert - Data Recovery Expert

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Inexpensive recovery is sometimes possible
by FreeDataRecovery / March 12, 2011 1:42 AM PST

If your hard drive still spins up and your computer can "see" it but you can not access your data then in most cases your data can be recovered using software methods.

I offer a remote data recovery service to recover data from drives that are unaccessible or have bad sectors. This is not your typical remote desktop type service. In fact your computer does not even have to start up into Microsoft Windows.

The service is free but I'm hoping you will be so pleased after your data is recovered you will consider making a donation, but that's up to you.

This service is based on a specialized boot CD I've developed. If you need your data back call Stephen at 617 506 9392 I would be happy to discuss your case. Or see all the details on my site.

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