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How do I find a reputable data recovery firm?

I've been looking on the web, trying to find a data recovery company that I can trust to pull some data off of a borked 2.5" laptop drive (lenovo T61 OEM 160 gb 5400rpm - makes a whirring sound and won't boot or even mount the C: drive when I tried to use the recovery partition. The system would also blue screen when I tried to boot from the recovery partition with a USB drive connected). I've since replaced the drive and restored to factory, and I have access to old backups. Of course its the recent stuff that hadn't backed up yet that I need to get to....

I'm torn - I could drop $100 on a USB-to-SATA cable and SpinRite, but I'm worried that I'll thrash the drive even more, and still have to drop $500 - $1000 on a clean-room recovery service.

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What I'd do

In reply to: How do I find a reputable data recovery firm?

Remember that everything going across the Internet has the potential of being stolen. The Internet is wild and the unthinkable happens.

The safest bet for you is to get a high-quality hard drive (i.e. Western Digital) and use it as your backup drive.

Frank.

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The name.

In reply to: How do I find a reputable data recovery firm?

http://www.drivesavers.com is the usual. And you're right. If you tinker with the drive you reduce the chances they'll be getting your files back.
Bob

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