Dead hard drive? Here are some options

It’s the Friday night before your term paper is due and you’re planning to do nothing but edit all weekend. You say goodbye to your friends, hunker down with a warm cup of coffee and press the power button on your Mac. To your dismay, the computer does nothing but sit at the Apple logo with the gear spinning. You’ve tried rebooting, resetting the PRAM, holding the shift key to get into safe mode… but nothing works. You call up your friend who’s pretty handy with a Mac and even he/she cannot get your computer to load. As a last resort, you call us. We tell you that we’ll do the best we can, but there’s no way to guarantee anything before your paper is due on Monday. You’re stuck.

We can’t even begin to count the times we’ve helped customers out of a similar situation. It’s a severe tragedy when people don’t realize the need for a backup. Sometimes we can recover data; sometimes we can’t… but please, make sure you always have a current backup. In case you missed our article on backups, here’s a quick explanation of the data recovery services that we offer.

The first option is our advertised rate of $65 an hour with a maximum of two hours. This option requires a minimally function hard drive and utilizes data recovery software to do the trick. What does that mean? Your drive needs to be able to read itself. One common form of hard drive failure is the failure of the read/write arm within the drive itself. Think of it as a record player. If the arm stops working, you’re not going to get any sound. The same holds true for a hard drive: if the arm stops working, we won’t be able to read any of the data on the drive and this option won’t work for you. That brings us to the more painful option…

Clean-room recovery has a very high success rate and it doesn’t matter if your drive is completely dead. Within a clean room, technicians can completely rebuild your hard drive and copy data off of the platters from your dead drive. They can also replace other portions of the drive like the built-in logic board (if that’s what failed) and access your data that way. Both of these hardware-based procedures require a clean room because any spec of dust that gets into an open hard drive can easily corrupt your data. It’s really that sensitive. These technicians investigate every recovery opportunity and the costs definitely reflect that. Clean-room recovery starts around $600 and can easily creep up to $2000. That’s why backups are critical.

RMMR can facilitate either option. We do the first option in-house but clean-room professionals perform the second option. We’ll happily facilitate that for you at no additional cost.