You’ve heard the cliché: there are two types of businesses in this world, those that have lost data, and those that will. When 30 gigs of valuable corporate information pull a Houdini and you don’t have current backups, there is an option besides chaining yourself into a vat of water: a data recovery service.
Below is a brief list of companies that will do their best to resuscitate your drive, and some things to consider next time your disk treats your data like a distant relative. Print it out and stick it next to your computers as a talisman.
Of course, a good backup-and-recovery policy is your best friend in case of drive failure or data loss. Is your policy adequately protecting your information?
Data Recovery Companies
ActionFront/DataRec: www.actionfront.com 800.563.1167
CBL Tech: www.cbltech.com 800.551.3917
Data Recovery Group: www.datarecoverygroup.com 888.462.3282
Disk Doctors: www.diskdoctors.com 800.347.5377
DriveSavers: www.drivesavers.com 800.440.1904
Lazarus: www.lazarus.com 800.341.3282
MDS Disk Service: www.mdsdiskservice.com 909.352.2425
OnTrack: www.ontrack.com 800.872.2599
Things to consider
- If your drive whines, clicks or screeches, shut down your machine immediately. These are potential signs of a head crash, maybe the worst type of drive failure around. Disconnect the drive, contact one of the companies on the list, and pray.
- Despite what you’ve heard, hitting, tapping or shaking a drive to get it working is not a good idea. Hard drives are delicate creatures, and a sharp blow can break the microscopic alignment among drive elements.
- If you accidentally delete files, stop working. The odds of getting your data back are best before you write new information to your drive. Use a file recovery program like Symantec’s Norton Utilities, and save recovered files to a different disk, or you may end up overwriting the very files you’re trying to recover. Ouch.
- These companies aren’t cheap. Most offer a free assessment, but you might pay as much as $8,000 to get your data back. Far cheaper is a reliable backup. Start by deciding how much work you’re willing to re-create after a data loss, and back up at least that often (I backup twice a day). You don’t have to get elaborate; even copying to a CD-ROM or another hard drive manually will suffice in a pinch.