May 3, 2012 - New format for Success Stories
We're trying out a new format for this page (above), we're going to start posting pictures and videos of successful data recoveries. If you do or don't like it, let us know!
April 15, 2012 - A fantastic Google review from customer Jenni
We've never shared a review in our Success Stories section, but this Google review by mail-in client Jenni from Arizona is so detailed and thorough, we just had to share it (with her permission):
"My worst nightmare occurred when my Western Digital 2TB external hard drive began making clicking noises and the computer plug&play stopped recognizing it. I foolishly thought my hard drive was the safest place for my data as I rarely used it and stored it in a waterproof fireproof safe, so I had no backup. BIG MISTAKE.
My drive was full of court documents I needed ASAP, and I was about to be SOL. I brought my drive to UBreakIFix who couldn't do anything, and Best Buy's Geek Squad would look at it for $500 and the price could spiral up to $2500+ from there (and their online reviews for data recovery were concerning to say the least). I emailed every data recovery place I could find on the web, all wanting to take my drive apart in a "clean room" environment, meaning the minimum cost was around $1000 and I got quoted as high as $3000.
I simply didn't have that kind of money, so I began looking for other options. The "freezer trick" was one a lot of people had tried, and I was about to try it when I found 300ddr.com. The concept of only $300 for a recovery with no clean room needed sounded too good to be true, as did the glowing reviews on the net. I figured rather than try the freezer trick and risk ruining my drive altogether, I would give $300 Data Recovery a try as they promised no charge if they couldn't recover my data, so I had nothing to lose and everything to gain.
I really thought they'd have no luck getting my data back and that I'd end up having to save my money for a clean room recovery, but I was willing to give them a shot as worst case scenario I would only be out the shipping costs if they couldn't recover anything. I mailed my bad drive off as well as a new drive I purchased so they could transfer my data onto it if they recovered it.
The process was very quick, and I was notified immediately after they received my drive that they were able to recover 99% of the data and were working to recover 100%. WOW! They ended up getting 100% back, sent me an email with a listing of the file names as proof, and sent me a PayPal invoice so I could pay and get my drive back right away. I excitedly sent my payment and within days my drives were back in my hands. All of my data from my bad drive was there on my new drive!!! And just in case of data loss within 30 days (i.e. drive lost or damaged in mail), they backed up my data on their end.
I couldn't be more thrilled with $300 Data Recovery. The price is phenomenal compared to the competition, and I'm so glad to have found them on the web and learned about the whole "clean room" scam - mine clearly did not need the clean room! The service Brian provided was amazingly fast and courteous, and I was so appreciative of the email updates. He knew I was biting my nails and totally devastated by my drive's failure, and he updated me as soon as he knew he could recover most of the data. I now have two hard drives to try and avoid another mishap, but if another does occur I will surely send my drive to Brian again. THANK YOU BRIAN! You saved my life by saving my data!"
April 6, 2012 - Corewerkz.com - $300 Data Recovery's Blog
Recently we expanded our Mac blog to include $300 Data Recovery customer updates, data recovery news and tips, tech news and tips, along with the same good old Mac news and tips.
We'll be frequently posting pictures of successfully recovered hard drives, and lots of neat gadgets and other technology/computer related articles.
March 31, 2012 - Drive Recovered For Another Data Recovery Company
Today we got a “Western Digital WD2500BEVT-75ZCT2 2.5″ SATA Hard Drive” which came to us from another data recovery shop in Kentucky. They found us on the Deepspar forum (Deepspar is the company that makes the best data recovery hard drive imager: DeepSpar Disk Imager) and decided to send it to us since they were unable to recover the data.
When we got the hard drive in, it did spun up, but didn’t get “Ready” and did not “ID” on the DeepSpar. After connecting the hard drive to our PC3000, we determined that the drive had firmware corruption which prevented it from completing it’s start-up initialization.
We repaired the corrupt firmware using the PC3000. This allowed the drive to “ID” and get “Ready.” We then moved the drive to a DeepSpar Disk Imager, cloned 100% (all but 2 bad sectors), then gave our customer a 100% “clone” which will most likely be able to boot up the laptop the bad drive came from. Another advantage of the clone is our customer will be able to do a complete software data recovery, if his client also needed “deleted” data recovered from the drive.
Drive was in and out of our shop in less than 24 hours!
March 8, 2012 - Typical RAID Recovery Procedure
We got another RAID in today, this time it was a 1TB Iomega StorCenter NHDD4 NAS Server. Since this recovery was pretty straight-forward, it's a good candidate for breaking down our typical process for RAID data recoveries.
First we remove all the hard drives from the enclosure. We do this because we need to access the bare hard drives in order to properly diagnose and clone them.
Now removed from the Iomega StorCenter NAS enclosure, we test each hard drive on the PC3000 and backup the firmware. Since each hard drive tested OK, they are now moved to a DeepSpar Disk Imager to be cloned.
Fortunately, none of the hard drives have any bad sectors and are 100% cloned.
Next step: load all four hard drives into an eSATA enclosure and find out the parameters of the RAID.
RAID parameters were quickly discovered and the XFS (Linux) partition was accessible. All data is backed up to our client's transfer hard drive, then backed up again to one of our hard drive.
March 2, 2012 - Website updates and RAID recoveries!
Our website has just been thoroughly updated and re-coded by JV Media Design. Last month we got a bad hard drive in the mail from JV Media Design (100% recovered!). After the recovery process was completed, they mentioned their web design services. Since we have been too busy lately to re-design it ourselves (plus we couldn't have done what they did!), we took them up on their offer. Our site has never looked better! Thanks again JV Media Design!!
Lots of RAID drives have been coming in for data recovery and ending up being 100% recovered. The best part about RAIDs (except RAID-0) is that even when a hard drive has mechanical damage which we sometimes can't fix, we still end up recovering all the data from the RAID! The reason is that RAIDs are built to keep your data safe even after a hard drive fails (sometimes even two hard drives can fail at the same time).
We have the knowledge to re-build any damaged RAID system, even when disks are mechanically broken, physically damaged, or even missing.
This means you'll save literally thousands of dollars when sending us your RAID drives. We charge $300 per hard drive in the RAID. Most companies start at $2500+. Not to mention, if you took a RAID that has a hard drive with a mechanical problem to a clean room, they will likely end up charging you extra to repair the hard bad drive -- even if the hard drive isn't really necessary to recover your data. We can manually re-build your RAID without using the "bad" hard drive at all.
**Of course, we always follow our safe data recovery process on all the hard drives in the RAID if possible.
Jan 29, 2011 - We have moved... about a mile down the street :)
In order to keep up with increasing demand for affordable data recovery, we have moved to a larger retail location! For drop off recoveries, we now accept walk-ins, no appointment necessary. We can now handle more simultaneous recoveries while keeping the same fast turnaround we've always provided.
11390 Ventura Blvd. Suite 5, Studio City, CA 91604
(at the intersection of Ventura Blvd. and Tujunga Ave)
P.S. Recovered 100% from two RAID 5 rigs last week! The first was a 5-drive Seagate Black Armor NAS RAID with two bad hard drives. The second RAID was a 4-drive mix of various Western Digital enterprise hard drives. Both were recovered in less then a week, 99.9-100% successful, and at $300/hard drive -- cost less than any other data recovery company by a long shot.
December 1, 2011 - November Was a Record Setting Month!
Busier than ever at $300 Data Recovery! Over 60 hard drives successfully recovered in November! More and more mail-in hard drives have been coming in from all over the country; including Florida, Maryland, New York, Michigan, Texas, and Ohio. Keep sending them in, we'll keep recovering!
September 29, 2011
Lately I've been doing a lot of recoveries for other computer repair shops. The word is starting to spread; from Florida to New York to Oregon, computer shop owners across the country are starting to see the benefits of $300 Data Recovery.
Rather than referring clients to Drive Savers or OnTrack, which most people can't afford, they are sending their client's hard drives to me to see what data is recoverable before sending to the expensive guys.
There are two ways this usually pans out: either they handle all the work of packing, shipping, and communicating with $300 Data Recovery (and therefore charge their clients a little extra to make it worth their time) or they are referring their clients to me directly.
P.S. Success rates on certain hard drives have greatly improved due to a major update recently released for one of my data recovery systems (PC3000).
July 30, 2011 - Twitter
I don't have a link to it on the main page (yet), but you can see data recovery updates and read other tidbits by following me on twitter: https://twitter.com/#!/300datarecovery.
May 8, 2011 - Listen to $300 Data Recovery on the Computer America radio show
Last Wednesday night I spoke with Carey Holzman for an hour long interview about my $300 Data Recovery services. Carey Holzman is the co-host of the longest running live syndicated radio show about computers, Computer America. Learn more about my capabilities and hear answers to various questions about data recovery. You can download and listen to the entire interview by clicking here.
April 25, 2011 - March = Best Month So Far!
March was the busiest and most successful month so far with over 50 hard drives successfully recovered. Word of mouth, online ratings, and more advanced data recovery tools/techniques are all responsible for the increased success.
To keep things busy, I just started a Facebook page for $300 Data Recovery. If you're on Facebook, please visit (and "Like") my page. I'm new to Facebook, so let me know if there is anything else I can do to make my page better.
I'd like to take a moment to thank all my Fans and past clients for continuing to spread the word about $300 Data Recovery!! I owe much of my success to past clients who were so happy with my work (and price!) that they wrote about it online or told their friends. You all rock!!
January 25, 2011 - A Busy New Year!
Things are getting busier around here this year. That means updates to "success stories" may be fewer and farther between. But, there have already been some notable stories this year:
• I started working/sub-contracting with a data recovery company in Denmark (Recoverit). They were getting too busy and needed help with their workload. So far I've received three hard drives from them, each with different and complex problems. I was able to recover 100% of two of them (bad PCB and very bad firmware/translator problem). The third hard drive appears to have a bad head(s), which I don't repair. Excited to have more hard drives from them soon.
• I recently did two RAID recoveries: both 2 x 2gb RAID-0. I recovered 100% for both clients, one a photographer, the other a film editor. Both RAIDs were from different brand enclosures (G-raid & CalDigit) but suffered from the same problem: corrupt RAID controller. Both hard drives had to be manually re-striped (I re-created the RAID). The G-raid had an added issue of a corrupt partition so the re-striped hard drive also needed to be thoroughly scanned before the data could be recovered.
• I've recently upgraded my computer's interfaces with eSata and USB 3 for even faster data copying speeds. This means my already fast-turnaround time (24-48 hour average), just got faster!
November 9, 2010 - Two ZIF Recoveries Collide
Last week I received two 1.8" ZIF hard drives (the kind of hard drives used in iPods and MacBook Airs). The first was mailed in from a small computer repair company in Montana, pulled from a PC laptop.
After hooking up the hard drive and powering on, the hard drive immediately started clicking. I noticed that the PCB felt hotter than normal and thought that could be the problem (as opposed to "bad heads"). I immediately went searching around the 'net and contacted computer part hoarders for a replacement PCB. Unfortunately, a few days went by and an identical replacement was nowhere to be found.A few days later, I got a MacBook Air data recovery drop-off. This hard drive had lots of bad sectors. With my data recovery hardware tools, I was able to quickly recover 99.9% of the data off the hard drive.
As luck would have it, the MacBook Air hard drive and the mail-in hard drive just happened to be the exact same model (hard drive and PCB). So, while hoping the PCB was in fact the problem, I swapped the original PCB for the donor PCB. It worked! There was no more clicking and I was able to recover 100% of the data back to my client.
September 26, 2010 - Western Digital MyBook RAID Mess
AES dropped off two Western Digital 4tb MyBook hard drives which were RAIDed together (using Mac's Disk Utility) and no longer mounting. They contained all the important day-to-day data the company's more than 100 employees needed to work.
One hard drive seemed okay (it appeared in Disk Utility as a RAID slice), but the other didn't show up at all. To make matter's worse, each 4tb hard drive was in reality two 2tb hard drives, stripe-RAIDed internally in the MyBook enclosure.
I discovered one hard drive in the "bad" enclosure which had firmware problems (in particular, the RBBList and a few more modules were corrupt). Luckily, since all the hard drives were almost identical, I was able to save the RBBList from one of the "donors" and upload it onto the problem hard drive. This allowed the hard drive to spin up correctly and become "ready."
The hard drive was moved to a DeepSpar Disk Imager (after mapping the heads of the hard drive) and cloned for about 20 hours. About .01% of the hard drive was too damaged to recover -- mostly in the first 1% of the hard drive -- probably due to media damage on the platter. After the clone was complete, I moved the cloned hard drive back into the MyBook enclosure, and powered on both hard drives to see if the RAID was recognized.
Two MyBook 4tb Hard Drives, RAIDed (with fan on top)
It wasn't. At least not by Disk Utility. Luckily my data recovery software was able to easily recreate the RAID and find all the missing files (with folder structure still in tact). I immediately began moving the data onto an external hard drive.
Just 4% into the recovery, things slowed to a halt. After listening closely to the 4 hard drives, I heard a faint clicking in the supposedly "good" enclosure. I removed and tested the two hard drives, it was clear that one also had bad sectors. 10 hours later, after imaging the second "bad" hard drive, I had a 100% clone.
Once again I hooked the hard drives up to my data recovery software and restarted the recovery process. 60 hours later everything was successfully recovered and moved onto a new external hard drive! Over 99.9% of the missing data was recovered and the employees at AES could get back to work.
September 25, 2010 - Completely Dead Hitachi Hard Drive
A new client setup an online appointment for data recovery and left this in the notes section: "Originally, platters would not spin. Swapped logic board, platters will spin but HD not recognized by BIOS." This had me a little worried. If everything was done correctly with the PCB swap, and the hard drive was not recognized, it could mean internal damage. However, since I know that PCB swapping is usually NOT an easy process of simply swapping boards, I had a feeling I'd get lucky.
The hard drive was indeed dead upon initial inspection, and the logic board (PCB) was to blame. However, when he dropped it off, I asked if the PCB he originally swapped was an identical donor. It wasn't. This meant that his previous PCB swap couldn't have worked.
Luckily, I already had an identical PCB donor in stock. However, with most modern hard drives, simply swapping the PCB in this case wouldn't work. I also needed to move the ROM chip from the old/dead PCB to the donor.
Moving ROM Chip
After swapping PCBs and ROM chips, the hard drive spun up and was recognized as expected. There were no other errors or bad sectors on the hard drive, so I was able to immediately start moving my client's data to his external hard drive. All the data was recovered and ready in just 5 hours of dropping off!
September 16, 2010 - Ran over PowerBook G4
Today I got this PowerBook which was accidentally run over by a car! The whole computer was crushed, bent, cracked -- completely broken:
Ran Over PowerBook #1
Ran Over PowerBook #2
The hard drive itself, once removed, would not mount on a Mac. I could tell just by listening to the hard drive that it had internal media damage -- the hard drive was much louder than it should be and would click when reaching bad spots.
Next step in this case was to hook the hard drive up to my Deepspar Data Recovery Imager. After a few hours of imaging the hard drive I had successfully cloned more than 99.9% of the data on the bad drive to one of my good hard drives.
I then hooked and scanned the cloned hard drive using one of my data recovery rigs which revealed all the files and folders needing to be recovered. I quickly moved all the data to a client supplied external hard drive.
Even though the PowerBook was a total loss -- my client's data was back in her hands, safe and sound!
August 14, 2010 - Beatles' DJ Needs Help!
Chris Carter, host of Breakfast with the Beatles on KLOS, called today to ask about data recovery. One of his first questions was, "My hard drive is clicking, do you have a clean room?" I explained that I don't, but that "clicking" doesn't always mean a clean room is necessary for data recovery--in fact, only about 20% of the hard drives I get actually need a clean room. In addition, I told him that he'd only pay the $300 flat fee if I could get back data he wanted. Chris decided to drop off his hard drive a couple hours later.
Chris' Western Digital hard drive was definitely suffering from the "click of death." However, I managed to overcome the "clicks" and mount the hard drive using special data recovery hardware. After the hard drive was fully spinning and initialized, I recovered all of the important data first, then went back and recovered everything else off the hard drive.
Since Chris was on a PC and wanted his computer fixed, I referred him to Garrett Brown with The Tech Lab Company who migrated the recovered data to a new internal hard drive with a fresh Windows installation. If you listened to the August 15th show, you heard him mention Garrett and me --Success!
August 11, 2010 - Miami Beach Mail-in
Two days ago I received this e-mail from Denis Doric of Miami's Doric Corporation:
|"I need data recovery on a hard-drive, I have tried Best Buy and Staples, they can't do it. I have also mailed it into a company and they said it would have to be taken into a clean room. Do you deal with cases like this?"|
I told Denis that I'd be happy to try and if I couldn't recover the data, I could refer him to a reasonably priced clean room. He agreed and shipped his hard drive the next day.
I got the hard drive early today and began working on it immediately. It soon became evident that several areas of the hard drive had severe media damage (causing the hard drive to click). Using a data recovery hardware imager, I was able to disable the head on the platter containing the problem sectors. This allowed me to copy all the good data off his hard drive quickly. Then I worked on recovering the damaged sectors on the problem platter by using special read methods on the hard drive.
After about 5-6 hours, I'd successfully cloned 99% of his damaged hard drive to one of my hard drives. The file system remained damaged and required several more hours of scanning using data recovery software. By the end of the night, all the important data was saved. It was sent back to Miami the next day on a brand new portable external hard drive. Success!
July 20, 2010 - MacBook Air Takes a Dip
I got a call from a Mac repair client in need of data recovery when his son accidentally dropped his MacBook Air in the pool (the same MacBook Air I'd tuned-up just a few months back). After taking his computer to a local Mac shop who said the data was irrecoverable, he called me to schedule a drop-off.
The MacBook Air looked bad! Clearly it had been completely submerged in the pool: watermarks covered the entire case. The logic board inside the housing was a mess, the computer was a totally ruined, but the hard drive actually looked pretty good.
The MacBook Air's 1.8" hard drive uses a rare "ZIF" interface. Luckily, I had an adapter for it, and, after cleaning the PCB, I hooked it up to one of my data recovery hardware tools. After mapping the heads, and performing some preliminary tasks to ensure a successful recovery, I began cloning the bad hard drive to one of my good ones. After a few hours I had an exact clone of the bad hard drive.
The cloned hard drive still suffered from file system damage -- but after a quick scan using data recovery software, all of the data was found with filenames and folder structure still intact. The recovered data was moved to an external hard drive, ready to be migrated to a new Mac. Success!
Click here to find out your chances for a successful $300 Data Recovery.