My data is gone. What should I do?
When your data disappears, the most important thing is not what you
do, but what you don’t do. Data recovery requires special
precautions to avoid making things worse. Without these precautions,
almost anything you try will decrease the chance of a successful
recovery. If your data is important, we suggest you turn your
computer off and get help as soon as possible.
How should I choose a recovery service?
If the information on your drive is critical, irreplaceable, or
otherwise of high value to you, you should plan to spend a
commensurate amount with a
fully equipped hard drive repair
For our typical client, recovering lost data is a matter of
convenience. Our on-site service and relatively low price make
it practical to try recovering data that you'd otherwise recreate or
What kinds of systems can you work with?
We work with personal computers (desktop or laptops) running any
form of DOS or Windows. We do not work with Macintosh or Linux
What kinds of problems can you solve?
We can often recover files from system malfunction, accidental
deletion, virus/trojan/worm activity, partition table, MBR, or other hard drive errors, even
accidental formats. Data recovery is at best a chancy proposition,
though, and results will depend on many factors. Data may be
fully, partially, or not at all recoverable, depending on the type
of failure, general condition of the equipment, type of data, and
the sequence of events following the loss.
Can you recover lost software?
Software recovery is impractical at best. We focus on recovering
data files, which, unlike software, cannot be replaced.
My computer is dead. It won’t even start
up. Can you help?
Maybe. Computers may fail to start for many reasons. As long as the
hard drive itself has not been physically damaged, we may be able to
retrieve your data from it.
My computer was struck by lightning. Can
Probably not. Lightning and other power surges usually burn out the
drive electronics, rendering its contents beyond the reach of our
How can I tell whether data can be
Your computer ordinarily makes a variety of sounds when it’s
running. The loudest of these is usually the cooling fans. The hard
drive makes a higher pitched whirring sound, and if you can hear
this, chances are good for recovery.
Our tools require a working hard drive. In addition to the sound of
a spinning hard drive, other clues would be a flashing activity
light, or a prompt of any sort from the c drive. Although the
absence of these things doesn’t necessarily mean the situation’s
hopeless, their presence is a good sign. Our recovery
questionnaire has more extensive information.
A hard drive that shows no sign of life or makes knocking sounds
will likely need more extensive help than we can provide. The
data may be recoverable by a facility like OnTrack Data.
More about Ontrack...
How do I know you won’t just make things
Our procedures are non-intrusive, and we take precautions to ensure
that our attempts at recovery won’t make matters worse. We’ll
normally begin by making an exact copy of your existing drive, and
work with the copy- not the drive itself.
This ensures that, should our efforts not be successful, you'll
still have the option of taking more extensive measures with the
data on your drive exactly as we found it.
It's important to understand, however, that your data is
inaccessible because something is already wrong with your system,
and it may have begun a process of total failure. We'll do
nothing to your system that we'd not do with our own, but of
necessity disclaim all liability for any consequence arising from
our attempt to help.
Why do you charge a mileage rate just to
examine my system?
Based on your answers to our questionnaire, we'll try to determine
our chances for success. We don't make a trip unless we
believe we can help, but we can't really tell until we get there.
The mileage rate we charge is our normal minimum for on site service
calls, and offsets our out-of-pocket traveling expense. If we
cannot recover data from your system, there's no charge for our time
Can’t I just mail you my hard drive?
When we come to you, there’s no question about what we did or didn’t
do. We prefer to keep it that way.
Do you offer any guarantee?
It's important to understand that your data is inaccessible because
something is already wrong with your system, and it may have begun a
process of total failure. We'll do nothing to your system that
we'd not do with our own, but of necessity disclaim all liability
for any consequence arising from our attempt to help.
We'll do our best
to get your data back, but if there's no recovery, there's no charge
How long does it take?
Depending on the nature of the problem, we may be able to retrieve
your data on the spot. More commonly, we’ll pull a copy of your
drive, take that back to our shop, and get results as quickly as we
can- sometimes within a day or two, seldom longer than a week.
How much does it cost?
There’s a standard mileage rate of fifty cents per mile from our
location in southwest Duval County. If the recovery is successful,
we’ll charge an additional $250, which includes the return and
review of your data.
How do I get started?
If you've not
already done so, please review our FAQ.
Then, for a no-cost
assessment, please use our