Yes! Yes, we can recover data from your 2013 Macbook Air!!

Why is the 2013/14 Macbook Air Special?

Apple is using a new custom connector for the SSD’s in the latest version of the MacBook Airs and MacPro desktop units.  This connector as a 12/18 pin configuration and the physical size is slightly different than previous versions.  Until recently no one, except for Apple, had the ability to read these SSD’s outside of their original devices.

Working with our suppliers in China we have identified an adapter board that will allow us to work with these new SSD’s.  With this adapter we can use our standard collection of data recovery techniques and software to minimize the cost of recovery over traditional SSD techniques of removing NAND chips or micro controllers.

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About Data Recovery Link:

We are always expanding our capabilities in the data recovery field with the addition of hardware, software and new techniques.  Recovering your data is our only goal! We are your go to data recovery in Denver. Contact us for a recovey quote today.

 

Press Release – Data Recovery Link offering discounted recoveries for victims of tornado in Moore, Oklahoma

Hope for damaged Computers Data Recovery Link Offers Data Recovery for Victims of recent tornado in Moore, Oklahoma.

oklahoma tornadoDENVER, CO. (May 21, 2013) – Data Recovery Link, Inc. (DRL), is offering data recovery service for computers and storage devices that suffered physical damage from the recent tornado in Moore, Oklahoma.

At DRL, we’ve helped many of our customers retrieve critical information lost to devastation from fires, hurricanes, flooding and physical destruction. Even if a computer has been crushed by debris, we can still recover its’ data. Data lost in this type of devastation only adds insult to already inflicted injury.  If we can help bring back some portion of an individuals belongings or a companies business records, we are honored to provide that service.

DRL is offering to heavily discount its data recovery service to help victims of the tornado who have lost their critical files and backups. We are reducing our service fees by 50%.  The discount will remain in effect until June 30th, 2013.

The company operates a Cleanroom where specially suited technicians disassemble and reassemble damaged hard drives. Combined with a years of experience and proprietary tools, DRL achieves industry leading success rates.

DRL recommends limited testing of hard drives that have been affected by debris, rain and excessive dirt.  If you aren’t able to get normal response from your hard drive in the 1st few minutes of examination, stop! Further testing can render the drive unrecoverable. Contact our expert recovery technicians for advice on how to proceed.

About Data Recovery Link, Inc. Established in 1998, Data Recovery Link, Inc. remains a leader in the data recovery industry. Using industry leading technology as well as proprietary hardware and software our skilled technicians have a 99% success rate for data recoveries on both hard drives and RAID array units. DRL has recovered data from hard drives and other storage media that have been damaged, burnt, crushed, and drowned. The company recovers data in as little as 24 hours from all operating systems and storage media including: hard drives, disk arrays, floppies, CD-ROM, DVD, tape, removable cartridges and digital camera media. DriveSavers is factory-authorized by all hard drive manufacturers to open sealed drive mechanisms without voiding the original warranty. For more information, visit www.datarecoverylink.com.

Media Contact: Randy Smail Phone: (800) 625-6451 Email: info@datarecoverylink.com

How old is your backup hard drive?

You backup your computer monthly, weekly or even daily, and you actually perform a test restoration once a quarter.  You are “dialed in” on your backup procedures!!!  One question – how old is the hard drive you are backing up your data onto?  We often see customers coming in for data recovery that thought they had a good backup.  They have suffered a drive failure on their computer or server and have come to learn that their backup drive has not been working for the last 2 weeks or even months.

 

It goes without saying that hard drives have a limited lifespan, but there is some question about just how long it is.  Manufacturers rate their drives in MTBF.  That is NOT an acronym you might use while texting.  MTBF is defined as Mean Time Between Failure.  That is a measurement of the Mean time that a random sample of hard drives might fail. MTBF for Enterprise level drives, those intended for use in scenarios where a failed drive is unforgivable, can be over 1 Million hours.  Consumer level drives have a MTBF of 500,000 hours.  MTBF can’t to tell you how long your drive will last, it is more of an indication of how likely a drive is to fail prematurely.

 

ct genie posterWe see drives of all ages in our lab for recovery. So, I can tell you that all drives regardless of their MTBF will suffer failures.  We have seen hard drives fail within a week of being pulled out of the anti-static bag.  We have also seen drives still running after 10 or more years.  What does that mean for your back up drive?  It means that you just never know when the drive might fail. Only a hard drive genie would be able to accurately predict the failure and warn you to replace a drive.  

 

The best way to protect the data that you are so diligently backing up is to pro-actively replace your backup drive on a regular schedule.  Hard drives, both internal and external models, have become very inexpensive over the last 5 years.  For less than $150 you can get a quality drive that will back up all the data you could store on your home or work computer. We have always recommended to our data recovery customers that they replace their backup drives every 3-4 years at the very least!  The best way to make sure that happens is a very low-tech solution… take a Sharpie and write the date the drive was placed into service on the case of the drive.  If you insist on being more high tech, then set a reminder in your calendar application of choice for a year or two down the road.

 

If you find yourself with both your main drive and your backup drive having failed give us a call.  We can evaluate both drives to determine the best location from which to recover your data.

Data Recovery of Encrypted Western Digital drives.

Did you know that the majority of external hard drives that you can buy today, manufactured by Western Digital (WD), have hardware encryption built into the enclosure?  Seems like a good idea right?  It is a great selling point for Western Digital, right??

We are all for protecting your data. Keeping it safe from those who might use the picture of you dressed up like Little Orphan Annie from last Halloween as blackmail is important.  little orphan annie

But, when data is encrypted at a hardware level you have very little control over your data should something go wrong.  And with they way WD has implemented this encryption, your data isn’t really all that safe just because it is encypted.  Consider this, the data on the drive is only protected if the hard drive is removed from its enclosure.  The enclosure itself has the encryption chip.  So, if your hard drive is stolen from your office anyone could plug it into a computer and see your data.  Not much protection, eh?

Encryption works by running your data through an algorithym that scrambles the data based on an encryption key.  So, saving the word “CAT” in an encrypted format might look like “$r,”.  If you lose that key, there is NO way to decrypt that data.  What happens if your encryption key is actually stored on a computer chip and determined by WD, then that chip stops working.  Cancel Christmas!!data encryption

 

We have recovered data from many, many WD drives that other firms and IT groups have determined that the data is lost because of this encryption.  If you have a WD external drive do not ever throw away the enclosure – it is the key to a successful recovery.

SQL Databases – Hard drive killers!!

Just happened again today… A client brought us a hard drive for data recovery approximately 2.5 years old, they have been using it in their server to host a SQL database.  The server had been experiencing slower than usual performance in recent weeks and then 2 days ago the drive was not available to the server.

SQL, Structured Query Language, is a database programming language used to manage information in a relational database.  It is a widely used application that manages tens of thousands of websites across the world, customer relationship applications, and many other types of applications.  SQL databases are the underpinning of more applications than you might realize.

Database files are almost always contained in contiguous space on a hard drive, that is to say the entire file is one location.  Just like the carpet in your hallway, the sectors of a hard drive “wear away” in areas of more frequent traffic.  So, if you are constantly reading and writing information to your SQL database (or really, any kind of database) you are wearing down the ability of your hard drive to work in that area.  All this traffic can ultimately cause the hard drive to fail.  damaged platterThe real question is, can we recover your database?  It all depends on the severity of the failure.  If we get the drive before it is too bad we can usually get a good working copy of your database.  But, if the drive is left to run too long, the read/write heads can actually wear a concentric groove into the platter where your database used to live.

 

As I mentioned, this phenomenon is not limited to just SQL databases.  We just happen to see more drives with SQL databases than any other type of database. But, if you are using any kind of database or an application that uses an underlying database you could be at risk too.

 

The best way to prevent this type of hard drive failure from happening is to proactively replace your hard drive(s) on a regular basis, especially those containing databases.  If you can’t replace your hard drive proactively, using a database “aware” backup application will at least prevent you from losing too much work.

Recovering Bootcamp Volumes – It can be done!

We all have done it.  Install software then lose, misplace or otherwise not have access to the installation files when you need them.  Most Windows applications and some Mac applications can not usually be recovered from a damaged drive and then transferred to a new hard drive.  Even if it was possible, it is always better to reinstall applications from the original media.

 

We just recently had a client in this predicament.  Fortunately, his Windows operating system and applications were contained in a Bootcamp volume.  For those of you unfamiliar with Bootcamp – it is one of the technologies that allows you run Windows or Linux operating systems on a Macintosh computer.bootcamp

 

After getting a successful clone of the failed drive, we were able to restore the Bootcamp volume onto a new partition of his new healthy hard drive.  A little editing of the Boot.ini file and he was up and running with Windows and his applications just as they were prior to the hard drive failure.

 

So it just goes to show, you never know what is possible until you ask.  Ask us about your data recovery situation, you might be surprised by what we can tell you.

 

How much does data recovery cost?

The most frequently asked question we get is “How much will it cost to have my data recovered?”  And then, sometimes, we’ll get the comment, “… but, my computer is not even worth that much!”

The answer to that objection is a great way to evaluate what kind of company you are dealing with.  It is simplistic and rude to point out that the recovery is going to cost more than you probably paid for the computer.  Helping a customer remember that the computer was just the tool they used to create important business files, a place to store irreplaceable pictures of family and friends, and communicate with places across the world is the message that accompanies all of our recovery estimates.

data recovery repair

As in all industries, the cost of any service is dependant on the tools necessary to provide that service and the expertise to use those tools efficiently.  We tailor our recovery pricing to match the set of tools required to overcome the particular type of failure your drive(s) has experienced. No one should have to pay to rebuild the Golden Gate bridge if you can just jump across the stream.  Having a quality set of tools does require a significant investment.  The tool set for data recovery is vast and wide, it has to be to cover the various types of failures hard drives tend to suffer.

 

So how much does data recovery cost?  It depends on which company you are dealing with: Company A – that has a flat rate $299 recovery, Company B – that has a flat rate $1499 recovery, or Company C – that will take the time to investigate the failure, and give you an honest price that reflects the amount of research, clean room time, and investment Company C will bring to solve your issue.

When do you need recovery services for your hard drive?

Your computer is down!

All your data seems to be gone…

  Is it:

  • a hardware problem 
  • an operating system problem or 
  • a hard drive problem

 

Having your computer go down is a terrifying proposition.  The first thing to do is to take a deep breathe and relax.  Rushing through your troubleshooting steps will only lead to further confusion or worse yet bigger problems.

Hardware Problem…?

Try to determine if the physical hardware of your computer has failed you.  Do you get any lights or LED’s indicating power to the box?  Can you hear any fans running?  If not, then you probably have a power supply issue and your data is most likely just fine.

Operating System Problem…?

If you have working lights and fan’s, but you are still not seeing a standard log in screen or your desktop – then you might have an operating system failure.  The operating system is the software that runs your computer.  Sometimes is can become damaged or fail to work properly.  When this happens your computer won’t behave normally and it can appear that your data is gone.  There is a small chance that your data will be effected by the operating system failure, but it is minimal.

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Hard Drive Problem…?

Another possible explanation of a machine failing to boot up normally is a hard drive failure.  If all other parts of your computer are working normally, but you see a blank grey screen or the dreaded “Blue Screen of Death (BSOD)”if might be that your hard drive has stopped communicating with your computer.

 

What can you do from here…

Depending on the type of computer you have and your proclivity to take things apart, you could pull out the hard drive and try connecting it to another computer using and external case.  If you can access your data this way, you might have a bad cable or power feed to the hard drive.

If pulling a hard drive out of your computer is not feasible or just not up your alley, then I suggest finding a reputable data recovery firm in your area.  A quality company will provide a free evaluation and estimate.  By letting a technology professional review the situation you are giving yourself the best chance of getting your data back in a timely manner.

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The ABC’s of data recovery

A – Always turn your computer off if you hear your harddrive making any kind of unusual noises; do not attempt to run your computer again as this may cause irreparable loss of data.

B – Be cautious of attempting to run any type of hard drive data recovery software; if your harddrive is experiencing a mechanical failure, this will likely hinder attempts at a successful recovery.

C – Call Data Recovery Link at 303-649-1181 as soon as possible to discuss your data recovery options. We can help you determine if your harddrive needs a professional data recovery service or if you are ok to continue running the drive.

hard drive platter

It’s bound to happen sooner or later, its the nature of all things mechanical. No matter what you do there is always a chance that your harddrive may crash; and when it does it is usually a veryinopportune time. At Data Recovery Link we have more than 20 years of industry experience. Our technicians are highly trained in most forms of software and hardware recoveries. With a success rate of over 95% and a 100% customer satisfaction guarantee, we can help you during this stressful time.

We offer a no cost evaluation for your data recovery and we will quote you a firm price so you know your cost up front. If we are not able to retrieve your data, there is no charge to you. Even if another company has tried and failed, we can often still recover your data.

 

Image: renjith krishnan / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

When Data Recovery becomes a more than you bargained for…

The surprising circumstances surrounding the hard drives brought to us never cease to amaze.  “It was stepped on…”, “I knocked it off the desk…”, “My laptop fell off the roof of the car as I drove away” are how some of the more mild stories start.

We received a drive to be recovered the other day that had very little information regarding ownership and exactly what kind of information we might find on the drive.  The customer was “surprised” to find out that the drive’s contents were encrypted (all the bits of data are scrambled to protect against theft).

We contacted our client to obtain the encryption credentials so that we could extract the data he had requested.  He was unable to provide any credentials, hmmm…??  While trying to determine which encryption solution was protecting the data (we thought that might jog his memory), we discovered a splash screen that referenced private data from a state agency could be on the drive.  Now this is getting interesting!

So we have a client with little history about his drive, unclear about what his wants, data that is encrypted, and no encryption credentials from the client.  To me that all adds up to a hard drive that was not “obtained” through standard channels.

Our next step was to contact the state agency.  They couldn’t confirm that they were missing a hard drive since it was delivered to us out of it’s laptop enclosure, but they surely wanted to review the data on it.  So, off the drive goes to this unnamed state agency.

We will have to wait and see what happens with this case.  At least I know this, data recovery is never boring.