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  • MMi at Macworld: DriveSavers Recovers Data from Wrecked Macs


    I’ve seen a wrecked Mac or two in my life, but never have I seen anything as badly damaged as the Mac’s on display at the DriveSavers booth. If you’ve ever had a hard drive crash, you know how frustrating it can be to try to recover the data. DriveSavers can come to the rescue even if your drive is DOA. They are the “only certified secure data recovery service in the industry.”

    The main attractions at the DriveSavers booth this year was a couple of damaged Macs. They had a MacBook Pro that survived the massive earthquake in Haiti and another iMac that had fire, smoke and water damage after it had been badly burned. Seeing the iMac in person, it’s hard to believe that it was ever an actual iMac and not a wax version of one. DriveSavers was able to recover all of the data from both of these ruined Macs.



    DriveSavers also had a badly damaged iPhone. They claim to be the first data recovery service to actually recover data from a broken iPhone. Broken bits and pieces of hard drives and solid state drives were also available for people to play with. It was sort of weird touching the metal platters on a broken hard drive.



    Their booth had an entire wall of autographed celebrity pictures thanking them for recovering their data. They’ve helped recover data for many production companies and celebrities including Harrison Ford, The Simpson, Family Guy, ILM, and The Rolling Stones. One of the many DriveSavers rescue stories is when they successfully recovered 12 unproduced Simpsons scripts including the sixth season finale, “Who Shot Mr. Burns.”



    Prices for data recovery can range from a few hundred dollars to a few thousand, depending on the size of the drive and the level of damage. They also offer a rush service and free FedEx shipping. There is no charge if for some reason your hard drive is beyond hope.

    If you’ve lost critical data and no one else can help, maybe you can hire the DriveSavers team.

    Source: DriveSavers
    This article was originally published in forum thread: MMi at Macworld: DriveSavers Recovers Data from Wrecked Macs started by Wiley John Wright View original post
    Comments 13 Comments
    1. alexevo's Avatar
      alexevo -
      It is good to see that they can recover data from flash memory as well. I would like to know though what % of people don't back up their data once but preferrably twice and keep in a safe location in case this kind of stuff happens.

      Much cheaper than data recovery but if you're the kind of person that doesn't have the ability to create backups fast enough when critical data comes in then you probably have the money to have the data recovered. So I guess it's a win-win.
    1. CynicalDriver's Avatar
      CynicalDriver -
      Quote Originally Posted by Wiley John Wright View Post
      It was sort of weird touching the metal platters on a broken hard drive.
      If you ever have a hard-drive about ready to die... Get the data off, then take it completely apart.

      The discs make great paper-weights.
      The magnets are the best fridge-mags ever.
      The many; chips, resistors, transistors, etc., could come in very handy if you buy an identical replacement drive (back-up parts.)

      Plus it's quite fun to tear them down. I have fixed a couple drives, but once you have to do anything with the discs or reader arm, it's gone for good... Unless you have a lab, lol.

      Back on topic: the service could be useful if a fire destroys my home, I'll have to remember them. Thanks.

      Sent from my iPhone using ModMyi
    1. djrbx's Avatar
      djrbx -
      As much as I see the need for these types of services, I make multiple back ups of my data. One on a spare hard drive connected to the network and on another spare drive that I keep at the office. I also go and burn all my backed up data on Rewriteable DVDs. If I end up loosing data, it's probably data I could easily replace. But then again, these services are aimed for those people who don't not know the meaning of backing up. Take the script writers for the simpsons for instance, they are probably your typical users who use the computer to type up scripts, browse the web, and maybe watch a show / movie now and then but don't know the first thing to do if their computer crashes. These types of users are what the company is banking on.
    1. dennder's Avatar
      dennder -
      Well, i have spent some time repairing damaged HDD's (even platter replacement jobs).

      Picture one, MacBook Pro. Anyone noticed, that the side where the HDD is located is undamaged? What a hardcore HDD rescue... rofl... Don't believe me? Goto ifixit for teardown pictures.

      Picture two, iMac, this one is the 24" model. Mid'07, mb Mid'08. Anyone tore those apart? Then you know, that HDD is located exactly in the middle of the chassis, thus display in the front, cover in back, and all other components around serve as shielding. Wont even wonder, if that HDD managed to boot straight away. And the fact that they did rescue the data means, that platters of hdd were not overheated (demagnetized).

      Picture three, iphone. Same deal as iMac. Data is located on a flash chip, my silicon-god, do you need display, battery or anything else working in order to rescue data? No you don't. And their statement about data rescue... i rescued mine data from iphone 2g more than a year ago, thus, ARE they the first?

      Not impressed. At all. Same marketing crap as anywhere else.
      My 2 cents.
    1. Jcbzr's Avatar
      Jcbzr -
      It's great they can recover data in cases of emergencies! Kudos!
    1. Melech518's Avatar
      Melech518 -
      Drive Savers is a great company. They have been around for a while and we are an authorized re-seller. One thing that people should know is that drive savers specializes in invasive drive saving, not the non-invasive type of recovery. What that means is that if your hard drive is failing or you see that dreaded "?" folder on your mac, that data can be recovered the majority of the time from a local company, we do this daily for customers. However, if a drive is physically broken, ie. You hear grinding, clicking, or other loud noises, then you need to send your drive to drive savers. What the author of this article failed to mention is the pricing and how the process works. Once you mail in your hard drive to Drive Savers, they will give you a free quote and tell you what they can and can not recover along with a price quote on the recovery. The cheapest we have ever seen a quote for is $700 and the highest was several thousand dollars. They actually open up drives in a multimillion dollar clean room and read the files off the drive plates. This is why the cost can be so high.

      So yes, Drive Savers is a great company, but they should be used as a last resort. If you can bring your computer to a Doctor for the price of a small check-up, why resort to Surgery that costs thousands of dollars.
    1. luvmytj's Avatar
      luvmytj -
      My thoughts exactly. In fact I would of been embarrassed to show the first pic. The drive side is completely untouched. I could cut a laptop in half with the jaws of life & the HD would be fine. Laughable at best.

      Quote Originally Posted by dennder View Post
      Well, i have spent some time repairing damaged HDD's (even platter replacement jobs).

      Picture one, MacBook Pro. Anyone noticed, that the side where the HDD is located is undamaged? What a hardcore HDD rescue... rofl... Don't believe me? Goto ifixit for teardown pictures.

      Picture two, iMac, this one is the 24" model. Mid'07, mb Mid'08. Anyone tore those apart? Then you know, that HDD is located exactly in the middle of the chassis, thus display in the front, cover in back, and all other components around serve as shielding. Wont even wonder, if that HDD managed to boot straight away. And the fact that they did rescue the data means, that platters of hdd were not overheated (demagnetized).

      Picture three, iphone. Same deal as iMac. Data is located on a flash chip, my silicon-god, do you need display, battery or anything else working in order to rescue data? No you don't. And their statement about data rescue... i rescued mine data from iphone 2g more than a year ago, thus, ARE they the first?

      Not impressed. At all. Same marketing crap as anywhere else.
      My 2 cents.
    1. alexevo's Avatar
      alexevo -
      Quote Originally Posted by dennder View Post
      Well, i have spent some time repairing damaged HDD's (even platter replacement jobs).

      Picture one, MacBook Pro. Anyone noticed, that the side where the HDD is located is undamaged? What a hardcore HDD rescue... rofl... Don't believe me? Goto ifixit for teardown pictures.

      Picture two, iMac, this one is the 24" model. Mid'07, mb Mid'08. Anyone tore those apart? Then you know, that HDD is located exactly in the middle of the chassis, thus display in the front, cover in back, and all other components around serve as shielding. Wont even wonder, if that HDD managed to boot straight away. And the fact that they did rescue the data means, that platters of hdd were not overheated (demagnetized).

      Picture three, iphone. Same deal as iMac. Data is located on a flash chip, my silicon-god, do you need display, battery or anything else working in order to rescue data? No you don't. And their statement about data rescue... i rescued mine data from iphone 2g more than a year ago, thus, ARE they the first?

      Not impressed. At all. Same marketing crap as anywhere else.
      My 2 cents.
      Actually according to ifixit the hdd IS located in the lower right corner where it is damaged. If you flip it over and take the lower case off then you remove the hdd from the lower left corner. The battery is located in the mostly undamaged section. Again, I just looked at ifixit.

      I don't own an iMac so I can't really comment on picture 2 but we would need to see the back to see how much damage was really sustained.

      As for the iPhone, did you actually perform a real data recovery or did you just plug your phone in even though the screen wouldn't turn on and ssh into it or create a backup then restore to another iPhone through iTunes? Or perhaps you just put your undamaged board in a donor phone and get your data that way?
    1. iphone?3gs's Avatar
      iphone?3gs -
      Quote Originally Posted by dennder View Post
      Well, i have spent some time repairing damaged HDD's (even platter replacement jobs).

      Picture one, MacBook Pro. Anyone noticed, that the side where the HDD is located is undamaged? What a hardcore HDD rescue... rofl... Don't believe me? Goto ifixit for teardown pictures.

      Picture two, iMac, this one is the 24" model. Mid'07, mb Mid'08. Anyone tore those apart? Then you know, that HDD is located exactly in the middle of the chassis, thus display in the front, cover in back, and all other components around serve as shielding. Wont even wonder, if that HDD managed to boot straight away. And the fact that they did rescue the data means, that platters of hdd were not overheated (demagnetized).

      Picture three, iphone. Same deal as iMac. Data is located on a flash chip, my silicon-god, do you need display, battery or anything else working in order to rescue data? No you don't. And their statement about data rescue... i rescued mine data from iphone 2g more than a year ago, thus, ARE they the first?

      Not impressed. At all. Same marketing crap as anywhere else.
      My 2 cents.
      Umm....Yeah the Macbook Pro Harddrive is located next to the Optical Drive on the Right Side.... Where it is damaged....

      And in the iMac it is located right behind the display..... With that damage it dosent have much chance...
    1. Sasukekun77's Avatar
      Sasukekun77 -
      The surprising news to me and anyone that agrees with me... Not to be mean but MacBookPro in Haiti Now I've seen everything


      Sent from my iPod touch using ModMyi
    1. alexevo's Avatar
      alexevo -
      Quote Originally Posted by Sasukekun77 View Post
      The surprising news to me and anyone that agrees with me... Not to be mean but MacBookPro in Haiti Now I've seen everything
      Haha. I didn't want to sound insensitive but I was thinking the same thing. Only conclusion I could come to was that it probably belonged to a journalist or someone like that doing work in Haiti at the time.
    1. EskimoRuler's Avatar
      EskimoRuler -
      Quote Originally Posted by Sasukekun77 View Post
      The surprising news to me and anyone that agrees with me... Not to be mean but MacBookPro in Haiti Now I've seen everything


      Sent from my iPod touch using ModMyi
      most likely not from one of the local people

      but they show a good display and make it seem really cool but like other are saying, how damaged are these hard drives from these computers
    1. bipsa's Avatar
      bipsa -
      I used mac data recovery to recover inaccessible, Unmountable files when the DMG file backup I created with DD failed to mount for access. It helps recover lost and inaccessible data in all cases of corruption, loss, deletion, and inaccessibility and drive formatting ensuring efficient and complete recovery of files.