Today I wanted to mention briefly our data recovery service. Several times recently I’ve comes across clients who have had failed machines with important information on them. Obviously I slapped their wrists for not backing the information up before taking a look to see what we could do, and typically they fall into one of three different scenarios.

For each problem, there’s a different kind of fix, but I just wanted to give you an indication of what can and can’t be done should you ever find yourself in that uncomfortable position.

Failed computer, hard drive is fine

One of the most common problems on any computer is a failed power supply. When this happens people can incorrectly assume that their data is lost forever, but we can quite often get to their information so long as the hard drive isn’t also damaged. We can usually take the drive out of the machine and recover the users information to their new machine, or put it into an external case if required.

Corrupt hard drive

Hard drives begin to fail eventually (average lifetimes for different drive manufacturers can be seen here), and unfortunately too few people know how to check their drives for errors (start Disk Utility and select your hard drive on the left hand side – you need to choose the drive and not one of the partitions on it – and then towards the bottom of the screen there’ll be a S.M.A.R.T. Status indication. If it doesn’t say Verified, get the drive checked). Most drives have self analysis (S.M.A.R.T.) built in so they know when they are beginning to have problems, but if you don’t manage that yourself, your computer can become aware of it too late. So keep a close eye on it (there are tools in the Mac App Store to put an icon in your menu bar showing the status – I recommend SMARTreporter).

Once a drive is corrupt, depending on how badly it is affected they can often still be recovered but partial data loss is a possibility. We have tools that will recover as much data as possible, but it’s essential that you get a corrupted drive to us as quickly as possible after they begin to show errors so that we can work on them before they fail completely.

Costs for data recovery on corrupted drives can vary from £50+VAT upwards depending on the work involved to recover your data (some of the tools we use can take days to work through each and every sector of your drive to rebuild your data).

Our success rate with corrupted drives is extremely good; we can’t always get everything back, but we do everything in our power to retrieve as much information from your drive as possible.

Failed hard drive

If your computer is powering up but you can hear a distinct grinding or clicking noise and , the chances are that your drive has completely failed. There is still hope though. We can send the drives off to a clean room environment where the drives are dismantled and engineers can do a similar job to our software, but the process is much more involved and lengthy. And this of course does mean that the cost for this service can increase dramatically, so it’s generally only recommended for critical data.


The bottom line is that you shouldn’t give up on your data without having it checked out by a professional. You can take steps to ensure you are protected of course, the most important of which is regular backups!

If you need any help with data recovery (or to get a back strategy in place), you can get in touch with us using the form below or through any of our contact methods (social media links at the top left, email or the contact page)

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