When a hard drive crashes and there’s no backup of critical data, what are your options? There’s really only one — and it could be costly.
You send the broken drive to a company that specializes in data recovery; here’s what happens when it gets there.
A video tour inside a data-recovery lab
It’s often said that nothing is certain but death and taxes. To that I would add hard-drive crashes. It’s especially maddening that mechanical hard drives always seem to fail at the most inopportune times. SSDs and flash drives aren’t immortal, either.
In a perfect world, a dead hard drive would be of no real concern. Our data would be backed up on other media or in the cloud. But in reality, we often fail to make timely backups, backups themselves fail, or the drive crashes just as we finish that vital report. In those cases, recovering critical data could well be difficult and expensive.
When simply kissing your work goodbye is not an option, companies such as Flashback Data (site) will attempt to recover files trapped on a broken drive — for a price ranging from hundreds to thousands of dollars. Recently, Flashback Data vice president/co-founder Russell Chozick gave me a video tour, via Skype, of the company’s Texas-based facilities. He showed me the equipment — including a cleanroom and special workstations — used to pull data off dead drives, smartphones, and other devices. (Please excuse the images — they were captures from my Skype-based tour.)
And, of course, we discussed the many issues involved with recovering lost data.
In addition to recovering digital data, Flashback Data works with law-enforcement agencies on data forensics.