Review of Data Recovery Services for Apple Macintosh Hard Drives
My wife and I had the unfortunate experience of having her Mac mini’s hard drive crash. She had everything on her hard drive — family photos, all of her graphic design work, fonts, important emails, etc… — but no backup! I’ve experienced two catastrophic data failures before, and that taught me to backup my MacBook Pro every 1-2 weeks. I assumed that my wife was backing up her important files to DVD or to one of our external USB 2.0 drives. However, that wasn’t the case.
Since she didn’t have any backups of her data, she was looking at a complete loss. I quickly got online and started researching data recovery services. The hard part of my search was finding a data recovery service that supported recovery for Macs.
Ninety percent of the companies I found didn’t look trustworthy or legitimate. I narrowed it down to about three companies, and decided to go with a company that had a low flat fee. They looked legitimate, and they said they could restore my data from a Mac hard drive, and then copy it to a new one.
You Get What You Pay For
Going with the cheaper company ended up being a disaster and a waste of time and money. They went well past their turn around time before contacting me — which amounted to almost two weeks of waiting. I eventually was able to talk to their tech who told me that they were able to recover a ton of information. He went over many files and folders that he said he had recovered and it sounded like everything had been restored. However, as I learned later, that wasn’t the case at all.
I should have known that something was awry when I was told that they couldn’t format my drive with a Macintosh format. Instead, I had to choose between FAT32 or NTFS. They also said that they couldn’t restore the full directory structure of my old hard drive. At the time, I just assumed that was normal.
Days later I got my hard drive back. To my unpleasant surprise, 80 percent of the files were corrupt and the actual content of the files was empty. They were just placeholder files that had the correct file name, but nothing else — basically aliases without a target. In fact, the only thing that was correctly recovered were her photos. That entire experience cost us about $700.
DriveSavers to the Rescue
We were desperate to recover her information, so we decided to go with a company that had been recommended to us at the beginning of our search. We were told by a trusted Apple Certified technician to use DriveSavers, but we were reluctant to use them because they’re very expensive. My wife and I decided to bite the bullet and let them take a stab at her hard drive.
Working with DriveSavers was a completely different experience from the other company. During my initial discussion with their salesperson, she asked me who I had used before. For a brief second I couldn’t remember, and then she said the name of the first company and I was astonished. I asked her how she knew, and she said that they get a lot of customers from people who have used them first, and that they actually refer their clients to them if they can’t successfully recover the data. I felt like a dope, but at least I wasn’t alone in my experience.
DriveSavers got to my hard drive within their specified turn around time, and they were able to recover 100 percent of my hard drive’s data. Not only that, they were able to format my hard drive for my Macintosh, and were able to retain the exact directory structure as my old hard drive. Simply put, they were absolutely amazing!
The service was expensive, but in this case, you get what you pay for. I ended up paying about $2,000 to restore my almost full 80GB 2.5 hard drive, but everything I got from them was absolutely perfect.
If you ever have a hard drive, whether it be a Macintosh or Windows formatted hard drive, I highly recommend using DriveSavers for your data recovery. I told them that I was going to write about my experience online, so they gave me a special code that will give anyone 10 percent off their services. All you have to do is call them at (800) 440-1904 give the salesperson this code DS16990 and they’ll give you a 10 percent discount off your order.