There are a few reasons why you may need to recover your data from a computer. You may have gotten a new machine and want your data migrated. Your PC may have been corrupted to the point it was necessary to re-install the operating system. Your hard drive may be going bad.
With every computer we repair, T-Tech makes a complete of the hard drive before we start and after we finish. The main reason we do this is to help you if there is a problem down the road that would require data recovery. In the case of massive damage, like what happens when a laptop gets dropped, this backup may be the only option to get back a portion of the lost data.
When data is recovered, it is also scanned with three different antivirus programs, to ensure that what goes back on is clean. The last thing we want is to cause an infection on a new machine.
Photos, music, documents, videos, and favorites are recovered. In addition, data that belongs to certain software, such as Quickbooks, can be recovered, if we know to look for it.
What’s not recovered?
Usually, programs cannot be recovered. There are a couple of reasons for this. One, we don’t have the software and we’re not willing to risk grabbing a copy from just anywhere on the net. Illegal software downloads and infected software abound in the wild. Two, most license keys can’t be recovered. We have software that can recover some keys and, if the system will boot, some programs will allow you to get the keys directly through the user interface. In most cases, however, the keys cannot be recovered.
If, however, you have the software and the license keys, we can re-install the software for you.
Backup and Restore vs Cloning
There are a couple of ways to pull data so that it can be recovered. The first way is with a backup utility. The second method is a disk clone.
With a backup utility, only the actual data is pulled from the drive. This is a complete image of the hard drive, operating system and all, but only the actual readable data. If there is damage to the hard drive, this method will not make a reliable image. While it is faster and backs up all the data on an undamaged drive, it is not always feasible.
If a disk has to be cloned, a temporary donor drive is required. The cloning software copies every sector over to the new drive, piece by piece. Every sector is copied, even blank sectors. By doing things this way, cloning utilities can sometimes get data from even damaged sectors, while preventing further damage to an already damaged drive that can be caused by randomly reading the drive to get all the pieces of files, one file at a time.
Hard drives don’t store things the same way you might store things in your cupboards. In your cupboard, I imagine all your spices are in one place. Your cinnamon is in one jar. Your lemon pepper is one jar, which is probably close to the can of black pepper, which I imagine would be stored close to the salt. In a hard drive, parts of the cinnamon would be stored in different cupboards, with directions to tell you where to find the rest, and all the pieces must be pieced together in order to be able to make your cinnamon toast. The bits are fit into the cupboard wherever there is room between other things (a piece of your cinnamon might even be in the meat and cheese drawer of the fridge, for example), not necessarily where they would make sense, and not necessarily all together. Searching the hard drive for all the pieces of the jar of cinnamon causes the drive to read over and over again to find all the pieces. This can stress an already-damaged drive, where it wouldn’t really bother a healthy drive. This is why cloning takes things one sector at a time, rather than just grabbing the relevant data and piecing it all back together.
A simple data transfer costs $97.50. This includes pulling the data, extracting it from the backup image, scanning for viruses, removing harmful downloads so you don’t end up infecting yourself by accident, and putting it all back into your user profile on the new machine, or after the install, so it’s pretty much right where you’d expect to find it.
Cloning, on the rare occasion that it’s needed, costs $150. That includes making the clone of the drive, which can be an extremely lengthy process, then everything included in the data transfer.
Both of these services can be combined with other services, such as a hard drive replacement or new PC setup, with a substantial discount.