View Full Version : Computer assistance needed please...

Theo Walcott
08-05-2007, 06:10 PM
So my fiancee's computer with all of our wedding invitation information just fell to the ground and basically destroyed the laptop. Went to Best Buy, and they said they'd have to send the hard drive out to Louisville to mine the data off of it.

I was wondering if you guys knew of any local computer shops that would be able to mine the data off of a laptop hard drive so that we can put it on a new external one and get that data back.


08-05-2007, 06:35 PM
Was the computer turned on when it fell?

I'm gonna take my chances of getting flamed for this, but I wouldn't trust BestBuy for anything, assuming you are referring to GeekSquad.

Getting your data back could be as simple as purchasing an external hard drive enclosure, putting your laptop hard drive inside it, and plugging the enclosure into the USB port of another computer.

If you'd like to have it done by an area computer shop, I don't know of any that I would personally recommend, but I'd be glad to run you through the steps of it if you're daring enough to try it yourself.

Theo Walcott
08-05-2007, 07:06 PM
Well I would do that, but the Best Buy kid informed me that the data could not be retrieved by hooking up the hard drive to another computer. I believe he had attempted mounting it to an external enclosure, but that did not work.

The computer was on when it fell. I called someone at (I think this was the business), and he informed me that the data mining equipment was indeed expensive and getting the data mined off a broken hard drive is an elaborate process. You have any ideas of local shops that maybe could pull this off?

08-05-2007, 07:57 PM
I am going along skwillz. Did the best buy kid open the case and take out the hard drive? If not then he does not know. The OKCcomputergenius guy does not have enough information to make a diagnosis over the phone.

Try taking it by PC club on may & 63rd. They seem to be pretty competent there. See if they can take out that drive, put it into and external enclosure and read it from another computer.

08-05-2007, 07:59 PM
I don't think anyone locally does this that I know of - it is expensive - there are a few companies that specialize in this, but none of them here. If I were you, i'd as someone besides someone thats worked at geek squad for 2 days if they can try it. You have anyone at work or such that does IT stuff?

(Yes, I'm in the IT field, so I can bash geek squad:) )

08-05-2007, 08:22 PM
Data Recovery, Data Conversion and Computer Forensic Services from Vogon International (
In Norman. First rate company. I've used them. They were expensive but successful in recovering data that lost.

08-05-2007, 08:25 PM
Again, I'd try someone else first before you do something expensive. Usually you can get data off by just putting the drive in as a secondary...otherwise you're gonna pay.

Also - sounds like that Vogan place is actually Ontrack - they probably just ship stuff up to MN, where ontrack is located. If you ship a drive to Ontrack, they WILL recover your data, I have a friend that works for them. FBI and others use them quite frequently.

08-05-2007, 08:41 PM
Vogon performed our work on site in Norman. They were the only company I could find to actually attempt the recovery. I had to ship the server from Dallas to Norman. Really did an amazing job.

Things may be different now as that was several years ago.

08-05-2007, 09:01 PM
Just want to mention it may be worth trying the freezer trick before spending the big $ on data recovery. I've had a few dying HDDs that were able to give me 110% after being in the cold overnight..

08-05-2007, 09:31 PM
ADR Dallas Data Recovery Regional Lab
ADR Data Recovery, Inc
2911 Turtle Creek Blvd., Suite 300
Dallas, Texas 75219
Phone: 214-599-8335
Toll Free: 800-450-9282
Hours: 8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.

08-05-2007, 09:42 PM
I am NOT saying to do this, but reading this will give you some knowledge about what is needed.

Beginners Guides: Hard Drive Data Recovery

Beginners Guides: Hard Drive Data Recovery - (

Theo Walcott
08-05-2007, 09:54 PM
Thanks for the help, guys and gals! As always, you're awesome.

I'll go by PC Club and have them see if there's any hope. If not, then I'll call Vogon. How expensive was expensive for the deal? I figure that one hd can't be any more than $250 bucks or so. Not cheap, but her digital camera pictures and other stuff is on there, too.

08-05-2007, 10:29 PM
Prices usually range from 250 - 2500 for recovery

However, there are some programs you can use, also.

Try this forum:

Data Recovery Software - Data Recovery Forum (

08-06-2007, 02:44 AM
Thanks for the help, guys and gals! As always, you're awesome.

I'll go by PC Club and have them see if there's any hope. If not, then I'll call Vogon. How expensive was expensive for the deal? I figure that one hd can't be any more than $250 bucks or so. Not cheap, but her digital camera pictures and other stuff is on there, too.

This was very expensive but the data was really important.

I have forgotten but I think it was more on the order of $2,500 or maybe $5,000. We had an estimate beforehand and maybe the final varied with how long it took which was several 24 hour days. I think it was less than the max quoted.

No one else was even willing to try and we had already tried everything we knew ourselves. And we had recovered plenty of drives. I had never heard of Vogon at the time. Remember thinking it was funny that I was having to ship the drive to Norman from Dallas.

I also received a little toy wrecker truck that had Vogon International on it, too. I still have it.

Good luck with it.

08-06-2007, 09:46 AM
I'm in IT as well....GeekSquad = total joke. They don't know anything about anything. They can scan for virus and send your stuff offsite. They aren't any more helpful than the people that sell you a PC in the back...meaning completely not helpful. Compaq made me take my laptop to them a few years ago when the motherboard started crashing (part by part). I knew exactlly what was wrong, but not only did the idiots at BB tell me the wrong price estimate, but later called me back to tell me that they were wrong and that it would cost double that. This was after he spent 30 minutes trying to locate my model number on the phone while I was in the store. I said screw it and went and bought a new laptop from my Zones rep for like 30% off!

But to the drive. If you can get lucky enough with the freezer trick, you might be able to ghost the drive. It really depends on what damage the reader heads caused from the shock. If they bounced like crazy and scratched the platters to hell, then your hosed. Wouldn't happen to have one of those IBM thinkpads that are supposed (lol) to protect against that would you? Anyway, I think the mining might be the only option if you can get the drive to which case it's probably not worth the cost. It is for a busibness with mission critical information on a disk, but for a consumer...not really. I can't say without playing with the disk, but from the discussions here, it sounds like the data is gone.

Let us know what happens.