While on vacation in Myrtle Beach, my computer started acting up. It kept telling me to enter BIOS settings and to reboot my computer. Not knowing anything about BIOS settings, I restarted my computer. The same BIOS screen popped up. I left the computer alone for a couple hours and it finally said Starting Windows, but was moving at a snails pace. I went to the library and did research on computer repair shops and settled on the highly recommended Just Ask Hal. I took the computer to him and Hal himself thought my hard drive was inoperable. I shared that the computer was only a year and a half old and I was surprised that a hard drive would go out so quickly. The computer had been built from components bought from TigerDirect in May of 2013 by a fellow who was no longer available. The computer had performed flawlessly except for an LG disk drive that had gone out a month before my vacation. My son replaced it with an ASUS disk drive as I am not computer savvy.
One of Hals seven technicians, Nelson, called two days later to confirm that the hard drive was bad and that I had likely lost all my data. I was crushed as I had been foolish and not backed-up my data for some time. Nelson said hed use another program and let it run all night to see if anything could be done. The next day, the results were that NO data was recoverable. I was crushed.
I asked Hal what brand the hard drive was because I didnt want another one of that brand. He said they didnt recommend Western Digital, but when he opened the computer, he said it was a Seagate, the best in the business. I asked what might cause the best in the business to go bad and he thought it might be the size - it was a 2 terabyte. Hal asked if I wanted to have a new hard drive installed, but I was so distraught over losing my data, I politely declined. Hals fee for diagnosing and attempting to recover the data was only $30, very reasonable, but I had lost so many family photos and document files that I was thunderstruck!
Later, when I got home to Lancaster, Ohio and had access to another computer, I started searching for more information on data recovery. I saw that many companies used clean rooms to recover data and got the impression that data recovery was a time-consuming, expensive and equipment-intensive process. I would rather use someone local, but I feared that my hard drive needed all the help it could get. Local shops, like the one in Myrtle Beach, might not be so equipped. I called Seagate and asked their fees. It was $49 initially with my shipping the hard drive to them. If they found sufficient data, the charge would be $600. Wow! I also filed two requests for online quotes from Kroll Ontrack and Columbus Data Recovery. Kroll Ontrack, the nations largest data recovery company, called soon thereafter. Their initial fee was $69 with the drive needing to be shipped to Minneapolis. Kroll provides you with a list of the files recovered (which was nice) but the final cost would be between $700 and $1300 depending on the amount of data. I was overwhelmed! I received no response from nearby Columbus Data Recovery.
I really didnt want to ship my hard drive anywhere and to pay such a high price, but I was concerned about local shops having the equipment and know-how to recover any data from my dead hard drive. I called a gentleman in Canal Winchester, The Geek Guy, and he was honest and helpful, but I think he indicated that he sent out hard drives to data recovery places (maybe like Seagate and Kroll) and he estimated that data recovery might cost about $1000. I called the only local shop, other than Best Buys Geek Squad, that I could find. A friend had recommended that I not use Best Buy service even though I had bought many good products from them.
I called Mobile Geek Ohio and the owner, Shane Eppley, came to my house (yes, a house call), reviewed the problem and said he would be willing to try to recover the data. I was hopeful, but expected the worst.
The following day, Shane called and asked if I was sitting down. I sat down and said yes. He then told me that he had recovered EVERYTHING! I cheered! It was like a huge weight had been lifted from my shoulders! He came over (another house call), showed me all the files. I could finally breathe a sigh of relief. Thank you, Shane. Thank you! And the cost? $60 for data recovery! Are you kidding? Heres a tip! Thank you so much, Shane. He then installed a new hard drive for a modest price and I am back up-and-running! You will have all my computer business from now on, Shane. So much appreciated! I sincerely recommend Mobile Geek Ohio. He worked a miracle for me.