What if McDonalds told you they couldn’t make food.

by Nathan Stout

When I decided to send my hard drive off to have it’s data recovered I would choose to send it to a data recovery business, right? I wouldn’t send it to Chuck E Cheese or Toyota… I would send it to a place that specializes in Hard Drive data recovery.

You’d think…

Well to bring you up to date on the whole Hard Drive fiasco, (click here to read what happened) I sent it out to DataTechLabs (I won’t bother to link to it since I don’t think it deserves any business). I got an email after a couple of days to call and discuss their findings. I called, all full of nervous energy. I knew the cost was going to be high. but I was just going to pay it and be done.

“Hi, this is Nathan Stout.”

“Oh hi Mr. Stout!”

“I got an email to call about the hard drive.”

“Yes, (rummages through papers) the technician completed the evaluation, and they say the data is unrecoverable.”

Reek reek. Reek reek. (that’s the sound of crickets chirping in the silence).

“They can’t get anything off the hard drive.”

“No, they state the actuator arm is broken, and there are scratches on the platters.”

Reek reek. Reek reek.

At this point I can’t find anything to say. I am speechless.

“Do you want us to recycle the drive or ship it back.”

(very quickly) “No, PLEASE send it back.”

I DID send it to DataTechLabs right? I didn’t mislabel and ship it to the Toys R Us headquarters According To Whim’s production offices, or Barnes and Noble, did I? I sent it to a ‘data recovery’ company… didn’t I?

What’s the point of calling your business a ‘data recovery’ business if you can’t actually recover data. My issue was one of the most basic of data recovery issues you could have and they couldn’t do it. It’s like they didn’t even try. Were they expecting for the hard drive to work and THEN they could recover the data? Pointless. Absolutely pointless.

I paid the 15 bucks to get it shipped back to me and I look for a ‘real’ data recovery place.

I have found DataSalvage, a company who claims to be able to recover data from damaged media (the scratched platters).

The whole ‘free evaluation’ I got from DataTechLabs isn’t going to be free after all. All of these companies charge around $200.00 if your hard drive has already been evaluated by some other company (i.e. it’s been opened up). Sheesh.

So I send my hard drive out toe DataSalvage whose motto is:
“Salvage the unRecoverable

After a long week (because of Memorial Day) I get an email letting me know they got the hard drive and they will call soon.

They call soon because they want that $200.00 evaluation fee. FINE. I pay it and go on with life.

Now, before I sent it off to the second company, I opened the hard drive to look (since it had already been opened) and you can’t see any damage on the top of the top platter. To me that means that the data stored on that top platter SHOULD be good right? At least that much. There is like 4 or 5 platters in there and there MIGHT be another one that’s not damaged. That would be some data they could recover. My opinion of DataTechLabs went down a bit and my hope went up.

A week later I get an email about my hard drive… I won’t tell you what it said. I thought I should show you:

Ok, I *MIGHT* have added the comment about my posterior, but the rest is all them.

ONCE AGAIN what part of hard drive recovery did I not understand? My damage was the simplest type of damage, and they state they can recover data from damaged media.

The part of my brain that is in tune with the X-Files side of life tells me these companies are a conspiracy. They take your hard drive and hope you have opened it, or someone else did, so they can get that $200.00 then just tell you they can’t recover any of it. I mean, what proof do I have to even know they looked at it for one second? Sounds like a business I could start up.

So my advice to you out there with hard drive damage is


Looking back here is what I should have done.

1.) Turned off the hard drive.

2.) Opened it and moved the acutator arm off the platters (because apparently THAT is what caused the real damage). Then removed the platters (as carefully as I could) and video taped the whole thing for proof.

3.) Found a local BBB rated data recovery place and hand delivered it. Let them know it was evaluated and the damage was recorded on video.

1 thought on “What if McDonalds told you they couldn’t make food.

  1. I'm really surprised being an IT guy that you don't know of any reputable data recovery businesses or that none of your collegues know of any. I seriously doubt that all of these places are scams. All I can say is sometimes fate catches up with you.
    Oh, and one more thing, since Chris won't listen to me, maybe he'll listen to you. Please tell him that its over. Ok, I don't think the guy understands or can't believe that not every woman in the world wants him. (at least not after they get to know him, really know him.) Please tell him to stop having his freinds call me, show up at the club and him show up at other places where he thinks I might be because yes, it does come back to me. Yes, people do tell me. Without me even asking them. Yes, these people he sent out to the clubs that I didn't know were his freinds that he had them befreind me just to keep tabs on me. I've told Chris a couple of months ago that this is stalking and to stop. And stop flooding my computer with viruses and trojan horses or whatever he or his buddies have been doing. And I know he's behind it because I don't go out to websites that cause that stuff. I've never had these problems before. NEVER.And if any of his techie freinds are doing this for him. I would just ask yourself if your freindship with Chris is worth risking everything you've worked hard for all these years.. I've had nothing but this and the stalking ever since Chris threw his little hiss-fit 7 months ago because I would'nt just drop everything and give him attention at THAT VERY MOMENT. And he's had a temper-tantrum for the last 7 months. In case I need to jog his memory, it was when he called me on nite and I was about to get into the shower and could I call him back in 20 minutes and he would'nt take that for an answer and raged at me on the phone. Well, I'm not playing that Chris, I've given you WAAAAAYYY many more chances than you deserve. I'm not interested in you or any other f–kwit. I'm not dating anymore becuase of you. Hope your happy. I don't like drama, told you that from the very beginning. You don't listen. Now I'm done. I'm sorry I had to put this out there where Nate & Miguel could read it but I called you a couple of months ago and left you a message. Again, you don't listen. You know, people will only take so much until they dont' want anything more to do with you. You know, You brought this upon yourself. You just keep pushing people until they say, no more. I'm done with you, you've burned that bridge.

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