DriveSavers | Emc2 Computer Solutions | Your Source For Apple Macintosh Support

Ask DriveSavers

  • Can I use software to recover lost data?

    Although disk utilities are considered a quick and easy fix, the risk of overwriting data sectors is extremely great and should only be used on drives that have been backed up to solve minor problems.

    Read and recover utilities recover data without altering the original directory and are, therefore, safer to use. Write and repair utilities change the original data structure and, therefore, should be avoided. If you are unclear about which software you are working with, it is best to avoid the program altogether.

    Software utilities cannot recover lost data when the drive's electronics, power supply or read/write heads have been damaged. They should never be used if the hard drive is making clicking, grinding or whirring sounds.

    Always use extreme caution when using disk utilities. The best solution is to call DriveSavers to avoid further damage or permanent data loss.

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  • After data is retrieved from a hard drive, is it reassembled to once again become a working drive?

    Typically all source media is returned in the same condition as it arrived. Our objective is to get the drive functioning just long enough for us to acquire an image from it, not to repair the drive for future use.

    Reassembling the failed source drive is part of the recovery process, but we would never recommend that a customer use that drive again after data has been recovered from it. Source drives are returned to their original state with their original parts and sent back to the customer as "nonfunctional".

    In the case of a logical recovery, however, the drive does not have to be opened and can be reformatted for future use.

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  • Does DriveSavers Offer Customers a Secure Way to Download Recovered Data from the Internet?

    Absolutely! DriveSavers DataExpress™ enables our domestic and international customers to receive their most critical files within minutes of recovery over secure, high-speed Internet transmission lines.

    The backbone of DataExpress™ is a full-pipe fiber interface that allows fast and safe downloads of digital data to FTP sites anywhere in the world. Internet transmission of a customer's most time-sensitive data is followed by next-day delivery of all other recovered files, which are stored on CDs, DVDs or hard disk drives and shipped via express mail.

    DataExpress™ is the perfect solution for all of our business partners, large and small. Instant online access to a critical file can be the best solution to avoid customs delays, meet a crucial deadline or salvage a revenue opportunity that might otherwise be lost forever.

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  • Is it possible to recover data from drives that have been securely wiped using software that writes zeros and ones to the drive?

    If you use specific software that overwrites all data blocks multiple times with a random pattern or with zeros, the chances are that the data is permanently gone. However, there are cases where a user thinks they have done this successfully and, in fact, they have not.

    DriveSavers engineers need to see the drive in our lab to confirm if the data is recoverable.

    Most users delete files via the Trash or Recycle bin and empty it. This does not eliminate the data. It simply tells the file system that the space previously occupied by these files is now available. Until it is physically overwritten, the old data still exists.

    If the data is critical, it is best to send it in for professional analysis.

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  • Does DriveSavers offer data destruction or hard drive wiping services?

    While saving data is the primary goal of most users, securely deleting data can be equally important.

    While there are software options available that yield a large range of results, DriveSavers offers a "Degaussing Service" that utilizes the most powerful degausser available, the Mag EraSURE™ P3E. This NSA-, DOD- and NATO-approved device is the highest option to assure the permanent destruction of confidential data, such as credit card numbers or personal identity information.

    The degausser applies strong magnetic forces to the magnetic media and completely rearranges any magnetism (data) that exists. It usually renders the media unusable for the future use as well. DriveSavers charges $125 for a single drive/tape or $75 per drive/tape in quantities of three or more.

    If you want to destroy your confidential or valuable information for good, give DriveSavers a call to have it professionally degaussed.

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  • How Hot Is Too Hot For Hard Drives?

    Hard drive specifications vary from brand to brand, but normal operating temperatures for the most commonly used drives typically range from 41 to 140 degrees Fahrenheit (5 to 60 degrees Celsius).

    A five-year study by Google, monitoring statistics from their massive data centers, revealed negative effects when temperatures reached 104 degrees Fahrenheit or more, but only in drives that were at least three years old. Other studies report that hard drives operating five degrees above the recommended operating level could increase the failure rate by 10 to 15 percent.

    Overheating can slow down the computer's performance or warp the aluminum hard disk assembly inside the drive where the platters, motor and head assembly reside. This causes the drive to crash due to alignment problems and wobbling. Extreme heat can also impact electronic connections, leading to mechanical malfunctions and increased error rates, thus affecting the integrity of the stored data.

    To optimize your computer's performance and protect its hard drive during warm summer months, check your hard drive's specifications on the manufacturer's Web site, keep the air intake vents free of dust and provide proper air circulation.

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  • Can X-ray machines harm computers or memory cards?

    According to the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) website, neither airport X-ray machines nor the screening equipment create a magnetic pulse and they will not harm digital equipment. This includes computers, hard drives, videocassettes, audiotapes, cameras, film and electronic image storage cards. Although, it is important to note, the TSA does state that the screening equipment can damage undeveloped “rolls” of film or unprocessed motion picture film.

    The state-of-the-art scanners seem to be safe but how safe are the older scanners for digital media? Scanners that may be in use in a smaller or less up-to-date airports. When in doubt, request an inspection by hand as you go through the screening line, as the passenger screening radiation levels are much lower than those used by the luggage scanning machines.

    The CompactFlash Association recommend against sending CompactFlash cards via the U.S. Postal Service, which now scans the mail via radiation. The association suggests the use of a commercial service such as FedEx, UPS or other private carrier as an alternative.

    Whether due to a scanning device or banging or dropping of digital equipment, all media can fail at any time. Your only safety net is to back up your data.

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  • How Does Firmware Effect Data Recovery?

    Firmware makes each drive unique. Disk drive manufacturers literally “hyper-tune” every drive with unique performance features, storing some of them in the System Area on the platters and others on the drive’s programmable read-only memory (ROM) and Flash chips. The firmware program controls the hard drive from the moment it is powered up until the primary operating system takes over.

    For example, the boot firmware's main function is to initialize the hardware and then to boot (load and execute) the primary operating system. Examples of firmware include the BIOS found on PC’s, the EFI found on Intel-based Mac OS X machines and the Linksys WRT54G operating system on a router.

    If firmware becomes damaged, it must be repaired in order to retrieve any additional data stored on the drive. DriveSavers engineers practice proper diagnosis and handling of failed firmware to ensure successful data recoveries.

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  • What is a Class 100 Cleanroom?

    A cleanroom is a specially controlled laboratory environment. The air in a cleanroom is circulated through large filters built into the workbench to minimize and eliminate environmental pollutants such as dust, airborne microbes, aerosol particles and chemical vapors. Cleanrooms are classified according to the number and size of particles permitted per volume of air. In a Class 100 cleanroom, such as the one at DriveSavers, the air filtration system never permits more than 100 particles (0.5 microns or larger) per cubic foot of air.

    Our Class 100 cleanroom allows our engineers to disassemble a hard drive down to the component level while preventing airborne debris from getting inside the mechanism. Over 70 hard drives come to DriveSavers for data recovery each day, and each one is opened and carefully examined in the cleanroom.

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  • I've read about and have personally experienced your "superior" customer service. Has DriveSavers always been that way?

    "Yes, my partner Scott Gaidano and I have always stressed the importance of excellent customer service to our staff. We try to answer every call within 3 rings," shares DriveSavers co-founder and CEO Jay Hagan.

    Answering the phone and talking with the customer has been DriveSavers #1 priority since the company was founded.

    "By immediately creating a positive experience, we gain the customers' trust," said Hagan. "The more we learn about the customer and their data loss scenario, the more efficiently we can serve them."

    Today's companies have turned to answering machines and routed calls but not DriveSavers, we are there live and in person!

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  • Can data recovery fees be considered a business tax expense?

    According to a survey by Pepperdine University, data loss costs U.S. businesses more than $18 billion a year. About 70% of businesses have experienced data loss due to accidental deletion, disk or system failure, viruses, fire or other disasters. Taxpayers who itemize are allowed by the Internal Revenue Service to deduct casualty losses - "the damage, destruction or loss of property from an identifiable event that is sudden, unexpected or unusual." Customers should check with their accountant. In a majority of cases, fees for data recovery can be written off as a business expense at tax time.

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Disk-aster of the Month

Hard drive crash? Need your data? We can save it!

Emc2 Computer Solutions is an authorized partner in DriveSavers' Reseller Program. Mention our Reseller ID# DS17668 and receive a discount on your data recovery!

DriveSavers has specialized in recovering lost data for 20 years and has the highest success rate in the industry. The company recovers data in as little as 24 hours from all operating systems and storage media including hard drives, RAID, disk arrays, servers, floppies, CD-ROM/DVD, backup tapes, flash memory, removable and magneto-optical cartridges. DriveSavers is authorized by all hard drive manufacturers to open sealed drive mechanisms without voiding the original warranty. They are known worldwide as the most trusted and respected company in the industry. Visit their web site at to learn more or:

Call DriveSavers today to receive an immediate estimate: 800-440-1904