PC World HDD Recovery

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  • evildunksta 13 Jul 2010 05:05:58 225 posts
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    I've got a external USB HDD that doesn't work, the spindle has dropped or the motor is knackered. I need to get the data recovered so I recently sent it to PC World. They offer 2 services. One will cost you 99 if successful and the other will cost 699.
    Anyhoo I've had the drive back after opting for the 99 service and they haven't been able to recover anything and now PC World are saying if I pay the 699 then there is probably a chance that the data recovery will work.

    I have a couple of issues. The first is that PC World cannot provide any evidence or reports to show exactly what they have already tried or done with the drive. The second is that 699 is very excessive.

    Is it a con? Has anybody had experience with PC World and their data recovery? Is there an alternative? I have googled, but can't find anything.
  • FooAtari 13 Jul 2010 06:25:37 3,955 posts
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    I wouldn't go anywhere near PC Worlds tech support. Overpriced and usually crap.

    You not got a decent independent pc repair shop you can try?

    Oh, and this will teach you to back your data up won't it. With the amount of valuable data most people have on their computers can't believe so many don't do regular backups...
  • KayJay 13 Jul 2010 08:23:47 5,350 posts
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    699....

    What the hell are the going to do with it?
    Cover the thing in gold..!
  • Dirtbox 13 Jul 2010 08:35:22 91,210 posts
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    Post deleted
  • FooAtari 13 Jul 2010 09:21:20 3,955 posts
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    Dirtbox wrote:
    There are far, far cheaper data recovery places. Also why is it that externals crap out far more frequently than internals?
    FooAtari wrote:
    Oh, and this will teach you to back your data up won't it. With the amount of valuable data most people have on their computers can't believe so many don't do regular backups...
    Is that not what an external drive is for?.

    OK, maybe I jumped the gun on my accusations (sorry evildunksta if I did). But then a lot of people use an external drive as main storage now. If this was a back-up surely he could just buy a new external drive and copy the data from the PC back to it.
  • Findus 13 Jul 2010 09:36:55 147 posts
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    My mum put her laptop in to replace the screen which contained all her Open University assignments she thought she would not have to do any kind of backup as it's simply replacing the screen and handing it back, right?

    Suffice to say she received the laptop back with a fresh install of Windows no recovered disk, their response? "You take a risk when you bring the laptop in"
  • Deleted user 13 July 2010 09:42:08
    For 699 they're probably sending it away to another company.

    They really shouldn't be charging anything unless they have success though. Sounds like a case for Watchdog that, actually.
  • Kilters 13 Jul 2010 11:44:26 617 posts
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    My experience of this is that you need to pay top dollar with a reputable company to get the data back.
    I've had to send drives in on numerous occasions where the only procedure was to mount the spindles/platters individually onto special recorders in a clean room environment.

    You'll need to determine the value of the data and how borked the drive in order to get a quote that makes sense. PC world will just farm off the drive to a reputable crowd and take a cut. Go to them direct.
  • Venatio Features Manager, Gamer Network 13 Jul 2010 11:47:35 4,670 posts
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    Just used these guys - http://www.fields-data-recovery.co.uk/

    They've been very helpful and provide you with a list of data they're able to recover before charging you anything. They're cheaper than 699 as well.
  • Normski 13 Jul 2010 11:52:25 27 posts
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    Venatio wrote:
    Just used these guys - http://www.fields-data-recovery.co.uk/

    I used those guys too. They recovered everything - even the porn!

    Was a few quid, but couldn't fault the service.
  • heyyo 13 Jul 2010 12:03:13 14,356 posts
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    Findus wrote:
    My mum put her laptop in to replace the screen which contained all her Open University assignments she thought she would not have to do any kind of backup as it's simply replacing the screen and handing it back, right?

    Suffice to say she received the laptop back with a fresh install of Windows no recovered disk, their response? "You take a risk when you bring the laptop in"

    That's like plugging in a primary HDD from one PC into another PC and expecting the HDD to run the different PC as it runs the PC it is formatted for.

    You need to format the HDD so it works with the reciepent PC - i'm not sure this makes much sense, but the only way a PC wouldn't need formatting is if PC World replaced the screen with the exact model instead of a generic screen with the same resolution (the latter is what happened I guess, as exact laptop specific parts are too difficult to source on a case by case basis - generic parts are used instead)

    And your mother's OU stuff, she should have uploaded them to the university's online directory at intervals, this is complusory where I study as PC failure is not an excuse if they can't see you've taken steps (uploading to the directory) to negate it.
  • evildunksta 13 Jul 2010 19:26:52 225 posts
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    Cheers for the suggestions. I've decided that I'm NOT going back to PC World.
    I can't stand the service in there but I didn't really know where to start.

    @Footari - This was a back up drive (one of many!) and I've just got round to transferring the data onto a shiny new PC. The old one was stolen!! All of my drives have been locked safely away. This one however just refuses to play ball. I know what you mean though about people using external drives as their main source of storage. Most of the guys I know have never backed anything up !!!
  • Red-Moose 13 Jul 2010 20:11:34 5,344 posts
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    evildunksta wrote:
    I've got a external USB HDD that doesn't work, the spindle has dropped or the motor is knackered. I need to get the data recovered so I recently sent it to PC World. They offer 2 services. One will cost you 99 if successful and the other will cost 699.
    Anyhoo I've had the drive back after opting for the 99 service and they haven't been able to recover anything and now PC World are saying if I pay the 699 then there is probably a chance that the data recovery will work.

    I have a couple of issues. The first is that PC World cannot provide any evidence or reports to show exactly what they have already tried or done with the drive. The second is that 699 is very excessive.

    Is it a con? Has anybody had experience with PC World and their data recovery? Is there an alternative? I have googled, but can't find anything.


    My plan for HD recovery begins with getting the HDD out of the caddy and hooked into a desktop. Then, get some recovery software but at least have proper hardware access to it and can test it. If it's an internal physical problem you are likely not going to be successful but trying that stuff over USB is asking for trouble IMO.
  • Deleted user 13 July 2010 20:13:19
    Try a linux distro
  • angry-smurf 22 Jul 2010 00:09:25 2 posts
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    Google Fields Data Recovery before you consider using them, they were exposed on a German consumer magazine who did a video expose:

    http://www.heise.de/ct-tv/video/Sendung-vom-21-11-2009-857451.html

    SOME COMPLAINTS ABOUT FIELDS DATA RECOVERY
    http://www.freeindex.co.uk/profile%28fields-data-recovery%29_27151.htm
    http://forums.hexus.net/general-discussion/160842-anyone-used-rapid-data-recovery-rapid-data-net.html
    http://forums.moneysavingexpert.com/showthread.php?p=33766665
    http://www.datarecoverycompanies.co.uk/rip-off-report-i238.html
    http://www.canyoutrustthem.com/index.php?go=details&id=2040
    http://www.online-marketing-manager.co.uk/2010/02/beware-rapid-data-recovery.html
    http://www.data-recovery-forum.disklabs.com/showthread.php?11084-Do-not-use-Feilds-Data-Recovery
    http://www.data-recovery-forum.disklabs.com/showthread.php?44-Bad-Data-Recovery-or-Customer-Service-Experiences
    http://www.over-clock.co.uk/ivb/index.php?showtopic=20112
    http://www.complaintsboard.com/complaints/rapid-data-recovery-c272941.html#comments
    http://www.complain-about-them.com/complaint/174/Rapid_Data_Recovery-Rapid_Data_Rip_off
  • FooAtari 22 Jul 2010 07:16:56 3,955 posts
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    heyyo! wrote:
    Findus wrote:
    My mum put her laptop in to replace the screen which contained all her Open University assignments she thought she would not have to do any kind of backup as it's simply replacing the screen and handing it back, right?

    Suffice to say she received the laptop back with a fresh install of Windows no recovered disk, their response? "You take a risk when you bring the laptop in"

    That's like plugging in a primary HDD from one PC into another PC and expecting the HDD to run the different PC as it runs the PC it is formatted for.

    You need to format the HDD so it works with the reciepent PC - i'm not sure this makes much sense, but the only way a PC wouldn't need formatting is if PC World replaced the screen with the exact model instead of a generic screen with the same resolution (the latter is what happened I guess, as exact laptop specific parts are too difficult to source on a case by case basis - generic parts are used instead)

    Maybe I'm not understanding the problem, or what your saying, but if the laptop had a faulty screen, you can just replace the screen without having to replace the whole laptop. Had it done myself when the wife stood on it! If I put in my laptop have the screen replaced/repaired I wouldn't expect the hard drive to be touched in any way.
  • Deleted user 27 July 2010 12:06:42
    Anyone else use a HDD recovery specialist for a head-crash before? I know about Kroll [gulp!] Onttrack but they're rather expensive - 600 for the recovery part of the job.
  • nickthegun 27 Jul 2010 12:47:25 79,422 posts
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    Kroll are the people we send our drives to if they are too fucked to get anything from Data Rescue.

    They are brilliant but they are arse clenchingly expensive.
  • Kami 27 Jul 2010 13:13:07 2,711 posts
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    Going to be blunt here - 699 would be IF they could recover it, and they couldn't at 99 so I wouldn't spend ten times the cost of a replacement drive on trying to recover information from one. Not unless you have the blueprints for a time machine on it. Or millions of confidential NHS records.

    If you need to save important documents and stuff, my sensible suggestion is to get a flash drive - you can get some good-quality ones now (up to 256GB) which come with 10-year warranties. They're smaller, you can whack it on a keychain knowing it's always with you and no moving parts.

    But don't spend that much money unless what you need recovered is worth significantly more than the costs involved. And definitely do not go through PC World tech support, the only place in the world that thinks Steam isn't legal...
  • urban 27 Jul 2010 13:32:25 13,073 posts
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    glol
  • evildunksta 7 Aug 2010 09:20:57 225 posts
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    Bump - update

    All sorted now. I used Fields Data Recovery. They were awesome. Turn around was one week. and they were much much cheaper than PC world.

    I don't know if Angry Smurf has an axe to grind with this company but I didn't experience anything like the "customers" in his links.

    All good :)
  • Slint1000 7 Aug 2010 09:33:45 3,555 posts
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    I remember reading this thread at the time and those links Angry Smurf put up and thought 'That is a bad company, don't use them'.

    Having just clicked on his UID though it shows he has one just post, which is almost proof he probably works for a rival or somesuch
  • MrDigital 7 Aug 2010 09:38:34 1,885 posts
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    In all fairness, although he does only have one post, he does provide evidence. They either are a shit company and evildunksta got very lucky, or they're the victim of some attempted corporate whack with all of those negative reviews on many sites.
  • Slint1000 7 Aug 2010 09:43:35 3,555 posts
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    Either of those things could well be true, but he also hasn't been online since the day he posted those links.

    That doesn't necessarily mean anything in itself; it does add to my suspicions of the guy.
  • PearOfAnguish 7 Aug 2010 10:58:55 7,573 posts
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    Kami wrote:
    the only place in the world that thinks Steam isn't legal...

    I want to hear more about this.
  • MrDigital 7 Aug 2010 11:33:28 1,885 posts
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    My guess is that he talked to someone at a call centre who didn't know his stuff.
  • Deleted user 7 August 2010 14:42:09
    evildunksta wrote:
    Bump - update

    All sorted now. I used Fields Data Recovery. They were awesome. Turn around was one week. and they were much much cheaper than PC world.

    I don't know if Angry Smurf has an axe to grind with this company but I didn't experience anything like the "customers" in his links.

    All good :)
    Cheers for the update.
  • angry-smurf 12 Aug 2010 00:19:36 2 posts
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    Any logical data recovery can be done with software tools for free, so if Fields recovered your data then I'm happy for you. Just be glad it wasn't a hardware fault.

    If you believe that all the "customers" in the links I showed you are all fake then I would have to say you are irrational; believe what you want to believe.

    Its up to you to use your judgment, you can Google the company and read what 100s of people have to say about them, or take a risk and use them. I am trying to warn you not to make the same mistake I made of using them because they advertised a low price. But if you are paranoid and think I'm saying all this for material benefit then by all means recommend all your friends and colleagues to Fields, I am sure that they will thank you for it.

    Slint, you accuse me of working for a rival company - did you read the links? Did a German consumer magazine pay me to post here, did trading standards pay me to report the complaints against them, or the CCJs registered against their company?

    Just because I don't have time to post here it does not mean that I am wrong - think man think.

    I could equally accuse you of being connected to Fields, since they do try to discredit people who complain against them rather than deal with the complaint directly, that is their MO.
  • Deleted user 12 August 2010 00:22:28
    Ello ello ello! Wos all this then?

    /plods
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