Last week one of my good friends from work contacted me in a panic. He had a hope RAID array for his family videos, pictures, etc.. The idea being that if a drive failed, he would have time to recover without losing all of his files. Then Lightening struck (figurative lightening, not the real electrical surge creating kind) and he had two drives fail at once. A critical failure for the array. One of the drives is clanking and grinding and probably dead. The other seems to be ok and comes online, but with errors and does not want to make the array whole. Hopefully it is recoverable.
The whole thing would be bad enough, except that the timing came when his wife, who has been battling breast cancer for about 10 years had what was being predicted as about 3 weeks left to live. Faced with losing his wife forever, now he was faced with losing their pictures and videos as well. It was more than he could deal with. "can you just come and get the disks and make them go away and handle this for me?" Of course I agreed.
Faced with the daunting responsibility, I quickly put a notice out on LinkedIn. It was easy enough to find companies online who do data recovery, but I wanted someone who was tried and true and worked well for someone else before. I got an amazing response.. but in speed and in variety. After calling all the recommended services, I picked on ( gillware.com) and am waiting for their analysis and estimate for the recovery service. One of the great things was that they were the ONLY service out of the ones recommended to me that does not charge an up front fee for analysis and en estimate. Every other shop had a 500-800 dollar up front fee, even if they decided there was nothing at all recoverable on the drives.
I will update with the label "data_recovery" as this progresses and track their performance and price. In the meantime, keep your fingers and toes crossed for my buddy that they can recover at least some of the data..
The bad news is that much faster than anyone predicted, his wife passed away this past friday evening. I will be heading to a funeral tonight.