STOP LOOKING!!! R3 IS THE ONLY DATA RECOVERY SERVICE YOU CAN TRUST!
Victim of Fields?
I contacted Data Recovery Solutions first - they sound good and offer free collection, testing, etc., etc. and appear to have good customer service, however, luckily since I research everything to death, I saw the pattern in their Trust Pilot reviews and came across R3 Data Recovery (who can actually help you get money back from these fraudsters) - I have had a memory card reported as unrecoverable by a Fields’ subsidiary in the past, magically after paying the full amount requested! - They also tell you they can dispose of it for free which I stupidly agreed to - Should have sent it to Andy and his team but that’s not the point of this review.
I had an Apple Time Capsule 3 TB drive fail after about 7 years of it sitting in the corner. Tick, tick, tick, nothing. I changed it from a backup drive to a storage device recently when my MacBook Pro was full i.e. no backup of the Time Capsule drive. I was video editing a huge, expensive project i.e. the full 3 TB drive - sod's law for it to fail when it did. Andy and his team had my drive collected from another country (2,500 miles from the UK) and shipped to his lab in the UK, located on a secure site, so you can have full confidence your data will remain confidential.
You’re an idiot!
At this point you need to stop and admit something - you are an idiot. You did not back up your data and it is nobody’s fault except your own. If you cannot admit that then don’t bother trying to waste everybody’s time - This is a professional service, you get what you pay for! I have since bought a personal NAS system to backup all my devices at home to avoid such situations in the future. Rinse yourself of all your emotions to productively move forward - it is not R3’s fault (I also went through these emotions).
You rarely meet people in life who are so technically knowledgable and a pleasure to deal with. Andy is one of these gems - I actually can’t wait to have the opportunity to visit his lab in person next time I am in the UK. I have a very strong technical background and grilled Andy on the phone for at least 1 hour before I fully understood every single option and the full process. These guys are nothing short of wizards, this is the most advanced, professional technology company I have ever seen in the UK. It is nice to know such companies actually still exist!
Read more on the website of the process - the drives have to be matched like for like. My first rebuild destroyed the donor heads due to the scratch on the platters (interestingly the heads can dive into the platters on power loss, something which happens every week where I live - the NAS will be supplied from a UPS - thanks for the advice Andy!). The file list I received had 10’s of thousands of fragments, however, I could see the main file structure of my drive i.e. proof these guys had actually done something and not just asked for money like other companies without ever plugging it in. It took a second, targeted rebuild where Andy’s team really cranked up the wizardry, they switch off the heads from the sound platters (x 4 in my case) that were fully recovered in the first rebuild and targeted the damaged platters (x 2 in my case). By doing this, they can sweep the data on each side of the scratch to avoid damaging the new heads. Their custom software rebuilds the full image. The scratch made it impossible to get 100% of the data however Andy’s team recovered every single video file (some of these files are >100 GB each!) and had only one file which was missing a tiny amount of information that affected a few frames in the video file i.e recovered 99.99% of the data - the file plays! I can edit out the damaged frames). I am seriously impressed that they managed to do this!!!
I wanted to post the cost of my recovery but it does not mean anything. The real question is - what is your data worth? A dead drive backed up elsewhere - bin it. Kids' childhood memories - priceless. What you have to bear in mind is that you are paying for the best data recovery service in the world. If your data is priceless, then be prepared to pay for forensic level service. This is where the people who can’t accept that they are idiots start to create problems.
The ONLY company I will use and recommend to friends and employers for data recovery. Recovered every single file in my project. I can now continue editing my full project without any loss except a few frames in one video file (compare that result to Fields saying that they cannot recover any data at all after taking your hard-earned cash! - If you are a victim, Andy can not only recover your data but also your cash). If you are very knowledgeable / IT-based, don’t hesitate to get the level of confidence you need from Andy directly, an absolute gem of a guy and why I took so long to write this review. If you are an idiot and cannot accept responsibility for anything, then don’t bother contacting R3 - create your problems elsewhere. If you are ready to proceed, seriously consider what your data is really worth to you and how much you are willing to pay for the best, forensic-level service in the world. I seriously recommend R3 to anyone or any company who needs help and is realistic with the cost of their data.
Each case is individual. I assumed my drive would be fixed in one rebuild i.e. head failure only and did not expect any scratched platters - not all drives will be scratched for example. It took 2 rebuilds in the end but some cases can take more depending on the nature of the damage. Andy and his team will be able to develop a quote after analysing the drive in the lab.