Wednesday, January 5, 2011

{Project Life} Pursuit of Data Recovery

As I reflect on the eve of what would have been Brianna's 9th birthday, I'm reminded of a careless mistake I made in November 2005.

I was so caught up with what was going on with Jacob, (at least that was July onwards, can't remember the reason prior to that) I neglected to backup my hard drive from March until October/November of that year. The drive became non-bootable, unrecognizable. Most likely a mechanical failure.

You can imagine the heartbreak I instantly acquired:
  • 6-8 months of Amanda's life in pictures...gone
  • Pregnancy pictures of Jacob...gone
  • All of Jacob's life...gone (I was saved slightly on this one as a result of this blog. Documenting his life frequently in an online form provided me a backup of his precious images. Granted, it's not all of them, but it's at least some of them. If I didn't have at least this I probably would have paid whatever price they gave me in 2005!)
  • Not to mention tax documents and whatever else was important at the time

I researched data recovery options in November 2005 and was told the cost would be somewhere between $500-$2700 with a minimum fee of $200 if the attempt was unsuccessful. Not something I really could afford at the time.

Almost 6 years have passed now and as I look back at pictures, I'm reminded of the gap. Being a person that is all about capturing life through pictures, well, this just tends to eat at me.

Now I can't even remember all the memories and moments of those months. What pictures did I take? What activities did we do? What memories have been lost?

Today, I dug up the hard drive and I searched for data recovery services (again). I found one local where I can drop the drive off and not worry about it getting lost in the mail.

I even found the original emails I had sent to the other company in 2005 detailing the directories on the drive I was most interested in (I was surprised I still had this!)

With the make/model/size of the drive in hand, I submitted an inquiry at They responded within 15 minutes by email as well as called me. This is what they said:
  • The analysis is free
  • Cost range is $500-$1700
  • They will provide a quote and I can decide to pursue or not. If I don't pursue at this time, the drive will be returned in tact and all I pay is $25
Ok...great!, I think. Maybe I can finally get the 'what if I can recover the data?' answered. But what happens if I can? Where do I come up with the funds to pay for it? How much are these pictures worth (priceless right?).

So then I'm stuck with knowing I can get my hot little hands on those memories again and not knowing how to pay for it and when. I've waited this long to get the answer, what's another year if I have to save for it, right?

Sigh...what can we all learn from this? Backup your important data! Being in the computer industry myself, you think I would have done that, however, life can get in the way for us geeky folks too sometimes and that's what happened to me. I make the attempt? Do I find out at least if it's possible or do I just wait some some money and then figure it all out at once?

Knowing I can and not being able to get them now may be worse then just not knowing if I can!

1 comment:

texastanya said...

I'd have to know if it's possible to recover the data. For $25, I'd take it there today! :) But that's just me...