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Data Recovery | Sheldon

Data Recovery Services

Q: I canít start my computer or access my data, what should I do?

A: Stop immediately! Donít continue to try to use the computer. If your machine has a failing hard drive or malware infection, continued use will make the condition worse and limit our ability to recover your data or fix your computer. At the first sign of trouble, bring your computer into our shop for a diagnosis.

Q: My hard drive seems to have failed; will you be able to recover my files?

A: There are many types of hard drive failures with varying severity. Most of the time, recovery is possible. In cases where recovery is not possible, more than likely the reason is due to continued use of the drive after the first signs of failure. Hard drives operate on the same principles as vinyl record players, using a spinning disk to hold data and a needle to read it. Just as scratches and heavy use can damage and degrade a record, hard drives will eventually begin to have trouble reading data. The key to avoiding data loss is to make regular backups of your data, and to have your computer serviced by Sheldon's PC Service or other reputable computer repair company. Rest assured that Sheldon's PC Service will do everything possible to recover your important files.

Q: Can you recover the programs that are installed on my computer?

A: We are not able to back up any software applications; we are only able to save files and data created by those programs. Software applications are integrated into the operating system. In cases where a hard drive fails or an operating system reinstallation is necessary, all programs will be lost and will have to be reinstalled, either from disc or by downloading the application(s) from the Internet. Unless directed to do so, we will not install any software above and beyond the basic operating system. Operating systems do not include Microsoft Office.

Q: Why did my hard drive fail?

A: Like any mechanical device, all hard drives will eventually fail. Hard drives are extremely delicate and typically last between 3 and 5 years. Drives can fail at any time when damaged by moisture, heat or shock. You should always back up your data with the knowledge that your hard drive can fail at any time without warning.

Q: What is a clean room?

A: A clean room is a specially controlled environment completely free of airborne dust, dirt and hair particles. Technicians working in a clean room environment wear special suits, masks and gloves. This is needed due to the nature of hard drive based storage. Any particles that get onto the surface of a disk will permanently render the drive useless. Most drive failures are the result of the internal mechanics not functioning properly, thus preventing the data stored on the drive from being read. When the drive is dismantled in a clean room, the data can be read directly from the drive, bypassing the failure and recovering your data. Due to the operating costs and engineering needed to operate a clean room, most recoveries are expensive, typically ranging from $500 Ė $2700, but can go as high as $5000 Ė $7000 for expedited or multiple disk array (RAID) devices.

Q: Do I need to use a clean room service for data recovery?

A: No. Failing hard drives, when diagnosed soon enough and treated appropriately, can be recovered without the need for a clean room. The best option is to bring your hard drive or computer directly to Sheldon's PC Service for a diagnosis to determine your best course of action. Please contact us for more information.


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