We are often asked how long we have been in business. In fact, it is the only question asked as much as "How much does data recovery cost". Kevin Jackson, CEO of ADR Data Recovery, has spent 16 years building one of the most trusted data recovery companies in the nation. This is some of his story:
In 1995 I was running a successful cleaning business in beautiful Napa, CA. On day, without warning my hard drive crashed. I didn't get excited or stressed out because I regularly backed up my data to Zip disks. In fact, I kept three Zip disks with copies of my backed up data. So, the first thing I did was put a new hard drive in my computer and reinstalled the operating system, Quickbooks and other programs. Then I popped in one of my backup disks. Immediately the Zip disk started clicking and wouldn't read. No big deal I thought and glad I kept more than one copy. I put the second disk in and the same thing happened: click, click, click and nothing. At that point I started to panic a little. I cleaned the disk drive and put the third one in. Same thing: it just sat clicking! Not knowing much at the time, I figured I just needed a new Zip drive so I went to town and bought one. When I returned to the office I popped each of the Zip disks in to see if I could read then. Nothing! They just kept clicking. Now, I was really beginning to panic because all my clients, all my records, all my tax records were on those three disks.
What did I do? Like most people I figured my local computer shop could "fix" the problem and get my data off the disks. Well, they knew what was wrong. They told me that it was the click of death. That Zip drives were notorious for failing and when they do they just chunk away at the disk trying to read it. They had no idea how to fix it or get my files back. As I learned then and know from experience today: Computer repair shops do not have the tools, knowledge or capability of recovering data from failed disks or hard drives. Yes, they can sometimes use software to retrieve files from a hard drive that hasn't failed completely but when a drive is clicking, not spinning, or suffers from electrical or mechanical failure, there is nothing they can do. The cold, hard truth is that they usually cause more damage and permanent data loss because they aren't hard drive specialists. They are computer repair specialists. That means they know how to fix computers but they cannot "fix" hard drives. They can replace motherboards, RAM, hard drives and other parts but they cannot fix or repair those parts.
Back to my story...
No one local could fix my problem and get my files back. There were a couple of "data recovery" companies that said they could try but it would cost me $1000 whether or not they were able to recover my files. If someone would have offered to perform a free evaluation or even charge a $100 to look at it and tell me whether or not it was recoverable and then given me an exact price to recover it, I would have probably pursued recovery. But they didn't. The risk wasn't worth taking so I had to start over.
I gathered as much information as I could from memory and check statements. When it came to tax time, all I could do is go through all my check statements and paper invoice to recreate income and expenses for my income tax return. What a pain! It took hours and hours that would have been better spent growing my business.
I have always been an entrepreneur so I thought: If someone can make these and a couple of companies say they can recover data from bad Zip disks and hard drives, I figured this might be a great business opportunity. I began doing research. I studied and learned electronics and programming. I began experimenting with hard drives. I opened a few and looking at them thought: Wow, these really aren't that complicated. I'm sure I can take the heads out of one drive and put them in another. Boy, was I in for a lesson! No matter how careful I was I could not keep dust off the platters. I couldn't get the heads off and on without tweaking at least one or scratching them across the platters. That's when I realized just how delicate and precise everything was. I also realized how important a cleanroom was in keeping dust off the platters.
One interesting fact is that there are no classes, courses or universities that teach "hard drive repair". The only place to learn it is working for a data recovery company, a hard drive manufacturer or trial and error. The problem with trial and error is that there are so many things you never know or think about. You can purchase the same model and size drive but it has different parts or more or less heads or firmware and such. In order to preform successful recoveries you have to have identical parts and the lay person doesn't have access to them and doesn't know this. That means you run the risk of destroying 20 or more hard drives and destroying or losing a lot of customer data to achieve one success.
At his point I started working with a professional "data recovery company" so I could learn how they repair hard drives and recover data. It was fascinating but it took more than 4 years to learn what I needed to know. One of the most important things I learned was that when a hard drive crashes, when it is not recognized by the computer or it starts clicking or making any unusual sounds you turn it off and quit messing with it. The worst thing you can do is keep turning it off and on, hoping it will somehow start working again. This single thing causes more drives to become completely unrecoverable than anything else.
After all this learning and experience it was finally time to really establish my own company. From experience working on drives to listening to customers and sales people and learning the way most data recovery companies deal with clients, I knew there were some key principles I wanted to build my company around.
- 1: Customer Service -
- 2: Quality And Professionalism
- 3: Provide Local Service
- 4: Build Trust Through Credibility
- 4: Make It Easier And Safer For Customers to Buy Data Recovery Services
- 5: Educate Customers So They Can Make The Best Choice For Their Situation
Today I operate one of the largest, most trusted data recovery companies in the states. With the assistance of many smart engineers and entrepreneurs, ADR has been able to help people like you get their lives back. We also help many Fortune 500 companies like Intel and Microsoft every day. We also recover data for government agencies like the Army, the Federal Reserve, and NASA.
Today, ADR Data Recovery has over 50 locations around the United States, and we are opening new offices each month. We have spent time, energy, and money developing programs and systems to recover data. We have grown our staff slowly, hiring intelligent and personable people that have set the standard in customer service for the data recovery industry.
ADR Data Recovery's team of professionals never forgets that we work for you. We strive to complete your data recovery in a streamlined manner which also keeps you aware every step of the way. Everyday we recover all types of logical and physical hard drive failures which includes but is not limited to, clicking drives, blue or black screens, viruses, formatted the drive, electrical surge and flood damage.
I invite you to call ADR Data Recovery and ask about our services and what makes us a trusted advisor. If you feel the way I did when I lost my customer files and the photos of my children growing up, you will appreciate our customer service, integrity and the answers to your questions.
CEO of ADR Data Recovery