Sunday, May 20, 2012

My RecoverBot Data Recovery Review




Hi all. If any of you are on my Facebook page, then you know that my hard drive crashed about a month ago. I was using a Dell Inspiron 15 laptop at the time and was all too familiar with this happening. So, you’d think I would have learned my lesson, huh? Noooope. Well, actually, to give myself a little credit, I actually had backed up my data a few months prior, but the portable HDD I used wasn’t functioning properly. I was told by Western Digital that I’d probably have to reformat it or partition the drive again- which would result in a loss of my backed up data. Swell. Well, I am not a tech person, but I am a fast learner and quite resourceful, so I utilized an HDD docking station and tried to extract my wanted data that way, which did work for a while…until it didn’t. I got about 1GB off before the disc just became completely unbootable. It wasn’t making any abnormal sounds, and I’m pretty sure a corruption in my operating system was to blame. I should mention that it was relatively old- 1 year to be exact. Is that old for a hard drive (lol, see, I’m no techie)? I decided I had to start looking into recovery options, even if that meant the use of expensive professional services.


I had a 500GB Toshiba: MK5065GSX. Thus, even though I only needed about 75 gigs of data extracted, it would cost more just because of the size of the drive alone! I began researching software to recover data online, and actually did find some wonderful and free options, but they just weren’t good enough. The first I tried was ZAR (http://www.z-a-recovery.com/digital-image-recovery.htm) to see what images I could find without any expensive software. It is a free part of this software. Surprisingly, it did find a LOT of my pictures. But that’s all it would find for free, so I kept searching. Next, I looked into Recover My Files. It would cost $69.95 for the software, which was nothing in comparison to the $550 minimum quote I was getting from most of the companies where you send your hard drive in to be serviced. However, I saw pretty mixed reviews on their Help and Support offered, so I decided to get help from the "professionals." I went to support.dell.com and attempted to chat with them about my issue. 4 agents and an EIGHT hour phone call later I just happened to see an ad on their site for RecoverBot. Newly partnered with Gillware, Dell now offered a link to download their awesome software (https://www.recoverbot.com/). RecoverBot was especially made for retrieving data off of drives that were no longer bootable. Here are the basics:
  •   You download RecoverBot from their site and are given a unique ID number.
  •   You burn the downloaded software to a disk and put it into the CDROM drive of the computer in question (of course the damaged hard drive has to be currently installed).
  •  Also, you are asked to plug in another hard drive, large enough to hold all of the data you want to recover.
  •  You select a few options and let it do its thing, remembering not to turn off your device or disconnect the other hard drive. Afterward, it shows you a preview of every file it finds. If they are the files you want, you pay for your unlock code, type it in and Bam! You have your data back. It copies all the found files onto the connect external HDD.
I like to research things before I use them, so before biting the bullet and trying it, I searched the net for some information. To my dismay, there was none. Their own site’s FAQ section was also a bit lacking. Unlike the usual cautious me, I went ahead and tried it anyway, and I don’t think I could have made a better decision, given the situation. RecoverBot takes a pretty long time to run, so I just went out with the beau and left it alone. Several (and I do mean several) hours later, I returned and went into a frenzy. The instructions specifically say not power off your machine during the process, and my bf had accidentally unplugged my laptop. I turned it back on to see RecoverBot saying that my HDD was too damaged to search any further and asking if I’d like to see the files it was able to recover. I was able to view the files, but there was no option to unlock and copy to disc. I thought all was lost. I contacted their support team and had a wonderful experience. They were professional, kind and patient. I specifically communicated with a Kirk Harvell and a Jesse Clark. They told me that the recovered data was safe, and that I just needed to try removing the internal HDD (the damaged one), and booting from the RecoverBot CD again. You see, RecoverBot works by creating disc images of the salvageable portions of your hard drive, and copying them onto the connected external HDD. It worked! I paid for the code immediately ($69) and began the process of retrieving my data. This took quite a long time as well, but it was worth it for me. It recovered 98% of my data.

All in all, I am very satisfied with my RecoverBot experience. I’d give it 5 stars out of 5 stars. It doesn’t get better than a working product AND great customer service to back it. However, don’t even bother asking the Dell technical support or software specialists about RecoverBot. Even though their site states that they have now partnered with RecoverBot, Dell has not yet trained any employees on the software, and they cannot answer even basic questions about it. I didn’t see any reviews on RecoverBot, so I wanted to make sure I wrote this one. Too often consumers remember to complain but not to praise. ^_~

3 comments:

  1. Thanks for the review! I got the blue screen of death and was looking to recover my files. I think my harddrive is busted from a fall my laptop took. I saw the ad on Dell.com (same laptop as you) I thought I would give it a try. Hopefully I am as lucky as you are and Im able to get my files back.

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  2. That’s great news, Dolce! It’s a good thing that you found your ideal recovery software. Now, you know exactly what to do, in case your files get corrupted again. But I still hope this won’t happen to you again. By the way, it’s so nice of you to write this review for them.

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