The answer is “Yes” in most cases involving a logically failed drive. You might be able to use a good file recovery program. If the OS is damaged, the computer must be able to boot without it. The best software will include a boot disk or boot disk image that can run the machine without the operating system. And if you’re not comfortable with the process, you can get a friend or IT staff member to perform the recovery. Make sure, however, that using the software doesn’t overwrite the files you are trying to recover.

If it’s a physically failed drive, that’s a different matter altogether. Successful drive recovery requires special equipment, above-average expertise and a cleanroom environment. If someone opens your drive without these requirements, they risk:

• Voiding any warranties still in effect • Damaging the drive beyond repair • Damaging the delicate recording surfaces of the drive • Losing your data beyond recovery

What about taking it to the store where you bought it? I wouldn’t recommend it. They won’t have the facilities for proper recovery; it’s just too expensive. That means it will be shipped out for recovery. You may never know where it ends up.

A professional data recovery lab is the best option for a successful recovery. However, be sure to check them out first. Some so-called labs are merely drop off locations and are not necessarily affiliated with an accredited lab. And many labs cut corners to keep down costs.

I’d invite you to check out our lab at The Data Rescue Center. Give us a call. The call is free and so is the consultation. Don’t trust your data to amateurs.