Fastest Mac Data Recovery Specialists

MacSolutions Plus has a solid base of experience recovering hard drives from Apple Macintosh systems. We have thousands of happy Apple Mac customers all over the US and pride ourselves on being able to recover data across all systems, not just PC or RAID but Mac as well. Call us now to get the best price and free quote to repair your Mac.

Our Recovery Tools and Techniques

The HFS and HFS+ files used in Apple Mac systems are very different from the FAT and NTFS file systems used in Microsoft Windows OS, leading us to develop custom tools and techniques that allow us to recovery data from any Mac model with greater precision and speed.

Whatever technical difficulties you might be experiencing with accessing data from your Apple system, check out the Apple section for a list of common problems and our unique solutions that can help recover your data in as little as 24 hours.

Please note that even if the Apple Mac hard drive is unrecoverable due to damage that is too severe to allow us to fully restore it, we can still perform Apple Mac data recovery services that will restore part, if not most, of your critical data.

The Apple Mac data recovery services team

Regardless of the type and severity of the damage caused to your Apple Mac data storage system, we can provide you with a free diagnostics service and a quote to advise you on the best way to proceed with getting your key data restored. TMacSolutions Plus can offer you solutions for data loss issues for almost any Apple Macintosh system in either HFS and HFS+ systems. Contact us to discuss our range of solutions options which include but are not exclusively limited to:

  • Apple Mac hard drive recovery for any Apple system running from OS 8 up to Mac OS 10.9.
  • Apple hard drive replacement for any OS in cases where full recovery has been made impossible due to severe damage.
  • Apple data recovery from any external hard disk (USB memory sticks, etc) that has been formatted for Apple Macintosh use.

Apple Data Recovery Services

Our expert Apple Data Recovery team has years of experience to successfully recover data from any make or model of Apple computer; regardless of the cause of data loss.

Apple Macintosh hard drive storage systems use a hierarchical file system (HFS) or HFS+ file system as opposed to the file allocation table (FAT) or New Technology File System (NTFS) used by by Microsoft operating systems.

There are significant differences between the two systems, so if you experience data loss with an Apple product, it’s crucial you take it to a company that employs Apple Data Recovery engineers, and has developed data recovery tools and techniques specifically for Apple products.

Apple hard disk drives (HDDs) suffer from many of the same problems as other disks. If you click on the following link, you will be a taken to a section that outlines the most common causes of hard disk failure, the symptoms you may notice, and some guidance on how these issues may be resolved.

For more information on how to deal with data loss issues that are more specific to Apple hard drives, please see below:

Common Apple Data Recovery Problems

The following is a list of the more common situations that we tend to be very successful at recovering data from. Please contact us us for a free diagnosis and quote on a variety of solution options, if you are ever unfortunate enough to experience data loss from any of them:

Cannot access drive due to disk error.
Apple Macintosh finds disks unreadable
Disk is not a Macintosh disks.
Not an HFS volume.
Segment Loader Error.
Bad master directory block.
Drivers fail to install.
Directories not found or Apple Macintosh reports bad file names.
Internal file system errors.
Bad master directory block.
Please note this is by no means an exhaustive list. Please contact us for a free diagnosis and quote regardless of the cause of failure.

Apple Hard Drive Recovery

MacSolutions Plus can offer you solutions for data loss issues for almost any Apple Mactintosh system in either HFS and HFS+ systems. Get in contact to discover our range of solutions including but not exclusively limited to:

Apple hard drive recovery for any Apple Macintosh system running from OS 8 up to Current Mac OS including all Versions of OS X
Apple hard drive replacement for any OS in cases where full repairs are not possible.
Apple data recovery from external hard disks and USB memory sticks that are formatted for Apple Macintosh including time machine backups and parallels files.
Contact us now for speedy Apple data recovery and get your data back!

Myth: A “clicking” hard drive means it has “bad heads” or is “physically broken” and needs to go to a Level-3 clean room for data recovery.

It’s understandable to believe that “clicking” noises are caused by “bad heads,” since it is the heads inside the drive making the noise. However, in our experience, it is bad sectors, bad PCB components, corrupt firmware, or bad power supplies that are the most common causes for making the heads “click.”

There are dozens of different sounding clicks which are all caused by different problems and have different solutions.

Diagnosing the cause of “clicking” often depends on the hard drive manufacturer. For example, if your Western Digital hard drive is clicking, the most likely causes are a bad PCB or corrupt firmware module(s). These are problems which can be fixed by MacSolutions Plus Data Recovery because we have the tools and knowledge required to properly diagnose and repair these kinds of issues.

Around 20% of the clicking hard drives we receive are caused by a crashed heads or scratched platters. In these cases, we offer our customers two options: we can disable the bad head in the drive’s firmware and provide a partial recovery of your data (using the drive’s good heads), or we can refer them to a clean room data recovery company that does heads swaps.

Myth: My two options for data recovery are running software data recovery applications or paying thousands of dollars for a clean room data recovery company.

This myth really boils down to the belief that there are only two kinds of data recovery: software-based data recovery and expensive clean room data recovery. If this was true, we would not have invested in MacSolutions Plus Data Recovery. Instead, we are pioneering a third kind of data recovery: hardware-software based data recovery. But before we get into that, lets examine the two common methods.

Software-based data recovery requires the hard drive to mount in the operating system. On a PC, that means it shows up in the BIOS or Window’s Disk Management. On a Mac, this means the hard drive appears in Disk Utility or on the Desktop. If the hard drive doesn’t show up on the computer, then software data recovery tools can’t access the hard drive and therefore can’t recover any data.

Even if your drive is visible to your OS, running software data recovery tools can easily kill your hard drive. Repeatedly encountering bad sectors and re-reading problem areas on the drive can result in increase damage to the platters and a greater number of unrecoverable sectors.

Another big risk when running software on your PC or Mac is that your OS may also attempt to “repair” your hard drive while it’s connected to the computer, which can completely destroy data when the hard drive has bad sectors (and most hard drive’s we get have bad sectors along with more serious problems). This automatic repair often happens in the background without any user approval or knowledge.

If you need your data back, don’t run the risk of destroying it forever by running software data recovery tools!

Clean room data recovery companies, in theory, can recover just about any bad hard drive (although there are hard drives which are unrecoverable by any means — or mis-diagnosed as unrecoverable).

Most people believe that if software can’t recover the data or if their computer can’t “see” the hard drive, then the hard drive is physically broken and needs a level-3 data recovery. Belief in this myth could end up costing them thousands of unnecessary dollars.

Our secret to affordable data recovery is our mastery of “hardware-based data recovery” techniques, which avoid the need for expensive data recovery prices and save our customers lots of money (and time).

Hardware-software based data recovery involves using specialized data recovery hardware and software tools to speak directly to the hard drive, without the need for an OS or computer “interpreter.”

Working with a hard drive on a firmware level, we can do things like: disable corrupt hard drive features (i.e., smart), disable bad or weak heads, use different methods to read (and re-read) the bad sectors off the hard drive, and avoid bad sectors on the hard drive (to name a few). These types of features are impossible to access using software tools alone or by hooking up a hard drive directly to a PC or Mac.

A crucial aspect of our hardware-software based data recovery is addressing firmware problems on the hard drive. The firmware on the hard drive is comparable to the operating system on your computer. If the operating system crashes (i.e., Window’s “Blue Screen” or Mac’s Kernel Panic) on your computer, the computer won’t function properly. Similarly, if the hard drive’s firmware becomes corrupt, the hard drive won’t function properly (it may “click” or it may not spin up at all).

Using specialized data recovery hardware and software designed to help identify and fix firmware problems, just about all firmware issues can be fixed without the need for expensive level-3 data recovery repairs. Software-based data recovery tools can’t deal with these problems because they can’t “talk” to the hard drive on a vendor-specific base-level.

Finally, our hardware-software based data recovery techniques deal with the hardware on the hard drive itself: the PCB. The PCB is the circuit board on the bottom of the hard drive. This circuit board, just like your computer’s motherboard, is filled with small components (like resisters, RAM chips, ROM chips, fuses, and jumpers). If any of these tiny components fail, the entire hard drive may stop working. Diagnosing and fixing these tiny PCBs safely is something you only learn from experience and practice.

 

Myth: Hitting, slapping, or intentionally dropping my hard drive, can bring it back to life.

There are loads of rumors around the Internet about various thing you can do to bring your dead or bad hard drive back to life. The truth is, it’s technically possible these could help, but the chances of success are low and the chances for further damage are high.

It’s much more likely these techniques will further damage your drive to the point that even we can’t recover it and the only remaining chance for recovery is with a $1000+ level-3 data recovery.

“Hitting,” “slapping,” and “intentionally dropping” a hard drive, as crazy as it sounds, has been known to work before. However, this was back in the good-old-days when hard drives were prone to “stiction.” “Stiction” occurs when the heads of the hard drive “stick” to the platter and cause the drive to not spin. Slapping the drive then, offered a chance of freeing the stuck heads and freeing the platters so they can spin up. Even if the hard drive starts spinning again, the chances for recovering all the data is small, since now there is very likely platter damage (since you just “dragged” the heads across the platters).

Hitting, slapping, or dropping a hard drive will often lead to scratched platters. Once platters are scratched, it’s likely no one will ever be able to recover the data (no matter how much you’re willing to pay), at least the data which falls under the scratched surface.

These dangerous “shock” techniques should never be used on a hard drive containing data that is valuable to you. It’s a guarantee that they will lessen your chances for recovery with us and likely some data will be permanently lost.

 

Myth: Freezing or heating my hard drive can bring it back to life.

Putting your hard drive in a freezer, or heating with a hair dryer, are two more common “Internet solutions” to fix a bad hard drive. While they both have a very slight chance of working, they are much more likely to cause serious damage. It’s a weekly occurrence that we get a previously “frozen” hard drive that is too damaged to be recovered. If your data is worth at least three hundred dollars, then freezing or heating your hard drive should never be attempted.

There are a few theories behind the “freezing” and “heating” ideas. Some people say the temperature change from hot-to-cold or cold-to-hot will expand the metal inside the hard drive (in particular, the spindle/motor) and allow a non-spinning drive to spin again. Other people say that freezing will cool down a drive that has a problem overheating.

The truth is, even if freezing does allow a drive to spin again, it will only be momentarily (often only a few minutes) and will not work repeatedly. This will typically not be enough time to recover all your important data. And subsequent attempts will last for even less time (if they work at all).

When “freezing” a hard drive, the drive’s platters are being filled with condensation. These platters need to remain perfectly “pure” for the magnetic data to be read off of them. The circuit board (PCB) on the bottom of the drive, which is filled with electronic components, will get wet from the condensation and it’s electronics can easily become damaged once the drive is powered on. There is no question, the chances for a successful Data Recovery greatly decrease after a drive has been in a freezer.

If the hard drive has “heat” issues (which alone is extremely rare), it’s almost always caused by a faulty PCB, something we have a 95%+ success rate recovering data from. Solving “heat” issues using a freezer, is like pulling out a bad tooth with a rocket. It may work, but there are much more reliable and safer methods to recover your data.

In conclusion, attempting either of these techniques should only be used as a last resort. Even then, the chances of it working are minuscule and will likely end up further damaging the hard drive to the point that expensive level-3 data recovery (read: “very expensive data recovery”) is your only remaining option.

Myth: I can swap the PCB (circuit board) from my bad hard drive with a good hard drive’s PCB and recover my data.

It’s important to know when a PCB is bad and when swapping it with a donor PCB could work. A thorough diagnosis using special data recovery tools is required.

But more to-the-point, a straight forward PCB swap can only work with really old hard drives (10 years+ old), aside from a few very rare exceptions. The reason for this is the PCB’s ROM information. Embedded in a chip (or two) on the PCB is “adaptive data” that is unique to the hard drive it’s attached to. This “adaptive data” includes information about the hard drive’s heads, its firmware version, any bad sectors in the drive’s service area, and more. Since each PCB comes from a particular drive with different head maps, number of heads, firmware versions, and factory defects, it cannot simply be swapped and provide access to your data.

It’s possible, if the “bad” hard drive is completely dead, that swapping the PCB may get the hard drive spinning again. However, it will likely start clicking, or at least not provide any access to the user data area of the hard drive. In this case, the only way to successfully perform a PCB swap is to move that unique ROM data from the original “bad” hard drive’s PCB to the donor PCB. This is accomplished using special data recovery tools or by manually moving the ROM chip(s) to the donor PCB.

It should also be noted that sometimes a PCB is bad and the electronics in the hard drive failed. Swapping the PCB in this case could end up destroying the donor PCB. Even more serious, sometimes swapping the PCB (without moving the ROM information) can seriously corrupt the “bad” hard drive’s firmware. It’s possible even the best and most expensive data recovery company cannot recover from this problem.

 

We recover your data as safely and efficiently as possible. Our data recovery process follows the same steps used by the biggest and most expensive data recovery companies in the world.

But we also take extra steps to maximize your satisfaction, like providing timely e-mail updates throughout the data recovery process, double checking our logical scan results, and “triple-checking” transfer drives.


Here are the full details of our data recovery process:

1) Receive hard drive.

You will drop off or mail-in your bad hard drive and a transfer hard drive (unless purchasing a transfer hard drive from us).

2) Inventory hard drive.
For “dropped off” hard drives, we’ll first note and verify the hard drive’s serial number. We’ll add contact information and hard drive details/symptoms into our ticketing system and data recovery database. Finally, we’ll label all accessories (power adapters, cables, etc.) with name, ticket number, and contact information.

For “mailed” hard drives, we’ll match the name on the box (and on the hard drive) to the previously submitted Mail In Form. We’ll confirm any conditional fees and note and label all parts and accessories. We’ll send an e-mail to go over our rate and policies (we don’t start working on the drive until our policies have been confirmed).

After inventory is complete, an email will be sent to our client letting them know we’ll start the recovery soon.

3) Diagnostic analysis.
In general, diagnostic analysis involves determining the underlying problem with the hard drive. This first requires removing the hard drive from its enclosure or computer (unless it’s a bare drive). We visually inspect the hard drive and PCB (the circuit board on the bottom of all hard drives). If all looks good, we’ll connect and test the hard drive using one or more of our hardware data recovery tools.

Diagnosis will likely also involve testing various components of the hard drive and PCB, testing the hard drive’s heads, and reading/saving/checking the hard drive’s firmware.

4) Revive hard drive.
Depending on the exact problem with the hard drive, various steps may be required to revive the drive so it’s accessible on a sector-level by our hardware cloning tools. This may include locating donor parts, repairing firmware modules, and replacing bad components on the PCB.

We may use donor parts to revive the hard drive and recover the data, but the bad drive will be returned in the same condition as it arrived. We cover all costs of donor parts, if they are necessary.

If the hard drive cannot be successfully revived, we’ll stop our recovery efforts and send our client an email offering to send the drive back, send the drive to a clean room we recommend, or safely destroy the drive so the data can never be recovered by anyone.

5) Pre-configuration.
Various steps are taken to minimize risk to the data and ensure a successful recovery. Often this includes mapping the heads of the hard drive, disabling advanced (and often problematic) features of the hard drive’s firmware, and controlling the environment of the hard drive.

After this stage, another email will be sent our client letting them know their recovery is “In Progress.”

6) Clone hard drive.
The most important step is cloning as much data as possible from the bad hard drive to one of our good hard drives. This process may take several hours, days, or even weeks (worst case scenario). It all depends on the problem with the hard drive, size of the hard drive, number of bad sectors, and amount of data needing to be recovered.

To complete this process as thoroughly and quickly as possible, we use specialized hard drive cloning hardware-software tools. If the drive is in especially bad condition, we will target/clone the most important files first (assuming the partition is still intact).

Once the most important files have been cloned, we’ll go after the less important remaining files. This prioritizing of files helps increase the odds that we’ll be able to recover the most crucial files (in case the hard drive is on the verge of complete failure).

7) Logically inspect hard drive.
At this point, our clone of the hard drive will be inspected using our software data recovery tools. Once connected, the clone will not mount on our PC or Mac system because we have intentionally disabled the part of the drive that instructs the operating system to recognize it. This avoids the problem of the OS attempting to repair a partition corruption in the background (potentially damaging the data further).

The partition and file structure of the hard drive will be inspected to determine the damage (if any). We perform no less than two software scans of the clone to ensure all the data has been found. If damage is present, we may do several more data recovery scans using various software recovery tools to get back as much data as possible.

In rare cases, we may need to manually reconstruct the damaged partition in order to access and recover the files.

After the data has been found, we’ll send an email to give our client the good news. We may also send a file listing at this stage, if less than 100% of the data has been recovered, to confirm our client would like to pay for the files we recovered.

8) Extract data.
At this point, all the data which can be recovered has been located. We’ll start moving the files to the transfer drive provided (unless the client opted to buy from us).

We always reformat the transfer drive in either NTFS (if the bad drive was PC formatted) or HFS (if the bad drive was Mac formatted). If the bad drive was Linux formatted, we’ll ask our client which format they prefer (Mac or PC).

Although it’s not always the best use of resources or time, we only move PC formatted drives on PCs and Mac formatted drives on Macs. This is due to rare cases of PC formatted transfer drives being corrupted on by a Mac or vice versa. Our client would receive the transfer drive but not be able to see the data.

9) Verify priority files integrity and back-up.
The most important files (listed on the mail-in form, or noted when dropped off) are verified to ensure they are working properly. Other files across the hard drive may be tested and structure of the file system is verified.

We already have our “clone” of the bad drive which we can use as a “backup.” But in addition to this backup, we also keep a backup of all the recovered “files” on an encrypted drive. We’ll keep this backup for at least 7 days, but will save it for longer upon request.

To ensure there are no problems with reading the transfer drive once returned to our client, we also perform a “triple check.” We’ll eject the transfer drive from the computer, mount/check on another computer, and re-check on the first computer. Although rare, this step helps further avoid an issue of our client not being able to read the data on the transfer drive.

The external hard drive is also virus scanned and any found viruses are repaired or removed.

10) Recovery completed!
All recovered data is now on the transfer drive and the data recovery process is complete. The final step is to confirm all mailed in or dropped off accessories are present.

If the client dropped off their drive, they are notified via e-mail that the data recovery is finished and the hard drives are available for pickup.

If the drive was mailed to us, we’ll safely box up the drives, calculate actual shipping cost, and contact our client for payment (via Paypal or over the phone).

 

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