Gillware - good or bad?
June 17, 2007 3:42 PM   Subscribe

Does anyone have experiences with Gillware for recovering data from a dead hard drive, aside from user bhance? They are cheaper than the big enterprise-level data recovery companies, but I'd like to see comments from more than one person if possible.
posted by matildaben to Computers & Internet (3 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
I can't vouch for Gillware, but I can stick my neck out for Bryan. I worked with him at the UofA, and we've been friends ever since I posted his Mayday Mystery website to MeFi as my first post (that's how we met). If he told me that Gillware's the way to go, I'd believe him.
posted by carsonb at 8:04 PM on June 17, 2007

Very, very late to this thread, but I definitely want to add my 2¢ for posterity and future searchers:

I had a full crash -- had to replace the hard drive, and Geek Squad reported nothing recoverable from the old drive. This wasn't just my own little laptop for the family photos and internet dicking around... it was my work laptop, and no, I hadn't taken a backup, ever. Geek Squad wanted to send it away to their recovery people -- $250 just to look, $750 and up later, and no guarantee of any recovery. "Oh, and the thing will likely be destroyed once we pry it open so you'll have to sign a form completely waiving our liability." No, thanks, bye.

Based on this thread and a couple of others, I contacted Gillware. Fedexed them the drive, paid for the standard service. Because of the severity of the crash and importance of the data, I authorized up front the additional $300 clean room work if needed -- but, I could have stayed with the regular ~$350 work and then had them contact me after inspection if they thought clean room was necessary (I knew that I was prepared to authorize clean room anyway so I just skipped that step).

One week later, they'd recovered everything. I got to see a preview of the files they found, to make sure I was getting back what I wanted/needed, before paying. They disposed of the hard drive for me (although I had the option of having it returned), and overnighted me DVDs of the data.

So, it ended up being about $700 for me, but the service was absolutely perfect and I would use them again if needed (which hopefully it won't be, touch wood). I would recommend Gillware without exception.
posted by pineapple at 9:13 AM on December 28, 2007

Response by poster: My experience was very similar to pineapple's. I lost all of my photos from a 3-week trip to Europe. I used Gillware, and authorized the clean room work up front. They got every single photo back, and sent me the preview. I called them on the phone to authorize the recovery, and the guy I talked to was the guy who'd done the recovery (he'd checked a few of the photos during the restore to make sure they were OK), and he mentioned to me that he'd even lived for a few months in one of the countries I took photos in, so we had a nice chat. It was a great small business experience. It ended up being about $700 plus the nominal cost of the DVDs. Gillware were awesome and I would recommend them highly.
posted by matildaben at 12:07 PM on December 28, 2007

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