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I am the owner of a small computer repair business in St. Louis. Data recovery is not our main offering, but we certainly do a lot of it. On average we get around two calls per week from a distraught customer requiring data recovery. Before we discovered the RapidSpar, we would use software programs like R-Studio, Recuva, and ddrescue to attempt to recover data. Unfortunately, we had a very low success rate with these methods and would end up getting sky-high prices from clean-room companies like Gillware for the recovery. Nearly every customer declined any further repairs after hearing the clean-room pricing. That made us look bad in our customers eyes, and also significantly hurt our profits.
It would take months to get back enough data to make our customer happy in the few cases when we were able to recover data with one of these software methods. On top of the long recovery times, we’d also have to babysit the recovery process and make sure it hadn’t crashed or failed since last time we checked on it. Frustratingly, ddrescue and R-Studio would frequently produce corrupt pictures when recovering from failing drives. It’s embarrassing to explain to the customer that we recovered all of their vacation pictures, but some of the pictures are corrupt and unreadable.
I knew that if we were going to keep offering data recovery services to our customer, than we’d need to find a new way of doing things. We’d need something affordable. We’d need something that any technician could use without hours of training or deep understanding of the technical inner-workings of different hard drives and storage mediums. We needed something small and portable, that we could bring on-site with us. After doing a lot of research, I discovered the RapidSpar. RapidSpar seemed to meet every requirement that we had spot-on. I was able to easily afford it. It came with point-and-click software to assist with data recovery. It had a simple touch-interface for basic low-level imaging for when you didn’t have a computer nearby. The RapidSpar also came with RapidNebula, which is probably the most genius feature of this device.
RapidSpar has two different ways of performing a data recovery. The first method lets you perform a bit-by-bit image of your failing drive onto a drive of equal or greater size. You’re able to select the level of strength this imaging process uses from the touch screen. Your options are “Skip Bads”, “Dig Bads”, and “Balanced”. The imaging method is great for when you don’t have a computer nearby and just want to make a quick image of your bad drive. After completing this imaging, you’re able to recover files from the good drive (which now has all of the data from your failing drive) with your favorite software recovery program. My favorite recovery tool for this is R-Studio. You no longer have to worry about the drive failing or freezing up while R-Studio is digging through the data.
The second way the RapidSpar can recover data is via the assistance of the RapidSpar Assistant software. RapidSpar Assistant runs on a Windows computer and needs to be connected to the RapidSpar via a USB3 cable. The Assistant communicates with the RapidSpar to assist it in recovery and gives you a lot more control over the entire process. There are many benefits of using this recovery method rather than doing a raw image. For one: you are able to select only the files that you want to recover. This puts less stress on the hard drive since you’re only recovering the customer’s most critical files (pictures, music, documents, etc). You can even search for specific file types so that you don’t recover anything else.
My favorite thing about using the RapidSpar Assistant for recoveries is RapidNebula. This is hands-down the coolest feature the RapidSpar has to offer. When running a recovery, the RapidSpar Assistant will communicate back to the RapidNebula cloud for help in recovery. The RapidNebula collects details from thousands of other drives around the world and learns how to optimize your recovery to get the most data. It can disable heads in the hard drive, modify or repair firmware, and all kinds of other neat stuff that I don’t have to worry about doing myself. It’s fully automated, which means anyone can use it! I love watching the recovery logs as the RapidSpar Assistant communicates with the RapidNebula and optimizes the drive recovery process. I always think to myself “Wow, I’m so glad I’m not doing this all manually. I’d surely screw something up and ruin this drive!”.
I think that the RapidSpar is a good investment for any small or medium computer repair business that offers data recovery as a service. It’s affordable, easy-to-use, and will recover a ton more data than what software can do alone. I’m no longer afraid to turn down recovery jobs because they sound too hard. I know that if the RapidSpar can’t get data back, there’s literally no other option other than sending it into a clean room.