It was during Storage Visions 2015 in Las Vegas just before CES was due to kick off that I ran into the friendly folks at Kroll Ontrack. They gave me an introduction to their business and exactly what they do. After I heard their story, I quickly put two and two together and came out with an answer that would probably make them happy and me.
Kroll Ontrack is in the business of data recovery. Many years ago now, I came back from dinner to see my PC switched off and a pile of water in the bottom of my case. Yep, my water cooling setup failed. After drying everything and cleaning everything, I attempted to boot up my PC. As you may expect, I didn't get very far. The system was toast, but worse so was my RAID 0 hard drive array.
I was foolish to store precious data on a RAID 0 array, knowing full well the risks - I was all about performance. Even worse, I didn't have a backup in place. Since the RAID array was built using the onboard RAID controller on the motherboard, I had lost everything. If I was using a discrete RAID controller card, there was a chance it could have skipped getting fried by the water leak, but I was all out of luck. I was devastated. A lot of the data I could download again, but seemingly the data I couldn't easily obtain (such as important personal photos and videos, and emails, etc.) were gone. I still remember how I felt that day.
Tracking back to earlier this year when I met up with Kroll Ontrack and telling them what I do and all about TweakTown, I found myself in a very fortunate and lucky position. Kroll told me I should send both hard drives to them, and they would attempt to recover the data for me for free in exchange for providing them with a blog post about the experience. Full disclosure. That's why we are here now.
Of course, I happily accepted the offer. After having found the two hard drives that were hidden away in packing boxes for many years, I shipped them off to Kroll Ontrack here in Brisbane, Australia (keep in mind, they have offices all around the world). The experience was fast, friendly, and professional from start to finish. It's easy for me to say that given I didn't pay anything for the service, but I have no reason to believe they wouldn't treat a paying customer exactly the same.
After finding the drives, I was instructed where to send the drives. I was told the price for Kroll Ontrack to provide an external backup solution (basically an external USB hard drive), or that I could send a spare drive of my own to keep the cost down. I sent them a spare internal Samsung SSD I had, of course along with the two RAID drives. I provided them with some basic system specs (mind you, I wasn't precise, because I couldn't remember the exact PC specs after all these years) and what happened (water cooler leak). I provided them with the tracking number of my package and was then instructed to await further details from them.
Shortly after they received my package, I got an automated email from Kroll Ontrack with the job number and a URL link to track the progress of the recovery. I was impressed by this; you can log in at any time and see what is happening. But it's not just a plain old text status update, you can also see the contents of your drive(s) in a Windows Explorer kind of interface, along with the recoverable data. It was lovely looking at it and being able to see all my old data, and better yet, the recovered photos and videos.
Suffice to say, I'm more than happy to recommend Kroll Ontrack for your data recovery needs. I know where I'll be going in the future if I have any other data issues. Thanks, Kroll Ontrack!