MacMedics Macintosh Service, Consulting, & Sales For Baltimore, Washington DC, & Philadelphia Blog

Macintosh Consulting, Service, & Support

Archive for the ‘Data Recovery’ Category

A New/Old MacMedics Client Has This To Say: First of all, I have three things to say: “use them”, “use them”, “use them”.

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It’s no secret that MacMedics can handle pretty much anything our clients can come up with (even when other service or consulting firms can’t).

Here’s a recent MacMedics review a customer left for us. He had been to see us 20 years ago, and when he ran into a tough problem he remembered us and came back. He also got to witness our data recovery skills and customer service for another client who happened to visit MacMedics in Millersville, Maryland at the same time he did.

“My MacBook from 2009 stopped working with Quicken. I went to an online Quicken specialist, supposedly, and after 5 hours of working on my computer, they couldn’t fix the issue. I remember a company that I used 20 years ago, and called to see if they were still around – they were. When I brought my computer to them, after a day of working on my computer, like they said, they had the problem fixed!

First of all, I have three things to say: “use them”, “use them”, “use them”.

Initially I spoke with their technician, Chris over the phone, who encouraged me to use their in-house lab services, costing $199. After having my computer fixed, I bought additional memory, by my request for $85. One thing that was reassuring was Chris’s people skills. He assured me that they will find a solution and that they could take care of the problem. During the repair process, Chris stayed in touch and told me his game plan, this wasn’t a simple fix; especially since another company wasn’t successful in resolving my problem.

Side note: After having my problem fixed – A college kid came in disheartened, having her hard drive quit. Watching Chris at work, reassuring by giving her a plan of action and a worst case scenario – you could see the change of this client’s demeanor, to that of calm in a matter of seconds. I have no doubt that he had another happy client.

Thanks again!!”

What can we do for you?

If you have a tough Macintosh service or repair problem, come visit us and let us put you at ease.

If you can’t get in touch with your Apple Consultant, Apple Reseller, or Apple Service Provider, then you need to call MacMedics, where we jump right in to solve your problems with SWAT Team like precision.

Call any of our local MacMedics offices for in-lab or on-site help anytime!

If You Believe Ragnarok Will Happen Today, Then Don’t Worry About Starting Your Backup Plan!

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If you believe Ragnarok will happen today, then don’t worry about starting your Backup plan. We’ll be here Monday to help with either that data recovery or that first step to backing up safely. Ask for our free Time Machine white paper.

Right now in Millersville we have SIX data recovery projects running and another couple in the wings waiting for equipment space. We do some pretty amazing data recovery work, but don’t ever count on paid data recovery as your backup plan. Some data is just gone and there’s nobody that can get it back. That’s heartbreaking for you AND us.

Guess what? Hard drive die! If your hard drive is over three years old, it’s a good idea to replace it. MacMedics has new hard drive options like 1GB Hybrid 2.5″ hard drive, custom built Fusion drives, and desktop hard drives up to 4TB. Also, with the price of Solid State hard drives falling to new lows, it’s a great idea to use one of those if you can. Need help? This is what we do! MacMedics replaced over 1000 hard drives in 2013.

Read more on our website

Written by Dana Stibolt

February 22nd, 2014 at 11:37 am

Winter Storm Pax Is Coming! Is Your Data Backed Up? Are You Prepared To Telework When The Bad Weather Hits?

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Winter Storm Pax will most likely hit the Mid-Atlantic area (MacMedics territory and from the looks of it we will be ground zero!), and it will likely destroy some data in some way.

Here in the Mid-Atlantic area, MacMedics clients and friends should un-plug their computer and remove and store backup hard drives in a dry place if you’re not going to be around when the snow and power outages hit us. If the power is off, or it goes out, it’s a smart idea to go ahead and just unplug your computer from the power and from your network if you have hardwired EtherNet.

Pro Tip: When disconnecting your computer system from power, unplug everything attached to your network, even the COAX cable from your cable or satellite box as that appears to be #1 surge source (based on past repairs). In regards to power surges, if your power DOES goes out (or starts to flicker), disconnect from power, as surges can also occur when the power comes back on as well!

If you are going to be working from home during the snow day, ensure you have access to your company’s VPN or have remote access to your server. Also, if you collaborate with co-workers on Dropbox or other services that let you share data, you should double check that you have access to that today.

This might also be a good time to enhance your back up plan by adding an off-site back up. MacMedics has our own off-site backup plan for our clients. Contact us if you’d like to get a backup configured for you.

For our friends and clients in the Mid-Atlantic region, MacMedics recommends that you back up your hard drive via a “clone” use Super Duper or Carbon Copy Cloner, as that way you can “test” your back up to insure you have a good, bootable copy.

The important thing is to PLAN AHEAD. Your back up is not complete if it’s not:

1. Automatic
2. Redundant
3. Off-Site

Here’s a few more tips from MacMedics:

1. If you do not have Ultra Call Forwarding at your office, be sure to forward your business phone lines to your cell phone BEFORE you lose phone and/or power to your phone system.

2. Your alarm system should contain a small back up battery, but you can extend that greatly, by plugging your alarm system into a high capacity UPS system.

3. If your server is not set to Auto Restart after a power failure, it’s not to late to turn that on.

We have tons of posts on Time Machine and we even have a free White Paper on it If you’d like a copy, let us know. If you’re not using an automatic backup, your data is at risk!

Written by Dana Stibolt

February 12th, 2014 at 9:41 am

Do You Need Your Rocket Plans From 1997 Off Of A PowerMac 7300/180? No Problem!

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Today we transferred data from a PowerMac 7300/180 that came with a 2GB SCSI Quantum hard drive. This Mac is owned by NASA. We removed the hard drive and hooked it up to our equipment that can read SCSI devices and copied the entire hard drive to a DVD ROM.

A super dusty PowerMac from 1997. MacMedics offers Data Recovery on Vintage Macintosh Computers

Written by Dana Stibolt

January 16th, 2014 at 12:20 pm

Be Thankful For Your Digital Devices And Your Data Stored On Them

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The following was written by Mike Harrison from the MacMedics Washington DC office:

Here’s my “thankful” suggestion for the day. Please take stock of your digital life, your pictures, music, digital content, files, etc. Many of you have a 4-day weekend (This Thanksgiving holiday), so please use some of that time to make sure your computer is backed up. Make sure your cell phone’s content is backed up. If you have an iPhone or iPad, use iCloud backup services. For those who don’t know me, I work with the hard-case customers that the Apple Store can’t help. I see hard drive failures, destroyed computers and data loss every day, no exaggeration. I have customers break down crying because it’s going to cost them thousands of dollars to get back the pictures of their children, or the masters thesis they’ve been working on for six years. I’ve seen young people flunk an entire semester of college because they didn’t have a backup. At least a few times a week customers, will tell me how much they “live” on their computers, many use them for their livelihood and can’t be without them for a few hours. Please be thankful your devices have worked thus far, because it’s only a matter of time before they fail, get stolen or destroyed by a spilled cup of coffee.

If your backup plan is lacking in some way, or you don’t have one at all, please get in touch with your local MacMedics office. We’d love to help you get one set up.

We have lost and lots of suggestions here on the MacMedics Blog. See this link for more info on Time Machine.

Also, with the holidays upon us already, see my tips for protecting your holiday photos here: Protect Your Holiday Photos With These Simple Steps

Apple Mavericks OS X 10.9 and Western Digital – Data Loss

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Western Digital bundled software is not compatible with 10.9 Mavericks

Update 12/1/13

Via an email from Western Digital:

As we previously announced, Western Digital received reports of Western Digital and other external HDD products experiencing data loss when updating to OS X Mavericks (10.9). Our investigation to date has found that for a small percentage of customers that have the WD Drive Manager, WD Raid Manager and/or WD SmartWare software applications installed on their Mac, there can be cases of a repartition and reformat of their Direct Attached Storage (DAS) devices without customer acknowledgement which can result in data loss. We have an updated version of the software that fixes this issue. We strongly recommend that you install this updated software. Please contact our service and support team with any questions.

Below are links to download the software:

WD Drive Manager for Mac Version 3.1.0.

WD SmartWare Version 1.3.6 for Mac 10.5-10.9.

Western Digital

This email arrived from Western Digital last night. We wanted to share it with our readers as soon as possible.

Dear WD Registered Customer,

As a valued WD customer we want to make you aware of new reports of Western Digital and other external HDD products experiencing data loss when updating to Apple’s OS X Mavericks (10.9). WD is urgently investigating these reports and the possible connection to the WD Drive Manager, WD Raid Manager and WD SmartWare software applications. Until the issue is understood and the cause identified, WD strongly urges our customers to uninstall these software applications before updating to OS X Mavericks (10.9), or delay upgrading. If you have already upgraded to Mavericks, WD recommends that you remove these applications and restart your computer.

The WD Drive Manager, WD Raid Manager, and WD SmartWare software applications are not new and have been available from WD for many years, however solely as a precaution WD has removed these applications from our website as we investigate this issue. .

Western Digital

The Western Digital bundled software has been an issue for quite some time, and it is one of several reasons MacMedics does not resell the Western Digital external hard drives. If you have this software, you should NOT use it, and frankly you don’t need it. Any external hard drive will work with Time Machine, and that is all you need for a safe back up.

If you have questions about this, please feel free to give us a call.

Written by Dana Stibolt

October 31st, 2013 at 8:18 am

MacBook Air Flash Storage Drive Replacement Program

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Apple has determined that certain 64GB and 128GB flash storage drives used in the previous generation of MacBook Air systems may fail. These systems were sold between June 2012 through June 2013.

MacMedics will replace affected MacBook Air flash storage drives, free of charge.

To see if your drive may be affected, go to the Mac App Store, click on Updates, and choose the MacBook Air Flash Storage Firmware Update 1.1. The firmware update will test your drive to see if it is affected. You will be directed to Apple’s program page for the next steps if needed.

IMPORTANT: If your drive is affected, we strongly recommend that you do not install any operating system updates or new applications. We also recommend backing up your data on a regular basis until you receive a replacement drive. Learn more about backup options

Before you bring your MacBook Air in for service, please back up your data. If you don’t have a way to backup before you visit MacMedics, we can sell you a Time Machine hard drive or a Time Capsule and backup your data for a small fee.

If you believe you have paid for a repair or replacement due to this issue, contact Apple regarding a refund.

This worldwide Apple program does not extend the standard warranty coverage of the MacBook Air.

The program covers affected MacBook Air for three years after the first retail sale of the unit. Apple will continue to evaluate service data and will provide further updates to this program as needed.

Another Macintosh Data Recovery Case Involving a Spanned or Striped RAID

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Another Macintosh Data recovery in progress at MacMedics Baltimore today!

Right now in the MacMedics Millersville office we are working a data recovery case involving an older IDE based LaCie Big Disk. These hard drives were really popular for a long time and they contain (2) hard drives that form (1) Macintosh hard drive volume. They are super risky to use for several reasons

A. At this point they should be retired due to age anyways.

B. They use two hard drives to form one, so you are doubling your chance for data loss, because if one drive fails you lose the data on both drives.

Read our blog post on the dangers of this type of drive and with 3TB drives now at under $200 just replace these relics of the early days of mass storage.

Written by Dana Stibolt

August 15th, 2013 at 10:00 am

A MacBook Pro Falls Off The Roof Of A Jeep, Gets Run Over Multiple Times And MacMedics Saves The Data From The Dented Hard Drive!

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Update 7/24/13: 15″ MacBook Pro takes a licking and keeps on ticking! Despite falling off of a Jeep at highway speed and getting run over several times, the MacBook Pro still turns on and appears to have a good logic board. Also, the data was recovered by MacMedics off of it’s “dented” hard drive.

Keep reading for more on the story and how we helped this MacMedics customer save their data.

We recently helped an out of town Mac user from New York, who left his MacBook Pro on the roof of his Jeep. It fell off at highway speed and then was run over multiple times by other cars.

In situations where a hard drive has been physically damaged, we always refer Macintosh Data Recovery cases to a “clean room” recovery firm, such as DriveSavers. In this case the owner of this MacBook Pro 15″ want us to try to recover their data despite the risks.

The MacBook Pro was destroyed, I mean really totaled! And, even the unit’s hard drive had been dented in the mishap.

If you have a data recovery case that you need us to look at, please get in touch for the next step in handling your case. If you need to skip over us and go straight to DriveSavers, then do call us to obtain our 10% referral coupon code.

Keep reading for the story and for for the photos of the MacBook Pro carnage!

MacMedics provided great customer service and miraculously saved my hard drive!

We were on our way down to visit my sister when without realizing, I saw my laptop fly off the roof of my car as I was told by a passing motorist a few seconds prior that there was something on the roof. Walking back to get my laptop I watched several cars run over my laptop. It looked hopeless. A whole corner of my 15″ MacBook Pro was bent up and the whole laptop was compacted onto itself.

Depressed, we woke up the following day and went to the mall in Annapolis to go to the Apple Store with hopes to save the hard drive. They referred us to MacMedics in Millersville, MD. We quickly went there after the gentleman on the phone assured us that they would do anything they could to recover the hard drive. We got there and were quickly greeted by a technician. They were very thorough in their explanations of all the possible outcomes for our situation. We dealt with Brandon Carter who was very helpful and answered all of our questions and then Dana Stibolt, the President of MacMedics, who informed us of what to expect and was very sympathetic to our situation. He had reassured us that they would do anything and everything to help us and was extremely nice and knowledgeable.

With great luck, they were able to recover all of my files (pictures, music, documents, etc.) Because my hard drive was dented, it took over 24 hours to recover all the data. Not because of the amount of my data recovery, but because there was damage to the hard drive. The external hard drive (with my recovered data) was mailed Monday and I received it Wednesday with detailed instructions as I how to restore my files. Also included were the business cards of consultants at MacMedics to help if I had any questions.

The people of MacMedics saved me because it was already bad enough that I had destroyed a very expensive laptop that was a birthday gift but also the memories and music I had stored on it. They’re very helpful, knowledgeable and courteous and if I have any future disasters with any of my Apple equipment, I will 100% go back to MacMedics as they did the impossible.
Thanks again and you saved my life!

When Your Apple Server IS Out Of Service, We’re Coming As Quickly As We Can To Fix It!

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Check out our newest client testimonial from Schum & Associates – Advertising and Graphic Design. We act quickly when there is an emergency!

Apple Service, Sales, & Consulting by Apple Certified Professionals serving the Washington DC, Montgomery County, Prince George's County, Maryland, and Northern Virginia areas.

“Can’t say enough about how impressed we are with MacMedics. Our OSX server completely died on us and, in a panic, we called MacMedics. We needed to be up and running again fast for our clients. Mike Harrison calmly and professionally took down all of the important information, which reassured us that we had called the right people for the job. We were given the choice to send our drive in or have a tech come out. We needed on-site medical attention for this one. Mike sent Andy Haupt to help us. Andy arrived in record time with a great attitude and ready to get to work. He didn’t want to waste any valuable time. He quickly diagnosed the problem confirming that we needed a new drive. He told us exactly what would be done, reviewed our options and then got to work installing a much better solution for us. He walked us through the best way to configure everything for the future and set it all up for us. He told us the good news was that we had a full back up from the night before that could be installed on the new drive. Furthermore, both Mike and Andy stated more good news. We had a few hours left over from a block of service hours we bought way back in 2010. We appreciate their honesty in letting us know of unused hours from three years ago as I don’t know if any other company would have brought this to our attention. Andy had us back up and running quickly and left us with a smile, his business card and a reassuring handshake. We are very happy to be “backup” and running. Thanks MacMedics.”

Ephraim Schum
Senior Art Director
Schum & Associates
McLean, Virginia