Engineers at Datalab, Inc. have spent the past decade retrieving important and often sentimental information from dead hard drives and fried servers.
Customers have run the gamut from single moms to students to the
, co-owner Jim Gordon said. Much of Datalab's business has come from computer store referrals, he said.
Now, Datalab is about to start a new partnership with computer and electronics retailer CompUSA to provide in-house data recovery services at select stores. The company's engineers will be able to remotely connect to their equipment installed inside stores to recover loss data for customers.
South Floridians say the Oakland Park company has been the go-to company for "the fix" when your hard drive crashes and the neighborhood computer store or tech geek doesn't have the equipment to fix it or can't guarantee retrieval of all the data on it.
In April, the company rescued critical data for The Electric Bicycle Store in
after its server stopped working after a possible lightning strike.
"One minute it [server] was working, and the next it wasn't," co-owner Mark Lechter said Friday. "All our investment figures were on the server as we were trying to grow the business and in the process of finding investors."
Luckily, Datalab "was able to get everything back," Lechter said.
In the past Datalab also has salvaged hard-to-retrieve information from malfunctioning storage devices for Tyco and
, among others. .
Robert Torres, a senior systems engineer with the
's Homestead office said he turned to Datalab to help restore files from hard disk drives his IT team wasn't able to recover.
"There were able to deliver," said Torres of Datalab's engineers. "The data on the hard drive was extremely critical."
Sales of Datalab's data retrieval services have increased each year since opening, and 2011 was a "banner" year, Gordon said. So far this year's sales are ahead of last year's.
He counts specialized equipment and highly-trained engineers among reasons for its high data retrieval success rate.
"We make the necessary investment in equipment and training so we can have a state-of-the-art facility," Gordon said.
Lower overheads have also enabled Datalab to offer more competitive rates.
"We're austere. We don't have a fancy office," he added.
Datalab's data recovery quotes average $400 to $1,200, while competitors typically run from $700-$2,700 for similar services. Customers with basic Windows or Mac hard drive issues are only charged a $100 engineer evaluation if their data can't be retrieved.
A guarantee that's reinforced in its slogan: "No recovery, no recovery fee."