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Case Study - AMI Consulting

USB broken

AMI Consulting came to us with a USB stick above that had been snapped off whilst still plugged in to the laptop. Although it seemed to be an impossible task to recover anything from the fragments that remained, TMB successfully recovered all the data from the drive, allowing AMI to hit their important deadline.

"I have never felt so relieved as when TMB managed to piece together my broken USB memory stick, and they saved not only the day, but also my business"
Ann MacDonald
Director, AMI Consulting

Case Study - DJM

David called us after a recommendation from an existing client; he appeared looking very much the troubled man.

He told us he had a backup disk, and it has just stopped working. When he plugged it into the PC, it didnt appear on his list of drives, and noi matter what he did with it he simply couldnt read anything from it.

We asked the obvious question: what was on the backup drive that wasnt on the live drive?

Davids answer was chilling: his live drive had packed up months beforehand and so everyone had been working off the Backup Drive ever since. Now the backup disk had failed, they stood to lose everything, all the customer data, all their records, all their letters and invoices.

David had already been to two firms who advertised data recovery and both had failed to help: one had even charged £300 for no result.

David now the look of a man who was felt the situation was unrecoverable, and all his data was gone. We said whilst we obviously couldd not promise anything, we would do our best.

First we ran some forensice software that recovered every byte of data to an external drive, recovering around 4GB of data. Then we ran it again a number of times, recovering a little more each time. By the time we got to our sixth run, we had recovered 98% of Davids data - sending him off a very happy man indeed.

Whilst this process did take a few days to complete, the result was one which left everyone extremely happy, and TMB gained another satisfied client.

Our recovery Guarantee

At TMB we guarantee you won't pay if we cannot recover anything from your disk. Remember, the procedures we use are totally non-destructive, and your disk will be as safe as houses, so even if we can't help, and you want to take it to one of the big expensive recovery companies, your disk will still be exactly the same as when you brought it in to us.

TMB - helping you, when you need it most.


Case Study - Failed Mac OSX update

One of our existing clients called us from his home; his iMac had been updating when he had interrupted the installation and then found it would no longer boot. Try as he might he could not get it to start up without insisting on trying to continue the update, which failed every time. He had been trying to get it to start for a full day before he rang us. Asked whether he had any backups he sheepishly said no, everything was on the iMac - there were no backups at all as he had been 'meaning to do that for ages but just hadn't got round to it'.

We called at his house to take a look and realised it wasn't a quick fix, so collected the iMac, keyboard and mouse and brought it back to the workshop.

That's when things started to get interesting. The iMac would not boot up as it said it had a file system problem, but offered to fix it using the in-built Mac tools. They couldn't fix it. This was what the client had been trying. Next step was to try and copy the files to an external disk. We booted the iMac into Linux but couldn't see the Macintosh HD. We tried a few different flavours of Linux (OSX is based on a Linux core) and eventually could see the disk, however it would not let us copy many of the protected folders. Next thing was to boot into the mac equivalent of 'Safe mode', but it would not do that, it would only go to the repair screen again, where it said it could not repair and would only ask us to restart once again.

Mac Sierra Failed

We knew we could dismantle the iMac and get to the hard disk that way, but we wanted to try to resolve the issue without doing that if at all possible. We looked to see what third-party tools were available, but none looked like they offered a guaranteed positive solution without having to buy the software up front first - and some were quite expensive.

Next step was to try and recover all the files some other way, so we booted the iMac into 'Single user' mode (the bash shell - something not for the faint-hearted). This way we could mount an external disk on a SATA dock via USB, then do a complete copy of the existing disk to the external hard drive - it took around 12 hours. Once we had that copy, next step was to install a new OS onto a new external hard disk via USB, and after a few attempts where the system kept locking the hard disks, causing us to run a number of different commands to unlock the disk, we installed the software onto the external drive. Once that was complete we could boot up onto that disk, connect the first external disk onto the iMac, which then asked us if we wanted to import all the user settings, files and folders onto the new disk. Once that was complete we had the system back exactly as the owner's original disk (except it was booting off an external disk).

Final step was to then try to install a fresh oS onto the existing drive, and once we had done that, import everything from the new disk, then tell the iMac to boot from its internal Macintosh HD again, and the system was back.

All in all, we only lost 35 files out of 1,300,000 and they were temporary files. Quite a long process, and one that was anything but straightforward, but ultimately successful in the end.

A good result.

iMac repaired

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