Client Comments

Please scroll to the bottom of the page to see the most recent comments from clients who have first hand experience using my service. Reading through the comments here will give you a good idea of what a remote data recovery service can do for you.

Or if we’ve already had success recovering your data (or perhaps not), kindly scroll to the bottom of the page and enter a posting with your comment or testimonial or even criticism.

254 comments

  1. I thought i had lost 50gb of backup data. mostly photos of the kids that could not be replaces, music, etc. i found Steve’s link and gave it a try. he had everything restored in about 2 hours!! amazing, thanks so much.

  2. I’m glad I was able to help you out Billy. It was a pleasure to work with you. And thanks for the donation!

  3. Hubert N

    I am so thankful I found this I website. I really thought I had lost all the work I had done over the past two years. Your method of recovering files is ingenious and so simple. I got all of my data back, and I didn’t have to remove my hard drive or leave the house! Thank you so, so much!

  4. Thanks for the comment Hubert. Glad I could help. I would just add that Hubert had a 500GB drive from a Mac Book with a corrupt HFS file system caused by bad sectors. The recovery process in this case was a bit tricky but in the end the results were very good. Total recovery time was about 24 hours.

  5. I had become pretty much desperate when I found a link to Steve’s site. I had 720 GB’s saved on my external drive and couldn’t retrieve it. Amongst the files were pictures and videos that were irreplaceable and held a few lifetimes of memories.
    I contacted Steve and his response was immediate and he initiated the process of remotely recovering my data. Steve patiently walked me through the set up and over the week it took to recover my data, he gave me constant updates and information, about the files recovered, the data loss and the progress he was making.
    Although I held my breathe for an entire week, I was amazed and thrilled at the results. He recovered all but 5Mb of unrecoverable data. It is incredible to me that Steve ingeniously can perform these remote data recovery operations. I don’t think I could ever amply express my gratitude. Thank you so much.

  6. Thanks for the comments Diane and thanks for the donation. Diane had a 1TB external USB drive that she could no longer access and Windows was asking to format the drive. Turns out the drive was riddled with bad sectors. The combination of numerous bad sectors, a large 1TB drive, and operating at USB speeds slowed the recovery process quite a bit and resulted in a recovery time of one week. But in the end after saving all recoverable sectors there were just 14 .mpg files identified as suffering partial damage.

  7. The most kind and patient person I’ve ever met. That the personal side. Super knowledgable and fixed my problem with ease. He and His service is priceless. I would highly recommend Stephen.

    • Michael’s laptop was hit by a virus after which he was no longer able to access his pdf documents. I was able to save 772 pdf files to his external usb drive. Then a full backup was performed. Total recovery time was about 2 hours. Thanks for the donation Michael!

  8. This was one of the most pleasurable experiences I have ever had with a computer problem. My daughter, being a teen, succeeded in getting over 200 viruses in her computer, including the “Windows Registry” virus. Her computer was running real slow and I was not able to get into any of her files without it freezing up. Even worse…the computer was saying that all of her program files were gone. My daughter was more concerned about losing all her photos and videos then anything else on the computer.
    Steve was highly recommended to me by my sister. She contacted him weeks before with a major computer problem and her computer files were retrieved and the errors were completely fixed. I must admit, I was a little reluctant at first. Yet, once I started talking to Steve, I felt at ease right away. Throughout the process, I felt confident and stress free. Steve kept in contact with me on the progress of my computer and I never felt that I was left in the dark. Aside from how wonderful and comfortable Steve made me feel, I think the other great advantage of Steve’’s service was that I didn’t have to move my wireless computer, connect it to a router or pack it up and bring it to a store. Everything was done remotely. It can’t get any better than that, except for the joy I saw in my daughters face when she realized that, not only were her photos and videos saved but her computer was back in running condition too. I now have Steve’’s phone number and web address in my cell phone so I can easily pass on Steve’’s wonderful service to anyone in need of a computer fix.
    Thank you again, Steve. I can’’t express my gratitude enough. It is my pleasure to send a donation.

    • Initially Donna’s case looked like a data loss problem from a failing hard drive. But on further investigation the problem turned out to be caused by a virus that enabled the hidden flag on all programs and data. Which obviously created great alarm for her daughter when she observed all her files and programs were missing. Of course they were still there just hidden.

      So in this case my data recovery CD was not needed. Instead I simply remotely connected in to Windows and performed a typical virus removal operation. And after resetting the hidden flags all was well again. Total time about 3 hours. It was a pleasure to assist you Donna and thank you for the donation!

  9. tech access

    This guy works miracles. He enjoys a challenge. Had a 2 TB western digital external hdd formatted to run on apple os. After the owner mistakenly formatted the drive 5 times attempting to see his data. The drives ended up on my desk. He worked at restoring the partition where he recovered 466 gb of data. Then he formatted a drive via the net so the data could be read by both windows and mac os. Plus he was very knowledgeable and worked with me being that I had very little experience with linux he also configured the connection so the operation ran with traffic management. He’s totally a rock star. Use his product I recommend it to others. Its definitely worth it.

    • Stephen

      This was a relatively easy recovery. The 2TB external USB drive was originally partitioned in HFS+ format to run on a Mac. The partition was somehow lost by the end user. When I ran my initial analysis the drive appeared unpartitioned. But performing a deeper partition search found the lost HFS+ partition. And once it was restored the data was again accessible. Total recovery time about 2 hours.

  10. Carolyn Y.

    Something very strange happens when your 500 GB external hard drive becomes inaccesible. Where did all the important files and documents go? I pictured them whirling endessly along side the thousands of lost photos in an electronic tornado I knew I could never figure out. Yes, something very strange happens. No words can describe such a sinking feeling of loss. Panic sets in. Everything is gone. Just gone;Pieces of history that cannot be replaced. But wait….I find Stephen….he reassures me that he can get the files back ! Can this be true? Wait…it gets better….he does it for free and only asks for a donation. He guided and hand held me through what I felt was a baffling, tedious, hopeless situation; it was done with patience and reassurance,communication and updates. Then VOILA…..a miracle !!! All my files were restored and retrieved then backed up in more than one way to avoid a future episode. Hopefully this will never, ever, happen again ! Stephen, I cannot thank you enough.As I said, your initials, SH = SUPER HERO to me. Although I do not wish hard drive failure or computer viruses on anyone, I would definitely use your service again and recommend it to my family and friends. It is so worth using Stephen’s service; thank you…thank you…thank you!!!!!!!

    • Stephen

      Carolyn, thank you for posting about your data recovery experience it was a pleasure to assist you. And thank you for the very generous donation. In Carolyn’s case her 500GB drive developed a number of read errors/bad sectors which were located at the beginning of the drive. This in turn caused damage to the partition table resulting in the drive becoming inaccessible from Windows.

      After taking a sector by sector clone image of the failing 500GB drive onto a good working drive I was able to restore the backup partition table and recover all lost data. Total recovery time about 20 hours.

  11. Gene A.

    May 17, 2011

    I contacted Steve at the suggestion of my daughter, Diane who had highly recommended his services.. My computer was shutting down several times after startup and finally after 4 to 6 times the computer finally stayed on for the rest of the day.. After spending time on the phone with Steve, he offered possible suggestions to alleviate the problem.. Upon trying his suggestions, I have yet to encounter the problem again.. I really appreciate the time Steve spent sharing his expertise.. His service is invaluable and I was happy to make a donation..
    Gene A.

  12. Dana DeFazio

    When I found Stephen’s site online it was a miracle! I tried to do a repair on XP and realized my external hard drive was connected and it wiped out the partition information. I was in tears as I am a graphics artist and have literally 100s of 1000s of graphics on that drive as well as program I can not replace. With in 3-5 minutes Stephen recovered the info and have not had the problem since.
    I certainly recommend his services and kindness to anyone no matter how computer saavy you think you are; he is an expert in his field. From now on he is definitely my go to guy for computer problems
    Dana
    Florida

    • Stephen

      Thank you Dana. Your case was one of the relatively easy ones. I wish they were all this way. Dana’s USB drive had lost it’s partitioning info. After a quick partition search on the drive I was able to find and restore it back to normal.

  13. Mathew Abraham

    My hard drive was crashed and was not recogonised in windows at all. I contacted many data recovery companies in UK and the quote was not affordable. An expert from the expert-exchange.com community recommended stephen and I contacted him, he managed to recover most of the data, it was like ressurecting the dead. Everything was done remotely, with clear instructions.

    I would recommend his services to anyone. He is very patient and a true professional gentleman.

    • Mathew it was a pleasure to work with you and thank you for the donation!

  14. Stephen did a great job of recovering about 95% of the data from a malfunctioning 2TB drive. He was very patient and very thorough, and I highly recommend his services.

    • Ben’s 2TB drive could not be accessed from Windows due to a mild case of bad sectors. To recover I made an image copy of the drive onto another 2TB drive. But unfortunately the bad sectors corrupted the Master File Table making the partition unmountable.

      Luckily I had been working on a new process to handle cases of MFT corruption and using that process I was able to recover 1.8TB of data including the original folder structure and file names.

  15. This guy is ridiculously AWESOME. I work at a PC repair shop so I’m usually pretty good at retrieving data from almost dead hard drives…well not this time. My client’s 2TB HDD had about 97 percent of bad sectors! It was awful. I could not transfer a thing and any utility I threw at it would not work…well, I found Stephen after pulling my hair out all day, gave him a call, left him a voicemail, and he called back within 10 minutes. Had me burn his bootable ISO, boot it up in my client’s PC and the rest is history! The guy took the time to work on my system for several hours and was able to retrieve valuable info I was unable to! A God-send, truly.

    Use this man! You won’t regret it!

    • Stephen

      Thanks for the endorsement Tim!

      Tim’s case was another instance of bad sectors leading to MFT corruption. Compounding the problem the drive would disappear (go off line) if certain sectors of the drive were accessed, requiring a restart to re-establish connectivity to the drive.

      After taking an image the partition was mountable but trying to access the client’s My Documents or Desktop folders produced only I/O errors. Long story short my new MFT recovery process saved the day, all client data from My Documents and Desktop folders were recovered. Total recovery time was about 30 hours.

  16. Congratulation on doing a superb job on recovery my photos from my corrupted hard drive.You always sims to make something positive out of negative events.

    A huge THANK YOU for doing such a wonderful job!.

    What a relief! I must say,my son was really worried about his hard drive failure. He thoughts his photos (about 4000)were lost forever.

    You are an an absolute lifesaver! You recovered 5gb of photos.I was treated like I was your only client and provided a level of service that was way above my expectations. I recommend Free Data Recovery (Stephen)hightly.

    Thanks again for your time and for your help.

    • Jose it was a pleasure to help you out and thank you for your donation and comment!

      Jose’s 40GB Seagate drive had a severe case of bad sectors. Now usually when trying to read the data on a bad sector an error is reported and an attempt is made to move on and read the next sector. But in this case accessing bad sectors caused the drive to disappear and go off line. So several reconnects were needed to recover the data from this drive and with perseverance I was able to save most all of Jose’s photos for his son.

  17. Wilfred T

    I was born in Brooklyn, so as you can imagine, I’m thinking that “free” anything is a scam. Being unemployed, my desperation overcame my fears. Companies were quoting me hundred and hundred of dollars and I was resigned to waiting for better days to ever recover my data. After speaking to Stephen on the phone,I went ahead and gave him access. He was able to pull out thousands of photos and videos from my Oxooooo erroring hard drive including photos of my children and videos of my wedding. It was quick, painless, and fear free.

    He is the “Christopher Lloyd” of data recovery. He can bring your data back to the future.

    -Wilfred

  18. Duane Holsten

    Recently, our daughter experienced a failure of an external hard drive, to which she had transferred and emptied her laptop of all her photos and other documents. Some days later, those files were no longer accessible on the partition in that external drive. She was heartbroken. After her brother’s (and my) attempt at trying to recover the files, I discovered Stephen’s web site. His system successfully restored all her precious photos and documents remotely and transferred them to a new external drive.

    Now, our daughter needs to figure out a way of a 2nd backup of her important files.

    Her husband has been without a job for more than a year and somehow they’re barely getting by. So, I’m glad I discovered Stephen’s service and that his work on recovery was successful.

    Thanks Stephen.

  19. I want to extend my thanks and highest recommendation to Stephen, for his help with my failed hardrive. He was responsive, efficient and very helpful and pateient with my problem.

    Unfortunately, due to the type of problem my hardrive suffered it will have to physically go to a data recovery firm. But Stephen was very helpful in diagnosing the problem and providing me with the detailed information I need and what to expect for the next step with physical recovery.

    I recommend Stephen highly.

    • Stephan’s case illustrates an important point. Namely that not all the cases I work on will result in a happy ending. Most do but not all. This is because I am usually able to screen out cases beforehand where from experience I know that data recovery using only software methods will not be possible. In Stephan’s case his Western Digital drive was detected but it could not be accessed at the sector level. This sometimes happens when there is damage to the drive’s firmware which is stored on the drive’s platters in a hidden zone called the Service Area.

      The good news for others that may read this is that it’s estimated that well over 50% of all data recovery cases can be resolved using software means. So the odds are in your favor.

  20. My external drive took a dive, and I was just sick. I had almost everything meaningful on that backup drive. I mean, who backs up a back up drive,right? I tried three other “recovery software applications” which hosed the drive even more. I was ready to send it to a lab, and spend the family vacation fund to get our memories back.
    Enter Stephen and his remote rescue operation… With nothing to lose I asked him to check it out. He remoted into the drive, worked his magic, and got every single file on that drive recovered! Words cannot express! What an original and unique approach to the traditional data recovery services. Thanx Stephen for saving my bacon! Needless to say, I will have multiple copies of my data from here on in…

    • Earl’s 500GB Seagate drive developed bad sectors which made his data inaccessible from Windows. Another complicating factor which I’m seeing more often these days is that accessing certain damaged sectors causes the drive to go off-line. Maneuvering around these “landmines” is a bit tricky but possible with patience. The final stats: 155GB of data recovered in about 20 hours.

  21. J. From Detroit

    I am currently in school and rely on my laptop heavily. My hard drive failed so I took it to a local pc repair store. They quoted me $250 to replace and recover my failed hard drive. On a student’s budget, this was not feasible. Enter Stephen. I searched the internet for software to recover my data and I cam across freedatarecovery.us and was delighted to see the many great reviews. I bought a new hard drive for $50 and Stephen worked his magic. I had my pc back like nothing ever happend. I will highly recommend Stephen. He was a great help!

    • J’s failing 320GB Western Digital drive was in his late model Toshiba laptop. But for some reason my data recovery CD would not run normally on this laptop which is quite rare. To work around the problem he was able to borrow another laptop and swap in his failing drive. Then the CD ran normally and the recovery process began, 99.98% of the sectors on the failing 320GB drive were copied to the new drive. Placing the new drive back into his Toshiba made it operate like there was never a problem. Windows along with all his applications and data were back. Total recovery time in this case was about 6 hours.

  22. I am a wedding photographer. And I had a problem come up with my 1.5 TB HDD recently. I had about 45 weddings on the drive, and opened it up one day to finish up some work, and the only words I seen were – empty folder – at the top. I almost fell out! I don’t know what to do, but I started looking through ALL the ads on Google, and didn’t like what I seen. Especially the prices. Then I found Stephen! Thank The Lord! A few days later, from his place in Boston, with me still in Georgia, I had almost all my data recovered! Wow! I didn’t know what to say! But, he is the best! Truly amazing, no mailing my stuff to him or anything. I told him my story, and he started working on it that day. I don’t know what I would have done without him! Now, I’m able to finish my customers wedding photos, and I’ll keep my clients happy too! Thanks, Stephen!!!!

    • Joe’s 1.5TB drive was operationally fine but much of his data had been deleted. So this was a case of deleted file recovery. The process I use in cases like this is to scan all sectors on the drive’s NTFS or FAT partition for MFT fragments. Using these fragments it’s then possible to recover the deleted data preserving the original file names and folder structure. But on a drive this size it takes time in this case about 4 days, certainly well worth the wait to recover the wedding photos of so many newlyweds.

  23. When I asked Stephen for help with my failed external Hard drive he was very quick to respond and and very kind in trying to help me with my data loss. Unfortunately my specific issue requires specialist equipment to restore the data and can only be done in house but Stephen was able to advise on this and help further when I went back to him for advice.

    I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend Stephen to anyone who has lost access to their data and wish him every success!

    • Elizabeth’s 320GB Western Digital drive is an example of a drive that could not be recovered using my technique. Although my success rate is high, I estimate that about a third of the clients that contact me can not benefit from my service. In this case the drive was detected as present but it was not possible to read the drive at the sector level. This usually happens if there is firmware damage or damage to the drive’s service area. In cases like this a data recovery lab using a hardware imager can likely recover most of the data from the drive. The best I can do is establish the condition of the drive and suggest a reasonably priced data recovery lab to perform the job.

  24. Richard, Calgary, Canada

    When my second SimpleTech external drive decided to let me down, I turned to Stephen who answered me within 15 minutes. Stephen took time to explain to me in details what will be the steps to recover my 300GB lost data. Everything went as he planned in just 4 hours. My personal data were successfully recovered and backed up on a new hard drive. Stephen is fast,kind and most of all very professional. I recommend him to anyone having data recovery issues. Thanks a lot again Stephen!!

  25. This was the second time I have used Stephen to help me out with my teenage daughter’s computer. Once again, he helped me through the process of getting it back to working condition. My daughter was thrilled that nothing was lost on her computer. It is always a pleasure working with Stephen and I highly recommend him to anyone with a computer problem. Thank you again.

  26. Thanks to brain surgery last Oct, typing is vert hard to do. so please fpoegive ne if I stuble around the keyboard a bit. I was looking through so old emails fron you and found email that made it possible to thank you for what you did for me. Had those files been permantly lost it would have made my recovery so much more diicult. My woodworking is now wood carving (they won’t let me use power tools) but even that would have bean impossible with out your help.

    I wi;; never stop braging about you and what you did for me.

    Thabk You

  27. Safia Bachard

    Back in June, when I had a blue screen of death on my laptop and could no longer have access to anything on it, I became so desperate as I had all of my kids pictures on it, especially my baby girl’s birth and first year pictures that where saved nowhere else than on that computer. I became even more desperate when I saw the prices charged by data recovery labs on the Internet, as I knew that I could not afford that. Out of despair, I turned to eBay and God blessed me by putting on my way Steve’s ad for free (and it really is!) data recovery services. Within minutes after I contacted him, he started working on my laptop! His technique is so amazing and he dedicated so much time working on my laptop and recovered our so precious pictures and the rest of my 55 GB of data. Steve, we will never thank you enough for what you did for us. Thank you from the bottom of my heart!

    • Nice to hear from you Safia. Your case was an interesting case to work on. Safia’s 60GB drive was in very bad shape with numerous bad sectors. Normally taking an image copy of a drive this size takes only a few hours and no more than a day max but it took several weeks to create an image in this case. But in the end it was worth the wait to recover Safia’s lost baby pictures.

      This was a very unusual case. Most recovery operations I perform take no more than a day or two if the drive size is under 500GB. I recently worked on some 3TB drives and copying that amount of data at USB2.0 speeds takes a very long time.

  28. Once again, I required help from Steven, but this time it was my teenage son who somehow got a Trogin virus on his new 1 1/2 month old laptop computer. Norton Anti-Virus didn’t even pick it up. Steven came up with a solution and walked me through all the steps needed, to get his computer up and running again. Thank you again for all your WONDERFUL HELP! Happy to leave a donation.

    • Thank you Donna. It was a pleasure to work with you again. And thanks for the donation!

  29. Stephen does fantastic work. He has helped me recover about 3TB of data over the years. Highly recommended!

  30. This guy Stephen is UNBELIEVABLE. My 1TB external hard disk crashed and i couldn’t access my files, priceless files. Usually i don’t trust services on websites,but i was so desperate that i tried his kind of service over the net. He gave me step by step instructions, very professional and very patient over the process. The next thing you know three days later, your smiling in front your recovered files. That’s how magnificent it is!!! And i’m not even from the U.S., i’m halfway around the globe from Stephen. Spread the word people, spread the word…Thank you again Stephen.

    • Manuel’s drive suffered bad sectors and would cause Windows to freeze. The recovery was fairly standard having worked on many drives like this in the past.

      However the great distances involved caused the network connection between us to drop out frequently. This was a good test of the resiliency of my data recovery CD. Built into the CD is code to rebuild the connection if it should ever go down. This feature permits me to operate on drives worldwide even if the network connection is unstable.

  31. Kim Singer

    Unfortunately, my laptop was dropped and suffered mechanical damage. I contacted Stephen for help, already knowing that his software-based service was unlikely to provide a solution, but wanting to explore all options. Stephen responded within minutes, confirming that he was unable to help on this occasion but he kindly offered me some advice as to where I might find the help I need.

    • Kim’s case illustrates the point that in cases where a hard drive is inaccessible after it was dropped or otherwise suffered shock damage then no software based recovery method, mine included, can help. To recover data in cases like this requires a full service data recovery lab.

  32. Recently, my aging laptop suffered hard drive failure. Thinking I had lost all of my personal data, I scrambled online for answers. I came across the link for this site, and decided to give it a try. At first, I was skeptical about Stephen’s services but after the first email response I received, my worries went to rest. Stephen did an excellent job retrieving all of my photos and documents that I thought were gone forever. Thanks again Stephen!!

    • Stephen

      Ben had a Sony laptop with two 160GB drives joined together to form a 320GB striped RAID array aka RAID-0. Unfortunately RAID-0 provides no redundancy and actually doubles the likelihood of failure as either drive failing brings down the whole RAID array.

      My technique to recover from a RAID failure is a three step process..
      1. Take clone images of all RAID member drives.
      2. Reassemble the RAID array from the clone images.
      3. Recover data from the reassembled RAID array.

      Working on RAID arrays is much more complex task but using this method 250GB of data was recovered in about 2 days.

  33. Stephen did an excellent job figuring out how to recover many hours of prerecorded material on a DVR (Dish Network’s VIP-622) external drive that the DVR decided “needed to be reformatted” and would no longer show any files. Stephen found them all, and transferred them all to a new external DVR so that I lost nothing! This guy knows his stuff!

    BTW, Dish Network’s useless tech support said there was nothing that could be done, and that the drive needed to be reformatted.

    Thanks Stephen!

    • Stephen

      Lee’s was an interesting case. He had an external DVR USB drive with about 350GB of saved recordings from his Dish Network box. It turns out that under the hood Dish uses a Linux partition to hold recordings. And it holds these recordings in an encrypted format.
      In this case the Linux partition was corrupted. Repairing the corruption however did not completely solve the problem. It was necessary to attach another new USB drive, let the Dish format it, and then copy the encrypted recordings over to the new drive.

  34. Sam Gladstein

    Stephen’s work is exemplary and everything he promises. I had an 8TB first generation WD Sharespace that lost its Raid 5 array. Unfortunately the first generation devices will not automatically rebuild their array as will the newer versions. Two out of my four drives were damaged and Stephen was able to clone those drives, rebuild the array and get my valuable information back onto another new drive.

    I was skeptical at first, especially given the free service offer (donation only). There are so many internet scams out there and I was afraid that this might be another one. THIS IS A LEGITIMATE SERVICE!!! Stephen is an honorable guy and will see your project through to completion. You’ll be happy to donate when Stephen completes his work.

    I am on the West Coast and he is on the East and our communication was a snap. Many times we would communicate at midnight(EST).

    I highly recommend Stephen’s services!!!

    SAM GLADSTEIN
    Las Vegas, NV

    • Thank you for your recommendation Sam I enjoyed working on your case, I like a challenge.

      Actually three of four drives in Sam’s Western Digital Sharespace failed due to bad sectors. Fortunately after imaging two of the failed drives it was possible to reassemble the RAID5 array and recover 1.6TB of data with minimal file damage.

  35. I’ve left feedback here before, but I’m doing so again to reiterate how fantastically helpful Stephen has been over the years. I’ve likely gotten several TB of data back thanks to his recovery efforts. And his egalitarian stance on payment has made it possible when I otherwise couldn’t have afforded it. I refer everyone I know who might be having data loss problems to him, and if I ever win the lottery, I’m going to send him a few grand in thanks.

    • Good to hear from you Ben. Thank you for your support. And I hope you win that lottery!

  36. I must confirm, that Steven´s work is simply amazing. He was able to restore data from my failed WD ShareSpace (4x2TB drives) what failed last week and data volume was not possible to read. His´s recovery bootable CD was very easy to use, all his communication was quite straightforward, he informed about possible options and next steps and over weekend I have my data available and just copied good portion on another NAS. I had most of my personal archives in the 4.5TB data volume including photography archives for at least 5-7 years and his help to fix it is simply great.
    I can advice anybody in situation with failed NAS to contact Steven before doing anything else, his knowledge is fantastic. THANKS A LOT!

    • When a ShareSpace box can not assemble the RAID5 array that holds user data it throws the dreaded “Volume ‘DataVolume’ doesn’t exist” error. This is what Tomas was facing when he contacted me for help. Fortunately the damage to the underlying 2TB disks was slight allowing for the reconstruction of the RAID5 array and the recovery of 3.2TB of data. I would just add that the remote connection from my Boston USA office to Tomas in Central Europe was as if he lived down the street, super fast and stable. I’m glad I could help Tomas and thank you for the donation!

  37. Jacques Chatenay

    I opted for the do it yourself service Stephen was very helpful walked me through the entire process he did a great job and we recovered everything :-) I recommend his services.

    • I’m still refining the do-it-yourself data recovery process to make it as user friendly as possible. Jacques case involved operating on a 500GB non-booting laptop drive and when connected over USB it would lock up Windows. I guided Jacques through the DIY data recovery process and he was able to recover all data. Thanks for the donation Jacques!

  38. Michael Stevenson

    I was doubtful at first that my data could be saved. After a few extremely high estimates from the big data recovery companies I decided to look for another solution. I found Stephen’s site online and sent him an email explaining my problem. He responded right away and said he would love to try and help me recover my data.
    I was still a little unsure of letting someone take over my computer. So I opted to try myself with his help. Turns out I could have let him do it all along (extremely trustworthy). Not only is Stephen trustworthy but he is extremely patient, something that is a must when working with those of us who don’t have his computer expertise. I hope I don’t ever need to recover data again but if I do, Stephen is the only person I will be going to. Thanks for helping me save some priceless data.

    • Glad I could help Michael and thanks for the donation! Michael asked for a do-it-yourself session to work on his 1TB. There was a large zone of bad sectors on the drive so it took several days to make a drive image. But in the end the image we made was good enough to recover the data he needed.

      An interesting note about this case is it inspired me to develop a process of joining drives together. Normally to image a 1TB drive you would need another 1TB drive or larger to hold the image. With drive joining it’s now possible to use multiple smaller drives instead. So two 500GB drives can be joined to make up a 1TB virtual drive. This will be useful as drives are now up to 4TB in size.

  39. Denis Labine

    Stephen was a real pleasure to work with.

    I was somewhat hesitant about having someone remote to my desktop just because there are so many thieves out there.
    But… I made a leap of faith and I’m glad I did.

    Thanks Steve for helping me with my problem.
    Denis

  40. Stephen,

    Thank you SO much for the work you did to recover my missing data from the RAID 5 drive array and my external drive!

    It was a pleasure to work with you and I would highly recommend your services to anyone and everyone.

    Thanks again,

    Bill

    • Thank you Bill for your recommendation and donation. Bill’s Western Digital ShareSpace box was throwing the dreaded “Volume ‘DataVolume’ doesn’t exist” error. Two drives had failed. My usual ShareSpace recovery process was able to reassemble the RAID5 but no volume group was detected, a very bad sign. But as I say I like a challenge. The rest is a long story but I was able to recreate both the volume group and the logical volume to recover over 700GB of data.

      One interesting note I applied a method of making temporary changes to disks making it easy to test multiple possible solutions without altering the state of the original disks. This is quite a time saver and will be very useful in the future.

  41. I would just like to say thank you to Stephen, it was a pleasure dealing with you. I was in dire straits, as my WD Sharespace suffered major issues after shutting down to replace a battery backup ( as in the raid configuration was showing no drives available).I found a few references to Stephens service on the net and like everyone else was skeptical, LET ME JUST SAY, THERE IS NO REASON TO BE SKEPTICAL!!! Stephen was able to reassemble my array and get my data back in a matter of a day!! In this instance it helps that I am an I.T. person as I had to remove drives and reassemble them on a spare pc, but for anyone who is not an I.T. person and is trying data recovery on a regular PC or USB drive this process could not be simpler!!!

    • Thank you Matt for your donation and endorsement. There sure seems to be a lot of failing ShareSpace units lately. In fact I’m working on another ShareSpace data recovery right now. Remember folks a RAID array is no substitute for a good backup plan.

      Matt does bring up a good point. What level of technical skill is needed for a ShareSpace recovery? It helps if you know your way around the inside of a desktop computer. However it’s not rocket science and I’ve found that even the average computer user can be guided through the setup process without too much difficulty.

  42. After a 5 min chat with Stephen now I’m good. Thanks man you saved my 500 gb hardrive

    • Eric opened up an online chat session with me saying he had dropped his USB drive and that it was no longer detected. Often this would mean an expensive physical recovery. And for this reason I do not like external USB drives as they are easily dropped and expensive to recover. But Eric was lucky I suggested he try a different USB cable. He had another cable handy and sure enough the new cable did the trick. I think this sets the record for my fastest data recovery!

  43. Stephen is super magic person , he able to recover my data on Raid 5 controller on less than few hours, fantastic person .

    Thank you very much Stephen.

    • Another day another ShareSpace recovery. I think there may be a ShareSpace failure epidemic going on out there. Rabiih has the 8TB model comprised of four 2TB drives. There were no complications in this case and the recovery went quick. Thank you for your donation Rabih!

  44. Quiero agradecer la valiosa ayuda en el rescate de datos de un ShareSpace. El problema fue critico, pues el cliente intervino los discos, lo que altero las particiones de 3 de ellos. Stephen hizo un esplendido trabajo, logrando despues de varios dias, rescatar 250GB. El cliente indico que perdio cerca de 1TB de informacion, pero entendio que tratar de repararlo, fue su gran error.
    Stephen demostro que es un excelente profesional y una gran persona.
    Gracias..!

    • Carlos contacted me to help with a client of his who had further damaged his ShareSpace while attempting to repair it. This made recovery much more difficult and time consuming. After much trial and error I was able to recover 250GB but it took a few days. Thank you for your donation Carlos!

  45. After being told that there was no way to retreive our Data from a webserver that crashed, I called Stephen. He was able to carve out an image from a bad partition on our server and write it to a drive where we were able to recover ALL of our lost files that included MySQL databases from about 15 different websites.

    Thank you Stephen for your assistance. You truly know the field of Data Recovery!!!!!

    • A key database partition on Larry’s Linux webserver became corrupted causing his business websites to go down. It was a RAID partition and held a Linux ext3 filesystem that was both unmountable and unrepairable. But with difficulty I was able to perform a full recovery in just over a day so Larry could get his websites back up an running as soon as possible. Thank you for the donation Larry!

  46. sharon refael

    Stephen,

    I asked for your help to restore my 500G HD that lost all it’s data
    and was asking for format

    when i searched for a solution online i came across the link of your site i was a little skeptical at first to let someone connect to my computer but i decided to trust you and give it a try and i’m gald i did
    I wanted to thank you very much for your help and for your amazing service you managed to restore the data i thought was lost

    i will highly recommend your service to everyone thanks you

    • Sharon is located several time zones away and the network connection was at times unstable but my remote data recovery process is able to work well under these conditions. Thank you Sharon for the donation and the recommendation.

  47. Our 8tb WD Share Space raid crashed an burned. I found this site through a forum discussing the same issue I was dealing with. I was getting ready to send the drives out for data recovery but needed the payroll off way before we would get it back. I clicked on the chat button and the rest is history. He recovered the raid enough for us to get the data off. Thank you Stephen for helping us out. Top notch service!

    • Chris had two drives drop out of his ShareSpace RAID array. I was able to bring one of the two drives back to life and reassemble the RAID to recover 3.7TB of data. Chris had an urgent business need to recover his data. And the recovery went quick taking about a day. Because I operate remotely it means there is no need to send drives out to a recovery lab. Instead I come to you over the Internet, eliminating the inconvenience and delay that shipping would involve. This is a good illustration of why my data recovery service is superior to the traditional data recovery model. Thanks for the donation Chris!

  48. I have a WD Smartware Passport that said that no partitions were found. I asked Stephen for help, and although he could not repair the drive because of service area damage, he recommended to me an expert in these kind of repairs. During the process, Stephen was patient and guided me through the process of having the drive diagnosed. He is indeed very kind and polite, and I would recommend his services to my friends and family.

    Thanks Stephen! :)

    • Every drive has a very important sector called sector zero. If sector zero can not be read then it is not possible to access any of the remaining sectors on the drive. This is a well known issue affecting Western Digital drives and is considered to be a firmware problem. The likely cause is due to damage on the negative sectors of the drive’s platters where firmware modules are stored. This is called the service area or system area. Unfortunately my remote recovery service is not effective in such cases. I referred Nicole to a local data recovery lab that should be able to help.

      • Stephen, this is not true. Sector 0 of drive’s user area contains MBR (master boot record) aka Partition Table. Most software data recovery tools don’t need it to recover data, the only thing they need is a valid MFT or FAT table or superblock…

        • Sorry if I wasn’t clear. The sector 0 damage was in the system area or service area. The result of such damage is that the drive could not be accessed at the sector level. So no strictly software based recovery is possible.

  49. Great guy and great service! Truly recommendable to other friends and colleagues!

    Thanks for your help, Stephen!

  50. I have a Western Digital My Book Essential 3TB. I could see it in the safely remove hardware but not in windows explorer.
    Stephen connected to my computer remotely and tried to fix it but was unable to get into the drive.

    These new Western Digital drives are encrypted, otherwise I could take the hard drive and plug it into my motherboard and access the data that way.

    Thanks for trying to recover my data Stephen I really appreciate your efforts.
    Janice

    • Unfortunately although the drive is “seen” the drive could not be accessed at the sector level. This means no software based recovery tool will work in a case like this. So a remote recovery using my process was not possible. I referred Janice to a data recovery lab that can likely help. Thanks for the donation Janice!

  51. Chino and Eleakim

    We had a raid 5 failure in our WD Share space storage. On the WD Share space administrator web page the following error showed “Volume Data Volume doesn’t exist.” We contacted Stephen, within a few hours we can access hour data. Stephen saved us more time by copying our data from the raided drive to our onsite USB temp storage. Thanks again, Stephen for all you help.

    • This was a case where the client’s ShareSpace crashed after a power failure. The hard drives tested okay and the ShareSpace RAID5 reassembly went well with 1.7TB of data recovered. What I do now for clients is make their recovered data available via a network share on their local network so client data can be accessible again in just a few hours.

  52. Heather E,

    About 8 months ago, all four drives in my Western Digital ShareSpace unit crashed within an hour of each other. The ShareSpace was less than a year old, and since my computer at the time was unstable, I’d transferred all of my files to it when it arrived; as it turned out, that wasn’t the smartest thing to do. Luckily, I had a few of my more important files on a thumb drive, but the ShareSpace held irreplaceable pictures and videos.
    A couple of months or so after the crash, I handed the unit over to my dad to attempt to recover the files. After several attempts and different programs, he didn’t have any luck. Note: the unit was originally set up as a type 5 RAID so the information was split among all four drives, not mirrored across them so recovering the information was not going to be easily accomplished.

    Luckily, my dad found Steve’s website and after some back and forth emails between them, he decided to try Steve’s services. I was extremely pleased that the unit didn’t have to be sent anywhere; that Steve was able to do everything remotely. After my dad hooked up (individually) all the drives from the WD ShareSpace into his computer Steve was able to remotely reset the RAID and then copy the contents of the RAID drives to an external USB hard drive my dad had hooked up to the same computer for Steve to work his magic.
    I don’t know for sure how long it took, but I was thrilled when my dad called to tell me that Steve had recovered 436 GB of data… I was completely amazed!
    I’d also like to note that the file names were recovered too… which meant I wouldn’t have to spend time figuring out each file and renaming it! (One of the programs my dad had tried assigned generic file names.)

    Thank you very much Steve! Your computer expertise is invaluable… I’d thought for sure my files were all lost!

    • Thank you Heather for your detailed comment and for your donation. Heather’s case was a standard ShareSpace RAID5 data recovery operation but she raises an interesting point. So let me state that when I work on a case my goal is to recover all client data. This includes the original folder structure, file names, and time stamps. Fortunately I am able to do this in the vast majority of cases.

  53. I seldom drop remarks, but i did a few searching and wound up here Client Comments | Free Data Recovery.
    And I actually do have a couple of questions for you if you
    don’t mind. Is it only me or does it look like a few of these responses look like they are written by brain dead visitors? 😛 And, if you are posting at other social sites, I would like to follow everything fresh you have to post. Could you make a list of every one of all your shared pages like your twitter feed, Facebook page or linkedin profile?

    • Please understand that my clients are located worldwide and in many cases English is not their native language. Considering that I think they express themselves quite well.

      I’m rather old school and as of now I’m not using Facebook or Twitter perhaps some day I will. I do have a Linkedin profile you can see here… http://www.linkedin.com/pub/stephen-haran/1/175/20

  54. I thought that I would never see the data that was on my raid level 5 drives again. I cam across Stephen’s website and was very skeptical, but I felt that I had nothing to lose. It all went very smoothly and had all of my data back the next day. I dodged the bullet. I will now make sure to backup of my raid drives, live and learn. Thanks again Stephen I would highly recommend your services.

    • Tom had a Buffalo Terastation NAS box where two of the four 250GB drives failed. Fortunately it was possible to take an image of one of the failed drives and recreate the RAID5 to recover 310GB of data. Thanks Tom for your recommendation and donation.

  55. Richard Fisher

    We had a drive go bad on a LG NAS using a Raid 5 configuration. Despite swapping the bad drive, the volume did not recover and we though we lost 3 years of pictures. Stephen’s via his remote service, was able to recover all of the pictures. Without him this would have been a bullet we could not have dodged. I have already recommended his services to friends of mine. Thanks again Stephen.

    • Richard’s failed LG NAS box model LG N4B1N was populated with four 1.5TB Seagate drives. One drive dropped out of the RAID5 array about one month prior to the failure, with the RAID continuing to operate but in degraded mode using the three remaining drives. Then for some reason the system dropped another drive marking it as a “spare” which in turn caused the RAID to crash. I’ve seen this before and I’m not sure why it happens. Perhaps it’s due to the Linux Software RAID that many NAS manufacturers use instead of a dedicated hardware RAID controller.

      In any case recovery was achieved in less than one day by recreating the RAID using the “spare”. The recovered data totaled about 700GB. Thank you Richard for your recommendation and donation.

  56. John Deeb

    Stephen recovered my 1.4TB WD Sharespace full of photos, scanned documents, home movies and more… The service was exactly as promised on the website. There were no surprises. Stephen was professional and very efficient. This is a great service and I’ll be quick to tell my friends about it.

    • John only had three working ShareSpace drives. Fortunately they were all in sync. Within an hour of connecting I was able to reconstruct the RAID5 and set up a network share so John could immediately access his most important data. But it took about 40 hours to copy all 1.4TB onto a USB drive. Thanks John for the donation.

  57. I am more than happy to leave a review for a terrific, professional and fast service. Steve reviewed our problems and felt it was something he could definitely manage. Maybe you have had something similar happen. In the process of moving around our office the Iomega 2T NAS cloud drive started to act up.I could still access it but not in the way we normally had done. I promptly contacted Iomega support. They have me do a few things then say “Oh Sorry, there is nothing we can do but send you to Level 2 support because it was not responding to what they done” (the kiss of death). I knew that I should have listened to my gut and back everything up from it as it was my back up already. Turns out level 2 support says the only solution that might work is for me to Reimage the drive after I sign a non disclosure statement and that all my data will be erased. Great thing as there were some file that the original drive had some problems with. I took it somewhere local and because of the Cloud aspect of the drive they did not want to work on it. I then began researching as I knew the files were still had to be there but not visible. I discovered Steve and figured I could spend hours reading over various aspects of NAS drive failures or I could ask for help. I set my appointment and emailed my details. He felt it should be ok. I was late to my appointment because I was having some personal issues with the USB drive. I asked if I could reschedule and he was more than accommodating for us to resume later that morning. In a matter of 20 minutes he had it so i could access my data. Kudos. I wish my roommates were as happy as I tied up the router over the next day transferring files. I wish I could have donated even more. If ever in Chicago Steve let us know. We owe you at least a good dinner or a drink. If you are hesitating giving the service a chance do not. You are dealing with him directly you are not being outsourced overseas.He provides exactly what he suggests.
    Moral of the story for me is to not depend on one source for backup. Redundancy is Key. More so, redundancy with a secure cloud only based location. If you do not have one he can suggest one as well.

    • Brian had a single drive Iomega NAS. These NAS devices typically are divided into multiple partitions. In this case the partition holding the NAS operating software was the source of the NAS failure. But it had no affect on the data volume partition which was fine. So a full recovery was possible, 391GB in total. Brian makes a good point though when copying the recovered data over the network it can put a strain on your local network. That’s why copying to a USB drive is suggested. Thanks Brian for your detailed comment and donation.

      On a sad note yesterday was the Boston Marathon Bombings. My thoughts and prayers go out to the victims and their families. This one hit home for me as I often walked the Boylston Street and Copley Square area during my years working for AIR Worldwide. And the 8 year old victim lived just a half mile away from my house. You see these terror events in the news and never think it can happen here. God bless us all everyone.

  58. I cannot express how grateful I am that you were there. With your help we recovered over 40GB of very critical date that we thought was gone forever. It nice to have a safety net when our careless habits get the best of us.

    • Ed had a Windows NTFS disk with an overwritten partition. After performing a scan for MFT file fragments I was able to recover much of his lost data including the original file names and folder structure.

  59. Stephen did a phenomenal job getting my data back from a WDSharespoace RAID 5 crash. He was patient with me and relieved any doubts I had of letting him remotely access my machine.

    • Curtis had a failed 8TB WD ShareSpace NAS. After we ironed out the setup work required for my remote data recovery process to operate then the RAID5 recovery was a relatively routine event with 4.6TB recovered. Just a brief note regarding the setup work, basically what you need is a desktop computer with four sata ports on the motherboard. Then you connect the RAID5 member drives to the four sata ports. And then you boot up the desktop computer with my recovery software. After that I remote in and proceed with data recovery operations.

  60. Nelliana

    My completely full WD Sharespace configured in RAID 5 crashed. ALL of our family’s home videos, 90% of our family photo’s, all of our school work, digital tax records and other important paperwork, and all of our digital media, 5.3TB of data, were gone. I like to consider myself a savvy user yet despite all my efforts to recover the data myself, I could not manage it.

    Stephen was amazing. Despite the fact that I wasn’t able to provide extra 2TB drives to properly recover the entire raid, he was able to work with my existing drives to breath life back in to my RAID allowing me to regain access to my precious files. My lack of additional 2TB drives caused the RAID to crash again while I was trying to salvage files in damaged sectors, but Stephen swooped in and saved the day again. He managed to make use of an old 120GB drive I had laying around to patch it all together giving me access to even those files in the damaged section. Everything has been saved, all 5.3TB.

    Some of the data we needed to recover was very sensitive, tax records, social security numbers, etc. It was a bit scary at first granting someone remote access to such sensitive data, but Stephen was friendly and professional and his work was phenomenal. I’m very happy we decided to put our trust in him. I can’t say enough good things about my experience. I will recommend him to everyone I know who has any kind of data loss issue.

    Thanks again, Stephen! You saved our family’s memories and we are forever grateful.

    • Neliana’s ShareSpace recovery was a bit of a challenge. One of the four 2TB drives had dropped out of the RAID5 several months prior to the ShareSpace crashing. So only the remaining three drives could be used for recovery and one of the three had sector damage. When sector damage occurs it usually only affects a relatively small area of the drive. And if that damaged area can be imaged then the image along with the remaining good areas of the drive can be combined to form a kind of virtual drive that can in turn be used to rebuild the RAID5. This procedure worked nicely and resulted in a full 5.3TB recovery.

  61. I don’t even know where to begin thanking Stephen. I have a 4 drive raid 5 that lost it’s config data. I pulled the drives and tried to recover what I could on my own using another machine with linux on it. After days of running various commands and trying to find help online I found Stephen.

    In just 3 hours he did was I couldn’t do in 5 days of trying and mind you I have 15 years of computer experience from server admin, programming and database work. He was able to tell me what happened and verified my drives were not the cause. I have been able to recover everything, I am burning DVD’s like mad as I am typing this.

    I always keep a backup but this was a problem as my backup had stopped updating so I was missing pictures only my Raid had on it.

    Thank you Stephen for all your hard work.

    • Frank’s Cavalry NAS RAID5 box, a rebranded StorLink, had crashed. While trying to recover he recreated the RAID5 but with the wrong parameters. This made recovery a bit of a challenge. When a RAID fails it’s best not to perform any operation that writes to the disks. In fact most recovery services will make clone images of each drive and perform recovery operations on the clones thus keeping the original drives in their original state. Of course cloning 4 1TB drives is a slow costly chore. But it’s recommended if the data is valuable.

      My remote data recovery process does not typically make drive images. Although I can if the client has the time and resources. Rather I make each drive a “virtual drive” where any write operation to the drive is written to free space on a spare drive that is specially prepared for this role. This allows me to try multiple recovery procedures on the virtual drives all the while keeping the original drives unchanged.

      In Frank’s case after trying a few different RAID configurations I was able to hit upon the right set of config options to successfully rebuild the RAID and recover 1.6TB of data.

  62. Bertrand

    I live in France and used a NAS from QNAP with a Raid5 array of 3 plus 1 spare.
    One day, at boot, the NAS looked like it was its first start, prompting me for basic configurations.
    I had lost http connection, could only connect through ssh and it looked like the raid had moved to raid1 … My knowledge couldn’t help further.
    Finally, looking for help on forums, i found Stephen !
    I wrote him a brief mail describing the trouble and received an encouraging answer.
    It took me few days to collect the stuff needed (had only a 2 SATA motherboard, a 4 one was needed) and Stephen solved the problem in about 1 hour, recovering all data.
    The recovery computer stayed online the time i backup everything so Stephen gave me feedback about background reconstruction process.
    Definitely, Stephen can be proud of what he has achieved by making this service a reality.

    • Bertrand’s QNAP TS 509 Pro NAS box crashed due to a failure of one of the RAID5 member drives. Reassembling the RAID5 using the remaining RAID member drives went well and I was able to present the recovered data as a network share on the local network for copying. All data was recovered totaling 941GB.

      And just to be clear when I create a network share for a client to access their data this share is only accessible locally by computers on the client’s internal network. The network share is also password protected. Client data is never exposed to the Internet.

  63. So I had an Iomega 1 Terabyte drive attached to my network. One day it totally disappeared off the network. Iomega software could not detect it. Took it out and attached it to a usb external housing hopefully to see it on windows machine. Apparently the firmware that Iomega used did not assign a drive letter to the drive so windows sees it only in administrative disk management tools. Thank heavens for free data recovery cd. I followed instructions and it did exactly as it said. In less than 15 minutes I was accessing data on my drive over the network with all partitions still in tact. What can I say? Sheer genious!

    • Karim engaged me in a chat session. He was interested in using my new Network Share Creator process. I helped him get started and he was soon seeing his Iomega data. Network Share Creator is a totally do-it-yourself process that automatically turns all the partitions on a computer into network shares. I expect in Karim’s case the Iomega drive was in a Linux format so Windows could not see it. Network Share Creator works well in cases like this for basic data recovery. Learn more at http://freedatarecovery.us/network-share-creator

  64. I had an Intel SS4200 which had lost the raid array. Turns out 2 out of the four disks had problems. Thanks to Stephen, I was able to get all of my important data back, including my honeymoon photos. I will certainly recommend his service to anyone I meet who is in need of data recovery. Thank you again, Stephen.

    • Stephen’s Intel NAS SS4200E with four 750GB Samsung drives in a RAID5 crashed. In this case two of the drives were damaged making recovery much more challenging. I was able to reassemble the RAID array and copy about 100GB of data then the RAID crashed. I reassembled again and did a reverse alphabetical copy and saved another 300GB before the RAID crashed again. Fortunately the copied data included Stephen’s important data and he decided there was no need to proceed any further with the recovery.

  65. When my WDShareSpace destroyed the RAID5 following a re-insertion, I trawled forums in an attempt to fix it myself. Unfortunately I tried some commands that weren’t applicable to the type of RAID I had. After that I came across mention of FreeDataRecovery and I made a booking. Stephen promptly replied with some steps to do first but by my own previous actions I had made the data non-recoverable and Stephen let me know it was not a good outlook but toiled away for several hours to attempt retrieval regardless of this. Oh well lesson learned, I just wish I had found FreeDataRecovery earlier. I was very impressed with how his service works and highly recommend this. However, I’m very disappointed in how the WDSharespace procedures made this situation occur in the first place.

    • It’s easy to destroy a RAID array while making a recovery attempt. Especially if you are unsure of the process. It’s a pity as a full recovery was likely possible in this case.

  66. I was already very frustrated struggeling with the support of my Lacie 5Big server and several request to other recovery service providers, when my wife found the link to this site. Not expecting too much I contacted via online chat and after a short exchange of information I was already beginning to see light at the end of the tunnel. An hour later Stephen’s setup was online and he was looking at my disks mounting my raid and 40 minutes later he started to copy my data to my USB Drive.
    I can only recommend Stephen’s highly professional service. Stephen saved our valuable 1.2 TB of pictures and home videos.

    • This Lacie 5Big NAS was built with five 1TB drives with the user data volume configured in RAID5 format. One of the drives dropped out of the RAID a few months prior to the RAID crashing. Fortunately the four remaining drives were in good enough shape for the RAID5 to be reassembled and all data recovered. This is a good example of how quickly a RAID recovery can sometimes be accomplished. From initial contact to the client viewing their data can happen in under 2 hours.

  67. So, along with many others, I have fallen victim to the apparently not-so-uncommon WDShareSpace gremlins lurking in the shadows. I noted a red indicator on the front of the unit, so I promptly logged in to the admin interface, only to find that the RAID-5 volume was in a degraded status. Interestingly enough, it showed all 4 disks as ‘Good’. I figured that maybe something had gone awry previously which the system had already corrected, but there was nothing indicated in the logs of a problem, or a repair. The SMB share had also dropped out, so I figured a reboot was in order, which was my second mistake. My first, as Stephen pointed out, was in relying on this (or any single method of storage) as a backup. At any rate, I knew enough to know that I didn’t want to tackle a failed RAID array blindly. After a spending a little time on Google, I stumbled onto Stephen’s website. I’m a skeptic by nature, so I of course kept right on Googling. After A while, I can back to Stephen’s website, and decided to give it a try. I booked a session online for the following morning. Exactly as described in ‘The Details’ I was emailed a link to download an image, along with instructions on moving the drives from the NAS to a PC. I booted the PC, and was connected to Stephen right away. After a short diagnosis I learned that in fact two of the four disks had bad sectors. A short while later, Stephen had mounted the RAID volume and exposed it via SMB. I was able to copy off almost all of my data (approximately 700 GBs), losing only a handful of files (fortunately of very little importance) which were likely utilizing the bad sectors. I consider this to be a complete success. Thanks for saving me from a few very long days.
    Throughout my entire interaction with Stephen, I never mentioned that I am an IT professional. Before booting from Stephen’s ISO, I opened the connection monitor of my firewall on another machine. I watched it intently for the first hour or so, paranoid that my data would end up where it should not be, ready to kill the connection at the first sign of significant outbound traffic. What I found was that single connection was created to Stephen and was maintained throughout our entire session, as well as many, many short connections that were created, used, and then disconnected. Each of the ‘short’ connections transferred less than 900 bytes in either direction. After about the first hour or so, which is when I began to copy my own data, the grand total was that approximately 1.5 MBs of data had been sent from Stephen to my PC, and 14MBs had been sent from my PC to Stephen. Nine more hours of copying data (and occasionally remounting the RAID volume) saw that increase to about 16MBs. I did not use WireShark, or otherwise monitor the content of the data being sent, although I did consider doing so, so I cannot say for sure what was in that 16MBs. What I can say for sure is that 16MBs is in no way out of line with what I would expect, and that in the unfortunate event I ever find myself in a similar situation again, I will not hesitate to select FreeDataRecovery.us from my bookmarks.

    • Thank you Andy for the detailed comment. One of Andy’s drives had many bad sectors but it had to be used to reassemble the RAID-5. But when trying to copy a file that resides on a bad sector, well it causes the RAID-5 to crash. So several copy / crash / reassemble cycles were needed to complete the recovery. To facilitate this I wrote a “fix” script for Andy to run after a crash to restore the RAID-5.

      Also thank you for reporting on the network traffic to and from my server. I think the 16MB footprint is quite small. What traffic you did detect is due to logging of all screen output. When I open a terminal window to a client computer I log all the text on the screen onto my server. Also to prevent dropped connections due to timeouts I am constantly sending a few packets to my server to maintain the remote connection. As I’ve stated before your data belongs to you and I have zero interest in it, other than recovering it.

  68. We have a WD ShareSpace 4TB NAS, and we use it in RAID5 mirror. I think, our datas are in maximum safe, but on last week an error was occured: “Volume ‘DataVolume’ doesn’t exist”.
    In one time, 2 disks are fallen from raid5 mirror, and a didn’t know, what can I do with this action.
    A took some Google search, and I found Stephens blog posts and website.
    I decided, that I will contact with Stephen to help me.
    After that I prepared everything, Stephen connected to my computer. After 1 hour I received good news, that a can start the backup copying process. I started the backup from samba share.
    STEPHEN RESCUED ALL OF OUR FILES!!!
    THANK YOU SO MUCH!

  69. I had a RAID array go south in my Ubuntu system after it had been powered down for an upgrade. When I started rebuilding it myself I made a couple of seemingly minor mistakes that soon escalated into what appeared to be a complete loss.

    After exchanging some emails with Stephen he was able to work backwards from my mistakes and restore the array to a usable state. He recovered over 1.5TB of files!

    Thanks Stephen!

    • Matt’s Ubuntu RAID recovery case was a bit of a challenge due to the fact that as part of his initial recovery attempt he rebuilt the RAID-5 with the wrong parameters and then created a logical volume on top of that. Fortunately after much effort I was able to determine the correct RAID parameters and by pass the logical volume to recover the data. A word of warning to others, please tread carefully with any recovery attempt you might try yourself. It can make things much more difficult if not impossible to perform a recovery.

  70. We had a Western Digital Sharespace, with 4x 1TB drives in it.
    Of course it did what no RAID 5 is supposed to do: it failed!

    WD’s documentation said nothing about the particular problem we were experiencing. We couldn’t find anything online that would help with the issue we were seeing. So we wasted hours fumbling around, until I finally contacted a friend who is a scientist at WD.

    Of course, about a minute after I sent him my tale of woe, I came across Stephen’s service.

    1. It’s perfect
    2. Because he takes all risk out of it by not charging up front
    3. There were exactly zero miscues in the online process he provided (he’s in Boston, we are in San Francisco)
    4. So about 48 hrs after finding his website, our 2.5 TB of data was fully recovered!
    5. I just sent the donation, and was very happy to do it. Hopefully it will buy many, many cases of his favorite beverage.

    It’s rare that I get a sense of mild euphoria after working with a vendor, but it did happen in this case. If you have a recovery issue, especially with the dreaded WD Sharespace, consider working with Stephen. Am pretty sure you’ll be very glad you did.

    • Josh’s case was a typical WD ShareSpace data recovery operation where 2 of the RAID member drives dropped out of the array. In this case the 2 drives dropped out with in an hour of each other.

      I would hesitate to say my process is perfect but I’ve certainly refined it over time so that at this point it’s pretty rock solid. But I continue to make improvements. I’m especially pleased that I am able to offer what I expect is the fastest NAS data recovery service around, 48 hours for a full 2.5TB recovery with initial data access achieved within an hour or two is a good example to showcase the kind of speed you can expect from my remote NAS recovery service.

  71. Before stumbling across Stephen’s website, I thought for sure my WD Sharespace unit was irreparable. 2 out of the 4 drives had shown failure on a RAID 5. Luckily, he was able to recover all of the data that I thought was lost. I highly recommend him and his work. Thanks once again!

    • Two of the four drives in Joe’s ShareSpace were marked “clean” meaning that the drives partitioning info was erased. Fortunately I was able to recover the original partition config which showed the underlying data was still in place. From there I was able to perform my usual NAS data recovery procedure to rebuild the RAID-5 and save 3.9TB of data.

  72. I thought that my sw raid 5 array is gone. When I tried to backup my system disk in knoppix I executed “mdadm –create …” instead of “mdadm –assemble ..” and overwrite my raid metadata with bad one and I can’t bring my raid back. After several hours of desperate googling I found link to Stephen website. And tried to contact him. I was surprised with fast response. When I described my problem we setup a session to my workstation. Stephen was able to successfully recover my old raid setup.
    I really think that if you are desperate and want your data back try consultation with Stephen is it worth it.

    • Peter was running a 4 drive Linux Software RAID. He mistakenly ran the “mdadm –create” command effectively overwriting the RAID with new config settings and if the new settings do not match the old settings well data loss is the result. To recover you need to determine the original RAID config settings such as drive order, stripe size, etc. My recovery process tries multiple config combinations until the correct config is identified. Then recovery is possible, in this case 607GB recovered.

  73. I can confirm that this is an excellent service. We had done the ‘right thing’ in keeping a backup of all our documents and photos some of it 20 years old on a networked drive. Then the drive stopped being accessible. I’m fairly computer literate and tried a number of things to no avail. I was quoted £245 (Pounds sterling that is) for the recovery and then stumbled on Stephen’s site (from a post in the ubuntu forums). I booked him for the next day and we had the job done in under 3 hours, including guiding me through opening the drive and putting the unit into a PC to read it directly. I might have figured this out eventually but this saved a great deal of time, trial and error. It’s also very smooth process with the live cd/usb and online chat – this was a transatlantic piece of work, but my data stayed in my own system throughout.
    Recommended.

    • Thank’s Mark for the recommendation. Mark’s Packard Bell Netstore 3500 NAS had failed. Fortunately the rather old 320GB Seagate drive inside the Netstore had enough life left in it to allow for a 100% recovery.

      This is another example proving that with my process (whether the client is across the street or across an ocean) it’s possible to perform fast, high quality, remote data recovery anywhere there is an Internet connection.

  74. As some other people writing here comments, I have a ShareSpace (4*1TB) who has decided to live his own life…
    The device decided to make himself unavailable after a power failure at the office (still being protected by an UPS but was too long for him to handle) where 2 drives where corrupted nearly at the same time (before an action can be taken for the first one).
    After seeking solutions on the web (most professional are out of payable for a standard customer), I came across Stephen’s site.
    He managed to get me in confidence with his solution really fast in a chat session, as do the comments here.
    So after taking the time to prepare what was needed for him to work, we were at a go and started the recuperation (In fact he was the one working…).
    So even if all were not recuperable, he did a great job to take back the most possible of it.

    I recommand it for everyone have this sort of annoyance to at last make it a try. It is worth it.
    For myself, and for customers who should be in the case, I will not hesitate or check elsewhere for a solution anymore.

    • Two drives had failed on Cedric’s Western Digital ShareSpace. Fortunately one of the drives had only slight damage allowing for a 99% recovery. And as Cedric states if you look around at the fees other NAS data recovery providers charge for RAID5 data recovery you’ll see it can be quite expensive. Too much in my opinion. I’m glad I can offer a more economical solution.

  75. There’s a definite relief in knowing that there are good people out there and that the cynical view of the “don’t trust anyone” society is balderdash.
    With a very large RAID system completely crashed, I was pretty desperately looking for solutions to recover video files that were lost. The RAID was out back up and IT failed right after our main drives failed. No tape backup (silly me) and here we were.
    Stephen to the rescue. With infinite patience and care he was able to reconstruct the RAID and give me access to what appears to be about 90-95% of the data. I am still copying at this point!
    I’m entering this comment now because I really want people to know about this service and the exemplary level of communication, professionalism and persistence that was demonstrated.
    Thanks again Stephen.
    Donation is on the way!

    • Thank you Patrick for placing your trust in me. I’m glad I was able to help. Patrick had a LaCie 5big NAS that had crashed. Unfortunately after rebuilding the RAID5 the underlying Linux XFS filesystem suffered damage so although a full recovery was not possible a large majority of the data was still recoverable.

      • Thanks Stephen. And just to clarify here, we’ve actually recovered pretty much ALL of the data. I think that less than 5 or 6 files were corrupted in the end.

        I want to add that the recovery process, because of the extent of the system issues, took 4 days during which Stephen was not only effective and knowledgable and always spot on, but infinitely patient and caring.

        AAAA+++++ Really!

  76. I had an Iomega IX4-200D with a 4 drives RAID 5, with Windows CIFS and ISCSI with Solaris Partitions that crushed because a two disk drives failure. The system would not recognize the raid and we were unable to fix it. With the help of Stephen and his magic bootable cd we were able to recover the iscsi loop devices, and copy all the info to an external drive.
    I really recomend to work with Stephen, not just because his professionality or excelence in service, he also was very patient and worked with us a couple of days.
    Thanks Stephen!

    • Diego’s Iomega NAS had crashed. I was able to get the RAID5 running again but Iomega also uses a Linux XFS filesystem. And in this case the XFS suffered damage. I’m starting to see a number of cases with XFS filesystem damage. Fortunately recovery was possible but it tool a few days. Thank you Diego for the recommendation.

  77. I had a Dlink DNS-345 which had a 4x3TB disks in RAID5 volume which had about 2.26TB of data on it. One day…”Volume Crash”. One hard drive had physically failed and crashed my volume too(not sure why).

    I had tried several attempts trying to recover the filesystem using various RAID Recovery software for Windows, none worked. I have very limited linux experience but tried recovering the filesystem using linux, since the raid was built using a linux ext4 filesystem, I did not have much luck.

    I found Stephen’s site and emailed for assistance, and within a short period of time he was ready to assist me. With only 3 of the 4 disk installed in my computer and with Stephen’s boot CD, Stephen scanned them and within 30 mins he recovered my filesystem. I was ‘Super Stoked’ and with simply attaching my external hard drive to my computer, all my files I had lost were recovered to it. Especially grateful for the lost pictures that have been recovered.

    From the time I first contacted Stephen, I had all my files copied to my external hardrive within less than 24 hrs.

    I HIGHLY recommend his service.

  78. I had a corrupted directory on my 1tb external drive. He was able to scan the drive and recover over 800gb of video and project files. Without his service I would have lost valuable video data.

    I will use him again for any recovery issues that I may have in the future.

    Thanks!

  79. I have an Intel SS4200-E NAS, in preparation for moving 1,700 miles I checked the status of the drives and raid. There were no errors/warnings of any type. After finally getting settled in my new place, I powered up the NAS was confronted by all 4 drive LEDs blinking amber. The NAS was reporting that one drive was missing, and that the rest were from a foreign system.

    All of my children’s pictures were there, several years of birth photos, birthdays, vacations, etc… all irreplaceable. Several files related to work, various home movies, music, etc.. all totaling ~1.5TB all gone — or so I thought.

    Stephen (on the day before Thanksgiving) was able to recover the data in about 40 minutes. One of the drives had indeed failed, but he was able to rebuild the RAID and enable me to move everything off, only one file ended up being corrupted and was unable to be retrieved. An acceptable loss.

    Thanks so much Stephen. I highly recommend Stephen’s services to anyone. He’s very quick to respond, helpful and very knowledgeable – truly a professional and someone to count on when needed.

  80. Had my nas with dead raid 5 over 4 disks, Stephen fixed it for me in just 2 hours!!!
    Even the XFS file system was death, no problem for this pro!
    Highly recommended!

  81. michael angelo correos

    i have a western digital 500gb sata (WD50000AAKS) drive and can’t be access on both linux and windows operating system. I tried to recover it but i can’t. The problem is my hard drive is spinning detected to BIOS but in OS desktop no hard drive found.All of important files is there and all of my pictures video and docs is inside.Then i ask somebody to help me. my friend give me a website freedatarecovery then i tried to contact it.It was a very patient man, helpful and very knowledgeable. Stephen was able to recover my very important files he is truly a good man willing to help. I can’t buy what he done to me. Thank you!!!. your very known now here in PHILIPPINES SIR!!

  82. I had a 4 x 1.5TB RAID5 software array running on a Synology NAS.

    Believe it or not, TWO of the hard-drives failed. The NAS refused to boot-up therefore I loaded the HDs on my desktop and began “working” on that.

    I think I’m good at data recovery, therefore I connected the 4 HDs to my desktop and started working on the array… What I got was to mess things WORSE than before… and all the 4.5TB data seemed completely lost.

    I asked Stephen a help and he connected to my PC with his toolbox and with a lot of efforts he found what I messed up. After a few days the array was readable again and I could retrieve ALL THE DATA I thought I had lost. 100%!

    I thought I was good at data recovery, but without Stephen’s help I could do NOTHING!

    Thanks again for your help!

    • Recovery of Marco’s Synology Cube Station proved to be a very difficult task. His prior recovery attempts overwrote and destroyed the original Synology RAID5 configuration settings. So the only option for recovery was to rediscover the lost settings. To do this I developed a process that cycles through all possible combinations of RAID5 settings (drive order, stripe size, and parity) comprising thousands of possible combinations. It took quite a while to go through all the possibilities but finally the right combination of settings were discovered and Marco’s Synology data was fully recovered, in total 3.9TB of data.

      The important lesson to take from this is to not attempt any destructive data recovery operations as any mistake can make future recovery attempts much more difficult if not impossible.

  83. Thanks again for the service, I was deep in troubles after loosing my datas on my WD NAS Raid 5.
    Stephen provides me a quick and quality service to restore the all stuff.
    I must say, I was really impressed of the quality’s work.
    I can only recommend him if you loose your datas….
    Tanks again for your help !

  84. I thought I had lost about 1TB of data when my RAID5 array crashed after my power supply freaked and zapped my mobo. Luckily I stumbled onto a link for Stephen’s service. Within about 40 minutes he had diagnosed the trouble, worked around it, and started recovering all the data I had wanted.
    After destroying and recreating my RAID array I copied the files Stephen saved for me and now I’m going on about my business.
    Thank you Stephen!

  85. Bernd Van Praet

    My QNAP died a week ago, drives where lost, couldn’t do a rebuild on the QNAP.
    Tried on my own via Linux but screwed it up….

    Found Stephens link and he helped me with recovering my RAID Array! I’m very happy now! Thanks Stephen!

    • Berndt’s NAS a QNAP TS-459 Pro II with four 3TB drives in a RAID5 was one of the more challenging cases I’ve worked on lately. When the RAID crashed Berndt connected the RAID member drives to a Linux system and made two failed/damaging recovery attempts. The first overwrote the RAID meta data containing the original RAID5 configuration parameters and also damaged the Linux ext4 data volume. The second attempt erased the partition table on each of the RAID member drives. So to recover it required three distinct recovery operations, first partition table recovery then RAID5 recovery and finally Linux ext4 filesystem recovery.

      When working on difficult cases I often tell clients that I like a challenge, which is true, but in this case my abilities were stretched to the max. Fortunately after some hard work recovery was achieved and all of Berndt’s QNAP data was saved, 3.1TB in total.

  86. SITUATION:
    After 2,5 years of running, I found my WD Sharespace with 4x1TB disks with all 4 LED indicators in orange color instead of green. I don’t know what and when that happened because I wasn’t at home for a while. Storage had my personal stuff, not so important but I would like to recover my family photos.
    RECOVERY PROCEDURE:
    After some googling, I found Stephen’s web site and decided to ask for a help. I did all prerequisites which means to find a desktop computer with 4 SATA slots on motherboard (which isn’t problem nowadays, but to find also 4 SATA plugs for power supply was a little challenge) and plug disks from WD Sharespace, made bootable USB stick and reserve Stephen’s time. When I booted computer with USB stick, he connected to my computer and in half an hour reconstructed my broken RAID-5. One of disks was damaged and the other one also announces potentialy damage (according to S.M.A.R.T.). After half an hour I got my data on web page :) Then I connected external USB disk drive and started to copy data to it using rsync command (syntax was provided by Stephen). After 5-6 hours, I got my data recovered on external drive.
    CONCLUSION:
    Stephen made this process smoothly using well good prepared Linux distribution on USB stick. I didn’t expect this will be so fast and smooth. I can and I will recommend Stephen to everybody who have broken disk problem.
    It is nice that Stephen actually doesn’t ask for money, but he will accept donation. Nevertheless how rich or poor you are, it is good idea to send him some money. Just remember how important are data that he returned them to you, don’t think how much time he spent on recovery.
    It is really good to know that good guys still exist in this cruel world. Thumb up for Stephen!

  87. I had three hard drives setup in a Raid5 through a motherboard controller. Then it was partitioned through Microsoft Windows to 100GB & 5.7TB. I needed to reinstall the OS and ended up formatting a partition, this caused the raid set to lose the array. I could not access over 300GB of priceless videos & photos.

    Stephen’s method allowed me to recover all of my files and he even transferred it to a external drive I connected to my computer. He is very good at what he does. I would highly recommend him to anyone that is having data recovery issues.

    Thank you Stephen!

    • Sath had three 3TB dives in a hardware RAID5 configuration using an Intel RAID controller. The challenge with hardware RAID is determining the correct configuration settings to use for reassembly, things like drive order, stripe or chunk size, layout, offset etc. It’s possible to determine these settings manually using a hex editor on the raw drives but it is a slow and tedious process. So to deal with this problem I developed an automated process that attempts RAID reassembly using all possible settings until the right combination is found. Applying this process to Sath’s case resulted in the recovery of 386GB of data.

  88. I had a Western Digital Sharespace NAS which went down due to a power failure and lost access to the RAID array. I contacted Stephen months ago and downloaded his recovery software to create the USB stick. However, I did not have access to a computer with 4 sata drives connectors at that time. I kept my NAS turned off and did not attempt to do any repair myself for fear of corrupting and losing data. Finally I was able to get the proper computer. I also had to order 2 sata power splitters in order to power the extra drives. Once I had this set up I contacted Stephen who was amazingly responsive and an expert at what he does. Within 30 minutes he was able to restore my RAID array and begin copying data to an external hard drive. Stephen was able to do a complete recovery of all data! What he can do is simply amazing. I highly recommend him and his abilities. Very professional and friendly. Will be sending a donation. Thanks Stephen!

  89. I had a NAS Cisco NSS 324 running with 4x1TB disks in a RAID 5 array. After a clean FW update, I noticed that for some reason it was running very slow, so I decided to reboot it. After that, the array volume was messed up, with no valid partition table. So searching internet, I found Stephen’s website and I decided to give it try. WOW…In 3 days I had all my data back…amazing!
    Very professional, I highly recommend his services, the best data recovery around!!
    Thanks Stephen!

  90. Awesome work with the data recovery. Very helpful and always prompt. Extremely friendly and patient. Never experienced such customer experience before. I cant recommend his service enough.

    Thanks alot Stephen

  91. I do volunteer work for the Brain Tumor Foundation for Children(BTFC). A NAS unit is used to share and save files used by the organization. Due to some issues with the NAS unit 2 drives had failed and we were unable to access any of the shared files. A call to the NAS manufacturer resulted in a recovery of data cost of 1000$ per drive recovered. Because of that amount the foundation decided not to attempt recovery. I asked them to give me an opportunity first to see if we could restore the data, not having much luck I found Stephen’s website and saw he was available for chat. He sent me links to download and create the boot drives and how to configure the drives in the system. We scheduled some time and within a few minutes he already had the data mounted and started the copy to an external drive. He was able to recover all data which was about 1.5 to 2 TB. Amazing! Stephen is highly recommended and he has a wealth of knowledge.
    Thanks again Stephen!

  92. Stephen is THE MAN. I had a LaCie 4big Quadra 6TB raid 5 (2x4TB) disk that decided to fail. I had over 4 TB of data in it, mostly videos. I work for a production company, and that was one of my “backups”. I learned never to trust Hard Drives ! External professional services asked 4500 dollars to get the data back.

    Stephen was able to connect remotely to my computer and get back all of my data. His professionalism is surpassed only by his extreme competence.
    I would recommend his services to all !

    Thanks Stephen !

  93. Michael O'Neil

    Stephen really came through for me! My Seagate BlackArmour 110 NAS died on me (2nd time) the first time Seagate fixed the drive. This time it was out of warrantee. I pulled the physical drive out of the NAS enclosure and installed it into my desktop computer. Stephen was able to connect to the device and copy 2TB of data to a new drive. Mostly lots of home video and photos (4 hours copy time).

    If you have a data problem and no where to turn, contact Stephen. He will do his best to recover your data. No need to send your drive off for unknown folks to examine. It all happens on your own computer.

    Thank you Stephen!

  94. Martin from Denmark

    My story is like most people who have owned a WD Sharespace 4TB model.

    One day I couldnt access my Sharespace. Yellow lights blinking on all 4 drives and the dreaded, “Volume ‘DataVolume’ doesn’t exist” error.

    Fortunately I had done some reseach in advance, because I had read about other people who had problems with their Shacespace and were rescued by Stephen. So I bookmarked his website and 1 month later BAM, I lost the Sharespace.

    I contacted Stephen who told me what to do and soon after that, he had acces to my drives and rebuild the raid. Then I could start copying over all the content of the drives to a new nas. 24 hours later all 2.42TB of data was copied and it was 100% recovable.

    Stephen is a lifesaver and he deserves a big thank you and a handsom donation for his work!

  95. What Stephen does is a huge service to the people around the world that don’t know their computers as well. I owe him a huge one, as my wife’s pictures of our daughter are irreplaceable, and I told her that backing them up on my server would be safe. Although very few people are able to afford commercial data recovery services, Stephen is the lone provider that allows for everyone to have the means, and right to salvage their memories.

    When I first contacted Stephen, he took a quick evaluation, and already knew it would be a difficult case. I had four 1 TB drives in a RAID5 setup. However, one drive was reporting errors, and another drive was out of sync.

    This did not stop him from trying. Over 18 days, while battling the flu, Stephen tried many different methods, including imaging different drives in different configurations (Each imaging attempt took >24 hours), and running photorec multiple times for specific file types.

    Although not every single last file was recoverable, Stephen was able to recover almost all of the most important files. Through it all, Stephen was both extremely helpful and patient. He definitely does anything he can possibly do to maximize the restoration. I would recommend his services to anyone.

  96. Christophe

    Hello

    Very happy to retrieve my Ubuntu RAID data.

    Thanks a lot, Stephen to do it, to be patient, and to answer to all my questions. :)

    I recommend Stephen to everyone :)

  97. Anyone having problems with the plethora of software RAID setups that are so common with all the NAS devices out there should connect with Stephen.

    It starts with a fear that your data is lost but Stephen will work with you and is super patient. Nothing is better than someone that exudes the confidence when you are unsure.

    Thank you Stephen.

  98. Alex Neretin

    I had WD network 4 TB storage storage failed.
    All my documents and pictures were there.
    Stephen was able to restore it just in one hour.
    I’m really impressed with so prompt, so professional high quality service.
    I will recommend Stephen to anyone having similar issues.

    Stephen, one more time: thank you very much.

  99. Stefan Arentoft

    I am very very satisfied with your service level and your work Stephen.
    I made a huge f-up and lost 1,5tb of data… or I thougt it was lost, but no no, along came a wizzard and recovered it all. In about 24 hours you fished it out of my disk! It kind of make me think that i am happy i smash all my old hdd’s with a hammer before i dispose them…. not that I have anything to hide, but still….
    Guess what I’m trying to say is that it’s wonderful that there is someone with your skill’s.
    It is indeed a superpower in the world we live in today! So ergo you must be a superhero. A hero help people when they need help, only because they can!

    Stephen, your a wizzard and a superhero, nothing less. From the bottom of my heart THANK YOU!

    I will spread the word of your magic head and hands!

  100. Marii Kossev

    I had a RAID5 failure on an Iomega StorCenter ix-4-200d Cloud Edition. I had a lot of information on it, and some of it was really important to me. Reading about the problems with RAID5 degrade mode after the failing of one drive coupled with an issue on a second drive, made me shiver. Most of the internet comments (including the experts’ ones) revolved around the difficulty of restoring the information – that it takes a specialized software and a professional who really knows what they are doing, in order to be successful. In addition, most of the comments specify that there is really a high chance part of the information will not be restored.

    I guess I am one of the lucky people to come across Steve after reading a recommendation on the Internet. Steve handled the issue with utmost professionalism, his instructions were crear, the steps were well explained, the process of booking a time slot was very well organized, the donation expectations were extremely reasonable, but most of all:

    1. Steve was successful to recover 100% of my information. This was done very elegantly (I thought), with very little imput from my side, which is a great relief for people like me who are not that computer-familiar;
    2. Doing this over the internet was hugely convenient, as the alternative (taking the hardware to a apecialized company) is far more stressful and time-consuming.

    In addition, Steve was very supportive and answered all my questions before, during, and after the process completion.

    I am impressed with Steve’s efficiency, the results achieved, and professional attitude. I strongly suggest that if you want the job done, to turn to him for help. He really knows what he is doing, and he pays attention to the customers and their problems.

    A big THANK YOU from me, Steve. I will deffinitely recommend you whenever I can.

  101. Errol Noralez

    Thanks to Steven, we were able to recover all our files over 100GB worth of data. Even though he was under the weather he stepped up to the plate for the game winning homerun.

    Thanks Steve..

  102. We are professional photographers and we have three RAID 5 NAS to save our datas (mostly wedding and portrait photos). When, two weeks ago, one of our LaCie 5BIG Network did not appear on our network , we first asked for technical support from LaCie . It has been a nightmare. They first asked me to do things that were in the instruction manual and that I had already tried un-successfully. They only communicate with a ticket system on line , and answer to you within 24/48 hours which is very long in a professional matter. They finally asked us to send the machine to be changed , no matter the datas !!! They suggested to ask for a quote at their recovery department, which arrived two days after my request …. starting price was $1500 and much more if needed… could not afford that at the moment.
    I tried to fix it following tutorials on the web , installing LINUX on a computer , connecting all the NAS drives to this computer , but honestly , that was an expert job, I was almost auditing , when I read a post on a forum, where someone was very grateful on Stephen’s work.
    I tried to connect, I must say he was very quick to reply, understand the problem, and FIX it within 24 hours on line. THAT WAS MAGIC !!!
    THANK YOU STEPHEN, you are truly a GENIUS and an ANGEL !!
    Bruno Cohen – photographer in Paris, France

  103. Roger Parent

    Folks I wanted to take a moment to share some information on an amazing service performed by Stephen Haran an online data recovery specialist. I have a NAS device at home as many of us do to save all those pictures of the kids growing up, important documents and in essence your entire life. Raid 5 should be fault tolerant but this is not always the case as all my data was GONE! Iomega the manufacturer of my NAS was unable to help and told me that I should send the drives off to a data recovery center. $3000.00 is the average price for these types of recovery services.

    Enter Stephen Haran at http://www.freedatarecovery.us. Stephen was organized, professional and provided some simple instructions to connect the drives to a home pc. I created a USB bootable version of Linux as provided by Stephen and he was then was able to connect remote and rebuild the RAID and get ALL my data back. Stephen works on donations and I would HIGHLY recommend his services if you have data that you accidently deleted or run in to a NAS failure.

    Thanks again Stephen for the fantastic service,and for getting my data back!

  104. My client, an architectural firm, has been using a Seagate 4-bay NAS configured in a RAID 5 array to ensure that they will not lose data in the event of a hard drive failure.

    After a nasty power outage, however, the RAID configuration became corrupt and the NAS reported all of the drives as “foreign”.

    I received a quote from a reputable data recovery company here in Canada. They quoted $1500 – 3000 and one week turn-around.

    I tried my hand at recovering the data myself. While researching the daunting tasks of rebuilding a failed RAID array manually, I came across glowing recommendations for Stephen Haran’s service on two separate forums.

    I was worried that it seemed too good to be true, however, I called Stephen and he began helping me right away.

    Within several hours I received a message from Stephen indicating that the RAID had been rebuilt successfully and that the data was being copied to my external drive. Later that evening the job was complete.

    I am thoroughly amazed by Stephen and full of admiration for his skills and his extraordinary business model.

  105. Scott Rindfleisch

    My story is much like everyone else that has posted a comment on Stephen’s page. I work for the largest Data Storage company in the world and my group uses a 4T Iomega StorCenter ix4-200d setup for Raid-5 to store test logs and other such data. One day the unit reported a faulty drive, which under normal circumstances isn’t much of a problem as this has happened in the past. I noted the faulty drive number and shutdown the unit to replace the drive with a new one that I always keep in stock for when an incident like this occurs. After replacing the faulty drive, the unit started the reconstruction process and all seemed ok when after about 30 minutes into the reconstruction the unit encountered what it reported as a catastrophic failure. The unit basically crashed. I called Iomega support who were of little help and indicated that I would need to have the data recovered manually by having all the drives sent to their recovery center at an extremely large cost with no guarantee that any data could be recovered.

    At this point I had decided that the data wasn’t that “mission critical” to justify the amount of money that Iomega and other Data Recovery businesses were asking. I then started to search the Iomega blogs to see if anyone else had run into the same problem and possibly posted a reasonable way to recover lost data under similar circumstances to mine. This is where I ran upon a story of another individual that had a similar unit to mine and found a link to Stephens operation which I read with great enthusiasm due to the success this other individual had with Stephen. What Stephen was advertising seemed too good to be true but decided I had nothing at this point to lose and at the price, if the data was recoverable, was very reasonable considering my alternatives.

    Let me say that upon contacting Stephen, he was very professional and indicated that the likelihood of recovering the data was good. The process couldn’t have been easier. Once I had completed the setup and Stephen dialed into the system, he couldn’t have taken much more than a couple of hours and had rebuilt the raid group and started the recovery to a 3TB USB Drive I had attached to the system for him to recover the data on. It took about two days to complete the recovery and the entire process was complete.

    Let me say that if you have any doubts about Stephen and what he can do, he’s the REAL DEAL. I’ve been in the business for 20 years and I have to say that he has one sweat setup and was very impressed with the process that he has created for remote recovery of data. At the price he charges, I’m surprised more people aren’t taking advantage of what I consider a very generous service. He truly seams passionate about helping people and it is reflected in the professional manner in which he conducts himself, the help he provides if you run into an issue with the setup, along with the price he charges.

    Thanks you again Stephen for all your help. You are truly a miracle worker.

    • Well sorry to say I am very ill now and the doctors dont seem to be abke to help me.

      So looks like the end of this service.

      I am glad I could help so many.

      God bless.

      Stephen

  106. I had been using a 4-bay Synology NAS set up in a Raid 5 configuration for about 2 years, but one of the drives became corrupt after moving the server to a new location. There were no utilities offered by Synology to help me recover my data, so I was in a very bad position.

    I began researching ways to rebuild the array because I did set up my NAS so that I was protected with raid 5. It became clear that the task of rebuilding the array, even though I am an engineer, was going to be difficult and I ran the risk of doing something incorrectly and destroying my data. I came across Stephen’s website and was feeling that this was a “too good to be true” service. I decided to give Stephen a call and felt at ease from the first moment we spoke.

    Stephen is very easy to talk with and provided everything I needed in short order. In fact, the same evening I called Stephen he had my array rebuilt and mounted it as a folder on my network. I simply browsed to it and started transferring my valuable data to a spare drive. Stephen has really been a life saver and I am grateful for his time and expertise. Stephen – thank you again and I pray that you feel better soon!

    • I reported a few weeks ago that I was ill and was no longer offering this service.

      Well I’m doing a bit better and for now I am going to try to offer this service again on a limited basis as I have good days and bad. But can not guarantee my availability.

      Working on new cases is helpful to take my mind off of things.

      So I will reply to emails if I am able.

      Stephen

  107. We were so lucky to have found your services – our NAS drive had some serious issues, and other recovery services were requiring us to potentially shut down for weeks while they did their work. Our fine associates with Red E Technology suggested we use your services and I’m so glad we did. We had some crazy deadlines at the same time, and you really saved us by getting us up and running again so quickly.

    Thanks again!

  108. I got frustrated with a wd share space and left it sitting for months because I couldn’t find a way to recover the data. On and off I was looking for information about it and just in time before I totally gave up I found this website. Amazing. It didn’t look good at the begin but he got it. I don’t know how but he ended the frustration within minutes. Stephen you got skills and I’m really surprised you are able to offer this service . I recommend him to anybody. And Stephen I didn’t forget about you I keep my promise you earned it.

  109. Polux Reckmann

    Hi Stephen.
    I had a homemade NAS setup in RAID5, that crashed. I looked everywhere to se how I could fix it, but was afraid of making it worse. I had all my family photos and videos from holidays, and no backup. A terrible sin..
    then I came over your homepage and decided to give it a try.
    And I will never regret that.
    You where really easy to “talk” to ( we actually never spoke, just chatted throught your program.)
    And fixed my NAS in about 30min+.
    My wife and I thank you for life.

    I am very sorry to now hear that you are ill, specially since you have been a life-saver for so many people.
    I will be one of many that prays for you.

    Regards from your friend in Norway.

    • Thank you Polux. My health has improved and I am able to continue performing data recovery work. I find working is a good way to take my mind off of things as hopefully I continue to get well.

  110. Steven Schafrik

    It is an extraordinary thing to meet someone that is so dedicated to their craft. I am very seldom impressed, but the speed and accuracy of Stephen was incredible. I get 3-4 calls per year from people that have had data loss problems and usually I can fix them. I had a problem myself that I could not figure out!

    I’m so happy that I stumbled on Stephen’s service. I’m going to start referring everyone to you. I will be more careful in the future. It is comforting to know that I have a backstop. I would love to know how you do it.

  111. Thanasis Stamoulis

    We had a WD ShareSpace on which we had saved photos of over a decade and all of our music library! And no backup….All 4 hard disc drives of NAS crashed simultaneously and it was impossible to retrieve any data – tried through some ‘experts’ to retrieve but with no success. Searching through internet led to Stephen as one who could resolve the problem. And he did with 100% success – i feel so lucky to have contacted Stephen who managed to save our memories!

    Very friendly and cooperative – i would definately recommend him.

    Thank you Stephen once i again

  112. After a power outage, my WD 4TB RAID5 ShareSpace NAS suffered damage and would not function. All 4 drives tested OK, but the controller card needed replacing. As this model is obsolete and out of warranty, WD could not / would not assist. The NAS contained all my movies, photos and music, as well as my laptop backup files.

    After hunting around, I came across Stephen’s name and website. He supplied the necessary boot files, and after I set up the recovery system and booted up, Stephen came on line, examined the RAID drives and provided an optimistic prognosis. After several hours, he achieved a 100% recovery of all my files.

    Excellent service and a delighted customer.

  113. Gordon Bell

    I work in a school for children with Aspergers Syndrome. We had a Black Armor NAS which failed and I was faced with the prospect of losing a years coursework for these children. Stephen did an outstanding job in helping me recover the data. I still have no idea how he did it, but needless to say it has made a lot of children very happy. Stephen walked me through remote installation and recovery and even wrote a small script when I had trouble with the correct commands.
    I am delighted by the result and would unreservedly recommend Stephen to anyone who has a data recovery issue.

  114. Erwin F. Leuk......

    My Buffalo-NAS with 4 harddrives and a RAID 5 lost TWO harddrives. As a don’t have the money to give the NAS to a specialiest company I did a research on google and found Stephen. Contact via Mail was fast, I was surprised. I didn’t knew Stephen so could I trust him? YES! I could. He repaired the NAS so I can copy ALL of my data (3,8 GB at all, pictures….). By mistake I disconnected the wrong disk and so he had to do a 2nd repair! Stephen, I don’t know you at all but your a very very fast, polite and extreme nice man. You saved my life (my wife would kill me if i loose all of our pictures … ;-))!
    Hope my donation is OK for your work, it’s a (hope so) fair amount in Austria. Never stop your service! But I hope I will never need your assistance in the future 😉
    THANKS!

  115. Just few lines of comments will not do justice to what Stephen Haran provides as part of his recovery services. I have to write up a full story blog post.

    I had a IOMEGA (turned EMC / Lenovo) ix4-200d unit. It had 4 drives setup in RAID 5. Recently it crashed. I have recovered data from single drives but not the RAIDs. Unit was out of warranty and hence no support from vendor unless you pay them thousands of bucks.

    I searched all over and on forums. Found different companies providing RAID recovery services, recovery software and other solutions.

    Some of the solutions needed 6 drives. One with win OS with recovery software, 4 RAID disks, and one for recovery. Having that kind of setup became challenging due to 6 disks, having power supply and that many SATA ports.

    I’m glad I found Stephen Haran’s Data Recovery service. I just had to buy 4 long enough SATA cables, plug those to my desktop PC without having any other drive attached to it, used Stephen’s .ISO image and the 3rd party software to create a bootable USB and booted from it.

    VIOLLA!

    I was chatting with him in few minutes using the CHAT session that opened up in a browser on the bootable USB’s OS. He reviewed the disks, constructed the RAID and in less than an hour provided me UNC path to review and copy over my contents from the crashed RAID.

    I was able to recover 99% of the needed contents.

    Beyond the recovery process the most amazing thing was Stephen’s dealing. He has this as free data recovery for which I got couple of thousand dollar quotes from other recovery companies.

    Everyone, please promote him and make donations to him. He knows the work but we should not abuse the word FREE here.

    If sales man & product companies start charging the reasonable money for the product or work they do, just like Stephen has been doing, I’m sure we can make US a debt-free nation.

  116. Recently my Synology 1812 with 8 x 3TB hard disk on Raid 5, had one disk went down , and when I replace with a new disk with “Degrade” message. Half way thru, the whole Raid 5 went down again, with another unit of hard disk also failed.. This time, I have no way to boot up the volume anymore.. Since then, I have scout around for Data Recovery software. I have tried many Win based recovery software, and all of them failed. Then I went online to check, and from Synology forum, some user used Ubuntu to access the directory..

    I tried that, no success, as my Linux knowledge is near to zero.. Then i came across Stephen company via the Askubuntu forum.. I email him, and instantly I get response from him..

    I then set up as instructed and I uses USB Hub to connect to my 8 hard disk..and later I set them up as SATA disk with eSATA. Then, disaster struck, one of the 2 failed hard disk literally burn up.. Which left me only 7 disk out of 8 disk Raid 5.

    Again, Stephen get to work again on the 7 remaining disk.. And
    viola… and within the day, he is able to recover all my 13TB of data… 100% recovery..

    I really appreciate the speed with which Stephen is able to response, and I am impressed with his knowledge and patience extend to me during these trying times, and save my many hours of work,

    Thank you Stephen for your good work.. I will strongly recommend you to many of my friends..

    Well done

    Regards
    SB Lim

  117. We had a disaster with 4 disk software (mdadm) RAID 10 where we had 2 disks fail back to back, forcing the RAID offline. We worked for over a week trying to fix it ourselves. After countless failures, we contacted Stephen and within just a few hours he had our RAID back online with all data files fully accessible. He knows what he’s doing. Thanks Stephen!

  118. Mike Caldwell

    About a year ago, my iOmega NAS box lost a drive and when I replaced it, the raid somehow got corrupt and I could not get to my data. No, I didn’t have a back up.

    Then I came across this site and Stephen Haran. He offers remote recovery of your data using a bootable Linux system.

    Anyway, after reading his reviews I took a chance and booted up his Linux OS and about 8 hours later he was copying my raid data off to an external hard drive.

    Now, my raid is restored! (AND I have scheduled backup running)

    If your ever in this situation, I highly recommend his services.

  119. The RAID in my home NAS failed (four disks, RAID10). I tried everything I could think of for several days (mdadm, testdisk, even photorec). Once I decided to seek help, I requested and received MANY quotes–all completely out of reach financially.

    Stephen’s service looked to good to be true. I was concerned about the security of my data–until I realized that ANYONE that helped me would have the same access, and most of them wanted me to ship them my drives. When you think about it, Stephen’s remote service really is brilliant.

    As it turns out, my fumbling attempts to fix my NAS were the only things that complicated Stephen’s job (as he politely informed me). In the end (a day or so later) I recovered ALL of my data. What was at stake? Only ALL of the photos my family has taken since the world went completely digital (what, 2004?).

    Thank you, Stephen!

  120. A quick note to share my thoughts on Stephen’s work. He helped me recover just over 2.5tb of data that I thought was gone for good. It took a couple of re-mounts of my original WD ShareSpace array that crashed, but the outcome was much better than I expected. I could not be happier with the overall results!

    I would also like to share that he answered “all” of my questions and through this entire process I have learned a ton. I am now in the process of rebuilding my entire data storage & backup platform to something that is much more reliable & meaningful for my needs. I have Stephen to thank for his guidance and will forever be in his debt for what he has taught me.

    If you are lucky enough to find his site and think all is lost… IT IS NOT! Simply allow Stephen to check things out for you and based on his expertise & experience there is a very good chance of data recovery success. You will not be sorry that you took the time to get a totally professional opinion as to your options for your data recovery.

    Thanks much “Dr.” Haran!!

  121. I had a WesternDigital Sharespace that failed. I came home one day to find out that the Data Volume was missing. For about a year I tried a range of recovery programs and I was completely unsuccessful at getting all my valuable data back.

    After looking through support forums again I came across this website. If I am honest I was slightly sceptical considering there was no upfront cost. Only after any recovery would you submit a donation.

    Stephen was fantastic right from my first email with him. He was very helpful in getting his operating system up and running on my laptop. Once all my hard drives were connected it took him under 1h to completely rebuild the information from the drives and create a share on my network that I could access and start pulling the data.

    Unlike the other recovery programs I tried using all the original file structures and files names were completely intact with no corruption on any file.

    I would definitely recommend this service to anyone who is having issues with their NAS drives. It is hard to come by someone who is trustworthy and lets you decide how much you can afford for the recovery of your data. Thanks Stephen.

  122. Best data recovery tech experience I’ve ever had. It took stephen 30 min to rebuild the raid 5 with 700gb of data.
    Just got it off the raid and everything is accessible! Thanks stephen, will definitely use you again and already highly recommended you to others.

  123. Steve is awesome! We had a crashed Linux software RAID5 and he was able to mount the raid with only two disks and all my data them to an external USB device… all my files were successfully recovered. I highly recommend Steve, he is great and kind. Thank you man! :-)

  124. Stephen was terrific! My 8TB WD Sharespace reported a bad drive. I shut it down, replaced the failed drive, and turned it back on…. and that was it. It never booted again. I tried a number of different things to get it to come back up, to no avail. I researched a number of different DIY methods, which is when I found Stephen’s site. I read most of the comments, all positive. I GOOGLEd and found nothing negative posted, so I decided to give it a shot. I contacted him and within an hour, he sent me the pre-recovery instructions. I set everything up, and wrote him a day or two later with my schedule for the next couple days. He wrote back with 30 mins. and said he had time. We connected, and 30 min later, my data was available! 5TB worth of stuff, including more than 23,000 pictures. He also told me that one of the remaining drives was showing signs of failure. I started copying immediately, starting with the irreplaceable data. By the next day, when I got to the annoying to replace data, most of it was inaccessible. I lost 1TB of videos (shows, etc.). The pictures I originally downloaded to my laptop. I tried to transfer them off the old drives again (faster across the network), and THEY were now inaccessible as well! The drives had indeed begun to fail. Thanks to Stephen’s quick response and timely warning, a decade of memories were saved. Thanks again Stephen!

  125. Couldn’t recommend Stephen enough. Recovered failed nas drive with 2TB of data with over 5 years worth of work on it.
    Connected and within 30 minutes, he had the data back.
    Very quick communication also

  126. I contacted Stephen about a failed raid 5 in a WD Sharespace unit. Stephen was able to provide simple instructions to setup the failed raid and was able to remotely recover the data within a day of contacting him. Super quick and super professional. It really couldn’t have been a better experience.

    THANK YOU for saving my family photos!!!

    John-

  127. Stephen response was very fast and quickly dealed with the case.

    The process itself, based on a custom bootable image, was very practical. It even noticed Stephen automatically.

    Mario

  128. Yonathan

    Stephen successfully recovered a 3 TB raid 5 array with 1.5 TB of valuable info, i just a couple of days.
    Proffessional, Efficient and very fast service.
    i would definately recommend this service to colleagues and friends in need.
    Thank you so much!!

  129. Bernd Sadlo

    It was by accident that Stephen found me while I was trying some forums to get my QNAP RAID-5 back to life. Somehow the file-systems on the data partitions of all 4 drives was gone after a simple reboot, and it seemed that neither the folks from QNAP-support, nor the members of the forums knew any advice. Stephen read my comments by coincidence, and he gave me a number of suggestions that eventually made all data accessible again. At that point, I did not even know that he was running his business (although suspecting so), but I was deeply impressed that he was so open and helpful!
    Not that I hope that it will happen again (and yes, I have setup backup routines by now) – I would definitely contact him again and I can only recommend his services to anybody in a similar situation. Thanks Stephen!

    Bernd

  130. I guess I am the atypical customer. I had a RAID5 config that failed with several hundred GB of family photos, videos, and documents. Seagate suggested sending the drives in for “professional data recovery services” that I am sure would have cost upwards of my daughters tuition. Found Steve on the web, setup an appointment, and he was able to quickly rebuild the config. I successfully copied everything off that was needed and was saved from having to sleep on the couch for a month. Like most people, I am a generalist with technology. Steve is a true specialist. Lesson learned and will change our backup strategy here, but I know who to contact if I something like this happens again.

    Thanks Stephen!

    Dan

  131. After a power outage, my WD SHareSPace booted with an error message “datavolume doesn’t exist”. I couldn’t access any of the data and the device was out of warranty.

    Thanks to Stephen, I could revocer all of the data in just 30 minutes!
    He works fast, accurate and very efficient!
    I would recommend Stephen anytime but also learned a valuable lesson; a raid 5 NAS is NOT a backup of your data!

    Thanks Stephen!

    Harold

  132. Excellent work. Even as an experienced UNIX/Linux professional with plenty of help from the web I was not able to recover a failed LeCie RAID 5 system. Stephen successfully recovered 1.5 TB of data! I highly recommend him. Thanks Stephen!

  133. “Another Satisfied Customer”

    Stephen is professional, courteous, and efficient. What more could anyone ask? I had a Western Digital ShareSpace RAID 5 that had taken a dump and through his speedy expertise, I was able to get access to all the data within an hour of getting in touch with him. This represented a 4 TB data partition and after purchasing enough storage I was able to backup it all up over the course of several days with Stephen’s solution in place. I can’t recommend his services enough. I hope I won’t need them again but I wouldn’t hesitate contacting him if I did! Thank you thank you thank you, Stephen!

  134. Some weeks ago our 4 TB Raid 5 WD Sharespace crashed after 2 of 4 drives failed. We had no more access to approx. 1 TB of our data, mostly photos and personal docs. About two weeks of searching in the www, trying serveral data recovery programs and asking some real IT-specialists we get no answer on our problem.
    We were very desperate and then found Stephen’s website and his free data recovery service. Everything sounds so easy and too good to be true … and all on donation basis. Naturally being a bit skeptical about such a service we decided to give it a try … we had nothing to lose.
    Stephen’s first answer with instructions what to do before recovery came within 1 hour. 30 minutes after starting his recovery software he told me that he can see data and began to recover them. Some hours later the first 500 GB of data were recovered, trying to recover the rest a disk failure stoped recovery. After mounting a fifth drive he started to establish an image of the failed drive and was able to recover all of our data.
    The decision to give him a try was the best we could do, never saw an IT-specialist who knows so exactly what to do and solved a problem so targeted and so fast.
    I can highly recommend Stephen and the superior service he offers.

    Thank you so much Stephen.

    Vor einigen Wochen stürzte unser 4 TB Raid 5 WD Sharespace ab nachdem 2 von 4 Festplatten einen Fehler meldeten. Wir hatten auf ca. 1 TB Daten keinen Zugriff mehr, das Meiste davon Photos und persönliche Dokumente. Nach zwei Wochen Suche im Internet, ausprobieren verschiedener Recovery-Programme und Befragung mehrer wirlicher IT-Spezialisten fanden wir keine Antwort auf unser Problem.
    Langsam am Verzweifeln haben wir dann die Webseite und den Free Data Recovery Service von Stephen gefunden. Es klang alles so einfach, an sich zu gut um wahr zu sein … und all das auf Basis einer freiwilligen Spende. Trotz unserer Skepsis entschlossen wir uns es auszuprobieren … wir hatten nichts mehr zu verlieren.
    Die erste Antwort von Stephen erreichte mich innerhalb einer Stunde, gleich mit Instruktionen wie der Computer für das Recovery vorzubereiten ist. Eine halbe Stunde nachdem ich sein Recovery Programm gestartet hatte teilte er mir schon mit, daß er unsere Daten sehen kann und mit der Rücksicherung beginnt. Einige Stunden später waren die ersten 500 GB Daten zurückgesichert, beim Versuch den Rest zu sichern trat dann ein weiterer Festplattenfehler auf und stoppte die Wiederherstellung. Nachdem ich eine weitere Festplatte im Computer montiert hatte erstellte Stephen ein Image der defekten Festplatte und war dann in der Lage sämtliche Daten zurückzusichern..
    Die Entscheidung seinen Service auszuprobieren war das Beste was wir machen konnten, ich habe nie einen IT-Spezialisten gesehen der so genau wusste was zu tun ist und ein Problem so zielorientiert und schnell gelöst hat.
    Ich kann Stephen und seinen Service nur sehr empfehlen.

    Danke vielmals Stephen.

  135. Je possède un NAS Synology DS411j avec 4 disques en SHR. Ce NAS permet la panne d’un seul disque. Les données restent accessibles. Il suffit alors de remplacer le disque défectueux qui se reconstitue grâce aux 3 autres. Dans mon cas, deux disques sont tombés en panne à dix heures d’intervalle. Impossible de prendre quelconque mesure dans ce laps de temps. Le support de Synology n’a pas réussi à remonter le volume en panne. Les logiciels de récupération ont tous échoué. Seul Raise Data Recovery for NTFS 5.15.2 est pervenu à récupérer quelques données mais trop partielles. J’ai soumis le cas à Stephen qui a réussi à récupérer la totalité des données, soit environ 8 To, à l’exception d’une dizaine de fichiers, ce qui est très peu par rapport à la masse de fichiers totale. Les fichiers ont été récupérés avec leur nom (pas de file0001.mp4, etc) et les fichiers de plus de 4 Go n’ont pas posé de problèmes non plus. Stephen a été très patient et très disponible. La copie des fichiers a duré environ deux semaines et le raid a planté à maintes reprises. Mais le but est atteint : j’ai récupéré 99,99% des données. Stephen a réussi là où tous les autres ont échoué. Un service à recommander vivement. N’hésitez pas à faire un don après la récupération des données afin que Stephen reste à notre service à tous, il le mérite vraiment.

    I own a Synology DS411j NAS with 4 disks mounted as a SHR volume. This allows that one disk fails. Data remain available and you just have to replace de defect disk which will then rebuild thanks to the data on the other 3 disks. Here, 2 disks failed on a 10-hour-interval. I had no time to take action. Synology support did not succeed in remounting the volume again. Various software went any further. Only Raise Data Recovery for NTFS 5.15.2 succeeded in recovering a few files but the recovery was too partial. I submitted the case to Stephen. In the end, he succeeded and recovered all the data, i.e. 8 Tb, with the exception of a dozen files, which is really nothing compared to the huge quantity of data which had to be recovered. Files were recovered with their real names (no file0001.mp4, etc). Files bigger than 4 Gb wer erecovered as well. Stephen has been very patient and available. The copy last for two weeks and the raid crashed several times. But this is a great achievement : 99.99% of the data is recovered. Stephen succeeded were all the others failed. I really recommend him. Please make a donation after data recovery so that Stephen goes on with this service. He really deserves it.

  136. Sébastien Nossent

    I had an Etrayz Nas with 2 HDD’s. A day, the Nas failed and the 2 discs were unreadable (Raw). I tried to remount partitions, softwares recovery, … But nothing worked, I only recovered a few small files without the real names. I discovered the website of Stephen (thanks to Mr Coyote from ADSL-BC.org) and he recovered nearly all files with real names. Thanks a lot from Belgium!

    J’avais un Nas Etrayz avec 2 disques. Un jour, le Nas est tombé en panne et les 2 disques sont devenus illisible (Raw). J’ai essayé de monter les les partitions, des logiciels de récupération, … Mais rien ne marchait, je pouvais seulement récupérer quelques petits fichiers sans leurs vrais noms. J’ai découvert le site de Stephen (merci à Mr Coyote de ADSL-BC.org) et il a récupéré presque tous les fichiers avec leurs vrais noms. Merci beaucoup de Belgique!

  137. Chris Knipe

    After growing a RAID5 array and suffering two disk failures (linux, mdadm), I’ve shut the server, ripped the disks, and left them on the shelve – waiting for better days. After better days came (some 4 years later), the OS drive was gone, and I was left with 3 out of 4 disks out of my 4.5TB RAID5 array.

    Tried numerous things to re-assemble the array unsuccessfully, and thinking the worst, I found Stephen’s site referenced in a SINGLE random email to some public mailing list. Not having anything to loose, I’ve contacted Stephen, and booted up with this magical OS of his…

    It’s not even 3 days later, and granted after HOURS of searching sector by sector, the data – every last byte of it – has now been recovered! I’ve accidentally screwed up the meta data on the RAID array COMPLETELY in my attempts to salvage it myself, and this guy was able to recover – ALL of it.

    I have never, ever, in my life experienced what this guy did (and I’ve been in the IT industry for close to 20 years myself – sys admin & networking). I’m still unable to lift my jaw from the floor.

    Stephen, in my books, you are the most knowledgeable person EVER that I have met in my life when it comes to RAID, and file systems. Please keep up the good work, and don’t EVER loose this skill. Your service, is truly professional, and completely invaluable.

    You most certainly saved me by recovering my 3.7TB of data!

  138. I would like to say a big thank you to Stephen for his knowledge and ability in data recovery. I was not confident that I would be able to recover any data when my Share Space unit failed however Stephen was able to work his magic and restore my data. I am extremely appreciative for his skills!!

  139. Massive thanks to Stephen who was able to recover my entire RAID 6 array with no data loss after a failed grow. I had posted on numerous forums with little luck until Stephen replied to one of my threads. I was sceptical at first but he was able to restore everything, can’t recommend his service enough.

  140. Thanks as always to Stephen for his time and thoroughness in troubleshooting two dead drives in a RAID 5 array. Over the years, Stephen has helped me recover lost data on several occasions. I highly recommend him.

  141. I’ve been meaning to follow up here for a long time. Last year (as per the previous post) S.Haran from FreeDataRecovery services reached out to me as he expressed an interest in attempting to help with recovery. The process took a few months because both of us were very busy and we would work on it with a leisurely attitude as there was no urgency. (I had already given up hope at the time… had nothing to lose.)

    After numerous productive sessions, together we were able to successfully recover the data!

    There was almost no data corruption (some files so far have demonstrated corruption but this may have been due to bit rot or other reasons unrelated to the recovery process).

    I was highly impressed by the technical capability, knowledge, professionalism, and services that FreeDataRecovery provided. And literally, it was free! When it was all said and done and because we I had successfully migrated and verified the integrity of my data, I donated to the service. The amount I donated was generous given my own situation, but still way less than any average person would pay for “profession data recovery” (who don’t even guarantee success!).

    I would highly recommend Stephen, and the services provided: http://freedatarecovery.us/.

  142. Stephen was tremendously helpful fully recovering from a failed Buffalo Nas 4 x 2 TB. It took a few attempts to get everything to work correctly, but once running, all data was successfully recovered. I was impressed with Stephen’s patience given my limited IT abilities, our different time zones and the limited amount of IT available to back-up to. Many thanks Stephen – a well earned donation on it’s way.

  143. Ashfaque Shafique

    I am a grad student and suffered loss of a 5 x 2TB NAS drive only a few months before graduation. Stephen was very patient in helping me out over a 4 day period. I was able to successfully recover my data so that I did not lose 3 months worth of experiments. Best of all, being a student I really could not have afforded “professional” recovery. What Stephen did was more than professional, he helped me as if he were my friend. Can’t thank him enough. He’s a great guy to work with.

  144. Keith Suddick

    I think we all know that hard drives do fail, I certainly did and even though I always intended to have a reliable backup solution in place, I never got round to it. A few weeks ago I had a 1TB HDD fail on me and I probably made things worse by letting chkdsk have a go at repairing it – with no success.

    I knew that some of the data on my failed disk was backed-up and also that much of the data was unimportant, my real problem was I didn’t know exactly what had been on the disk so I had no idea if there was something important that I had forgotten about.

    I found the Free Data Recovery website and made an enquiry, fully expecting my drive to be beyond anything but hugely expensive laboratory recovery. Stephen got back to me immediately and I followed his “DIY” process, with his assistance and just the day after starting the recovery attempt I had 99% of my data back – which I was more than happy with as the small amount of data we didn’t recover at that first attempt was not important.

    I’m hugely grateful for the help I received and I can’t recommend Stephen’s services highly enough.

  145. After a catastrophic loss of a decade of my lab’s backed up student data, Stephen came to our rescue. He was professional, patient, and gave exceptional support throughout the recovery process. Well worth the money spent to get our data back, and we won’t hesitate to recommend his services in future.

  146. Chandra

    Steve helped me restore a 4 bay – 3 TB multi raided disk array when seagate showed them as foreign. Steve also mounted them into his Linux shell as Raided drives and had provided few ways of copying the data out of the system. it was really helpful and i am glad i was able to find Steve for restoring my data.

    I would definitely recommend Steve and Good luck on your retrivel and thanks for checking my comments.

  147. Matt Walker

    What can I say buy THANKS!

    A while back my QNAP NAS decided to drop 2 drives out of a Raid 6 and the data was not recoverable. I spent he best part of 2 months mucking around with programs to try and get back the first 5 years of photos of my children’s lives.

    At the point where I was ready to give up I stumbled across freedatarecovery and with a few clicks the issue was solved. Stephen sent me the software, I followed his easy to read instructions and within 15 minutes had access back to all my missing files.

    To say that I am back in the good books in an understatement!

    I will say thank you here – but will also say it into you paypal account!

    You are a true gentleman and a complete lifesaver!

    Regards and thanks…

    Matt

  148. Stephen is a memory saver!!! All our photos from the past 16 years on our WD RAID 5 no longer able to be accessed. The raid had become corrupt and our back up stored off site destroyed. Stephen was really patient with me not being techy and helped me with how to connect the drive to the PC etc.
    He was also brilliant in that I’m on the other side of the world in Melbourne but that did not stop us as he worked while I slept 😉
    Thanks Stephen so much I will recommend you to everyone

  149. shaun jackson

    WD Share Space 8TB decided now was a good time to die and take all 4 drives with it.

    Steve had me up and copying the files to a safe location within 45 minutes.

  150. A 4-bay Seagate Blackarmor imploded one day with 4TB irreplaceable videos and photos on it. The charity organization was crushed with the news that I couldn’t fix it (the NAS didn’t recognize any partitions, let alone data). Seagate support wanted $3,000 to fix their own shoddily designed unit.

    Long shot but I messaged Stephen, honestly not expecting anything but spam. He had me transplant the 4 disks into another system and 24 hours later the data was intact AND transferable. F-ing wizardry right there!

    VERY responsive and knowledgeable. Really just the best experience humanly possible, especially when faced with massive data loss. Couldn’t recommend more highly.

  151. This man is an absolute wizard! His responses are blazing fast – even though our timezones have about 8 – 9 hour difference. His skills are mad, i just followed simple commands and he did all the trickery himself.

    This is undoubtedly the best service of any kind i have ever received on the internet.

    Thank you, Stephen, and i will surely recommend your services to everyone i know in need of data recovery.

  152. Matt Mullaly

    I had an 8TB Iomega IX4 with 4 iSCSI LUNs presented to my at home ESXi cluster. The unit was way out of warranty and support, however Lenovo did have me dump the support logs and check them out. They said that one of the drives was failing and needed to be replaced, I replaced the drive in question and let the raid rebuild, yet the iSCSI LUNs were still not available.

    I contacted Stephen and he was able to find my data and mounted all 4 iSCSI LUNs. I was able to retrieve all of my data.

    The Iomega is and will remain out of production in my lab. A real POS in my opinion.

    I’ll certainly keep Stephens contact info. should I have another data disaster at home or professionally.

    Thanks Again !!

  153. I Kaplan

    I found Stephen online by chance, and made a phone appointment to see if he could help recover data from my stalled external HD.

    After explaining my situation, he was honest to say he couldn’t help and pointed me to another business that solved my problem for ~50% lower cost than other places I had found (including the HD manufacturer).

    This is a great sign of integrity and honesty… I highly recommend Stephen!!

  154. Thanks for Stephen for very expertly and patiently helping to recover our RAID data. It turned out to be a bit trickier than anticipated, but even with one failed drive and another about to go, he was still able to reconstruct the RAID and make it so we could transfer the data to a new home. Thanks again!

  155. As far as I am concerned Stephen is a national treasure. The data I lost was critical to me and many others who depend on it. And, what he did worked quick and very well too. I have not been in a position to pay the usual $1,500+ that is customary in this industry and he did it for me on a donation basis. Though he did not ask for it, I will make multiple donations over time. I am very, very grateful for him.

    Thank you Stephen!

  156. Very fast, excellent response time and over all A+ experience. Definitely my go to guy for any data recovery needs. I cannot recommend highly enough

  157. Had a catastrophic failure of a storage pool on my RAID5’d Iomega IX12-300r SAN. Basically, only one drive went bad, but it still crashed the RAID. Iomega is a piece of trash…I don’t know how i’ve survived this long with it. Iomega support (Lenovo) is even worse…Anyway, we have a lot of VMware VMs running on this device via iSCSI and became instantly unavailable. For some of the VMs we didn’t have an up-to-date backup so it was not a good situation to say the least. Somehow I came upon Stephen’s site and contacted him. He started helping me instantly and–amazing–he was able to rebuild the RAID by my pulling my drives and inserting into a 3yo PC, which he remotely controlled. It was the quickest recovery I’ve ever experienced for a situation such as this. I am still in amazement. Stephen is a great linux resource, is very responsive, is patient and loves what he does–it comes through in his work ethic. I HIGHLY recommend him for drive recovery, and now he has a relatively large SAN (8TB) he can say he recovered! :) I will definitely be using him again in the future and referring him to my colleagues.

  158. After crashing RAID5 on my WD ShareSpace any tryes of rebuilding RAID under Ubuntu Linux LiveCD was not productive (mdadm don`t want to mount 1 disk of 4). But RAIDfinder restore my data in 30 minutes. Really good, simple and usable tool.

  159. Satheis Tharmeswajakan

    Stephen has been great and I cannot express how grateful I am for his site and his service.

    I reached out to Stephen a few years back when I had a raid array fail and couldn’t retrieve the files. Stephen fixed up pretty good. Unfortunately, another raid array I had with picture ended up failing recently and I couldn’t access the data. It was upsetting and I tried to use some free software to restore it but didn’t get anywhere.

    With a few clicks of the mouse I was able to get Stephen to remotely look at my PC and restore over 3TB of data. It has been an amazing experience. Keep up the great work Stephen!

  160. Great service. Thanks to Stephen, he was able to recover my data from a broken NAS. Quick response, very nice person and Stephen really did a perfect job.

  161. Many thanks for your reactivity and kindness. My broken NAS Raid 5 is now totally recovered. Thank you doctor !

    Mille merci pour votre réactivité et gentillesse. Mon NAS Raid 5 défectueux est maintenant totalement réparé. Merci Docteur !

  162. Full recovery from the WDShareSpace dreaded, “Volume ‘DataVolume’ doesn’t exist”: directory structure, date stamps, etc., got it all (2TB) back. Incredible.

    It is not a platitude for me to say that I cannot express enough thanks to Stephen, both for the success and for the interaction. Competence, care, integrity — too rare these days, found them all here.

  163. Thanks to Stephen.
    I had a big probleme with my WD Sharespace (every HDD were considered down in the supervision page of my NAS). I thought everything was lost even if i hoped that all the datas were still here but inaccessible for me.
    Stephen put everything right in less than half an hour… !
    Bravo ! Well down ! 2,4 To are back !
    As said by Anthony, I found all I need here (competence and quickness).

  164. Really impressed with the service. The emails and instructions were clear and the recovery time for 1.6 TB was less than two hours.

  165. I accidentally deleted a Windows soft RAID5 of 4 1TB disks. I know the deletion only wiped out the partition/volume meta data, the content of the volume should still be there on the disk. I tried some tools but none of them do the job nice and easy. Then I found this tool and followed the Do-it-yourself instructions. Enabled remote help and Stephen emailed back quickly and solved the problem. Now I can see all my old files through network share. Great job, Stephen!

  166. I’m very impressed. Stephen was able to boot into my PC using his tool fairly easy and worked with me for several days and using different methods until he insured that the entire data was recovered from a Failed RAID 5 NAS drive.

    Life saver for sure.

    many thanks

  167. Martin from Denmark

    Once Again Stephen was able to help me, as I lost acces to my WD Mycloud EX2. Disk 1 showing as being bad. Stephen regained acces of all data with nothing lost and copied it all to a set of new nas disks. This time I use raid 1, as it is the second time I have had a raid 0 fail on me. Thx Again Stephen.

  168. I was very impressed with the Stephen’s help and turnaround on this issue I had. My western digital sharespace took a dump on me after a power outage. The drives were fine, but kept getting a datavolume not existing message. After rigging up a system to attach the drives to, I was able to use Stephen’s CD to boot from and it was able to do his magic. He actually helped me get the data back and left me as a very happy camper. The hardest thing about this was getting the drives detached and attached to another computer. I was and am grateful to him for getting this done.. Thanks — Stephen for your help in this matter…

  169. Alexander

    Dear Stephen,

    I would like to thank you for your great job. You recovered 4.4TB from our ShareSpace, it was very easy for us because everything was made online.

    Greetings from Austria
    Alexander

  170. Dear Stephen,

    I honnestly don’t know how you were able to recover mostly of my datas with 2 out of 4 hard drives that had failed on my Syno ds411+ with SHR raid… Impressed !
    Thank you Stephen!
    Greetings from France
    Manuel

  171. Dear Stephen,

    I asked a few people around my place to help with my problem. No one was able to help or willing to spend the time on one single lost word file. But you did it and now I have my file back, which is very important to me.
    Thank you very much Stephen!
    Greetings from Germany
    Max

  172. Paul L.

    Stephen is knowledgeable, responsive, and trustworthy. He helped me through the process and was patient throughout. Highly recommend.

  173. Stephen helped me recover precious pictures that were on a Synology NAS that failed. Although hope I don’t need his wonderful service again, I know who I will call if I need help – highly recommended. A++++

  174. Jon Watts

    Stephen helped me recover a huge amount of data after the RAID failed on our QNAP NAS unit, and QNAP themselves were unwilling to help. Quick, friendly and professional, a superb service. Would definitely use Stephen again if required.

  175. Greetings from the UK.
    I had a non working RAID5 on a Seagate Business NAS, after 1 drive failed and the RAID didn’t repair itself. Stephen guided me through the process of mounting the drives in a PC chassis and booting via his Linux USB stick. He then found the data and proceeded to run it over to a new NAS with 100% success.
    Troubles never come singly, the Seagate GoFlex 3TB I had been using while the NAS was out of action also failed. Using the same set-up Stephen recovered 100% of the data on that too.
    I’ve done projects with some seriously good IT professionals in my career as an audio visual systems consultant, Stephen really takes the biscuit as one of the very best with whom I’ve had the pleasure to work.
    Thank you so much Stephen, you are very, very highly recommended!
    Dave N

  176. Aditya J

    Echoing all the positive comments from the above, I worked along with steve
    at an organization before this. I continue to work there.

    I have had such a pleasure working with steve and have first hand knowledge of his knowledge and capabilities and his vast experience over the years troubleshooting all kinds of issues.

  177. I had an issue with Thecus N5200 Pro NAS which was stuck on booting. So I was not able to access data on the RAID-5 drives. Stephen helped me recovering the RAID and backup my data to an external hard drive. All the data was recovered. Thank you very much, Stephen!

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