Apple's line of MacBook Pro laptops was intended for the professional and power users. The MacBook Pro line includes the MacBook Pro 13" Unibody, MacBook Pro 15", MacBook Pro 15" Unibody, MacBook Pro 17", and the MacBook Pro 17" Unibody.

10814 Questions View all

Repair Labor Costs Question

How much should I expect to pay to retrieve files from my Mac Book Pro? I just got the computer as a gift 5 months ago and the hard drive has gone bad. Luckily,bit is still under warranty to replace the hard drive but now they are telling me it will cost $300 for 2 hours to retrieve my files. This sounds like a rip-off to me, so I am researching my options.

Thank you.

Answered! View the answer I have this problem too

Is this a good question?

Score 0
Add a comment

4 Answers

Chosen Solution

I would ask for the hard drive back, and put it in one of these:

FireWire 400/800 Laptop SATA Hard Drive Enclosure

You can get a USB2 version even cheaper on eBay, in the $15 shipped range.

With the drive in an external enclosure, you can browse through the files on it and salvage whatever you want yourself.

$300 would tend to be somewhat of a ripoff, but I'd get some clarification as far as what they would be doing, and what exactly they think "gone bad" means. Often an operating system will become corrupted and will no longer boot, in which case the drive is perfectly readable in an external enclosure, and this is the ideal situation. But if the drive itself has a defect and is unreliable, the tech may be intending to use elaborate recovery software to re-construct your files, and this fairly advanced procedure could account for the $300 cost. However, true high-end disk recovery facilities usually charge $800-$1200 per drive, so the $300 figure makes me wonder if this is a hack who doesn't necessarily know what he's doing, or if your files are easily recoverable, and he's just trying to make easy money.

Either way, it can't hurt you to put the drive in an external enclosure, because it will let you try to salvage the files yourself, and if the drive ends up making odd noises, does not appear on the desktop, or does not let you copy files over, at least you have verification that the drive has problem. At that point you can always pay someone to assist you, and having the drive in an enclosure will make it easier for them to access as well.

Was this answer helpful?

Score 4

Comments:

+ We were writing our answers at the same time. We took a different approach. In a number of ways your answer gives the message I set out to give. I am going to erase my answer and add a few more things to yours through comment. - Getting your data back could be as easy as accessing it through target mode and repairing it with disk utilities from the OS X install disk. Then it could be a little more costly, needing to hook it up in an external drive enclosure and/or repairing the drive with Disk Warrior or similar program. If the bearings are shot it may need to be hooked up externally with dry ice sitting on it. If the controller board on it failed you may need to buy another hard drive with the exact same model number and change out controller boards. At the extreme other end the disk may need taken apart then manually retrieving the data bit by bit in HEX or machine language, taking hundreds of man hours and costing thousands of dollars. - The $300 flat rate fee is shoddy to say the least.

by

I agree, it would make sense to try target mode, if she has another computer and a firewire cable, and the drive is still in the computer. From her description it sounded as if the hard drive has already been replaced (possibly a bad assumption on my part), which is why I suggested an external enclosure, but if the drive is still in the computer, and she has another machine and a firewire cable, that's definitely worth a shot. Actually, if the drive is still in the machine, it's worth it to boot up holding down "T" just to see if it will even go into target mode. Target mode only works if the computer believes it has a drive to present, so if it stays on a black screen and does not even go into target mode, that's an indication that the drive has some real problems.

by

If they have the disk and everything necessary to access it by target mode. It doesn't matter if the drive is replaced. You put the drive in the computer stated in target mode, it is treated like an external hard drive. Recovering data can be easy or hard - you pointed that out well. I just copied and pasted part of my answer, that I erased, to point out that data isn't always recovered in the same manner every time, as it isn't lost the same way every time. Usually data recovery is easy. I've experienced several that were not.

by

I was assuming if she's had the drive replaced under warranty, she probably wouldn't want to put the old drive back in the computer.

by

Add a comment

I'm a regular tech and charges in my shop for data recovery depend on the machine (take drive out and put it back in), then I charge according to how many GIGs I have to recover and what I'm recovering to. I usually take this opportunity to have the customer purchase an external backup drive, so this doesn't happen again. So charges run $40 for physically moving ($80 for the replacement internal 320 GB drive, $40 for 2 hours of attempted recovery (if unsuccessful) and $40 for the first 100 GB + $25 each additional 100 GB recovered. This is NOT a request for business, it's just to let you have an idea of what normal shop charges plus a replacement internal and external drive. By the way, I've spent up to a week with a computer tied up to recover data.

Was this answer helpful?

Score 3

Comments:

That's a good idea -- charging by the GB, or for your time. I don't generally do repairs/recovery for people, but when I have I've charged a flat rate, which gets me in trouble if the HD recovery ends up taking days.

by

Add a comment

Follow rdklinc's advice and get an enclosure, after that though, you can try a couple of things. For one, DiskWarrior is what I always try first to rebuild bad directories, it rarely fails unless there's serious damage.

If neither DiskUtility nor DiskWarrior are able to repair the drive, you have two options. First, you can use software to attempt to recover files from the drive. In my experience I have used Data Rescue and yielded great results, salvaging several GBs of data, that said, there's a chance that you can return nothing. However, these are your most economical options, and it's always good to have copies of both programs (DiskWarrior is especially useful IMHO, especially when traveling).

However, if none of these work, you can always pay for very expensive physical salvaging of the files by a company such as Drive Savers. It's generally very expensive, however you can get a lot of files recovered often.

Was this answer helpful?

Score 2

Comments:

Thank you very much for your answers. They're really helpful. It sounds like it might be more helpful If I learn more about what is exactly wrong with my hard drive. All I know is it was not able to boot-up at all last week...

by

Add a comment

i don't know how much it should cost, but $300 is a bit steep, i would try using a laptop ide to usb adapter case

(http://www.ebay.com.au/itm/USB-2-5-SATA-...)

there're is one

take the hdd out, sand put it in this case, plug it into another mac and backup your files,

if the hdd is shot it may not work, but its only about $10, and these cases are useful to have anyway

good luck

Was this answer helpful?

Score 0
Add a comment

Add your answer

Alanna will be eternally grateful.
View Statistics:

Past 24 Hours: 2

Past 7 Days: 4

Past 30 Days: 15

All Time: 1,948