Now that the sneak preview is off to the presses, Dawn and I had a short chance to breathe and catch up on some sleep. We still have a ton of work to do before getting to our Artist’s Alley table (70A!) at the Long Beach Comic Con this weekend. I mean, people always need their free sticker swag, right?

I did want to take a moment to give a special shout out to the software engineers at http://www.quetek.com/. You see, Saturday morning we woke up to find out that the external hard drive where Dawn was keeping most of her artwork had become corrupted and was no longer readable. Switching it to other computers didn’t help, and when I checked the support site I saw a solution that was not very comforting; basically, that we’d have to reformat to use it again, and oh, if you had any data on there you needed, here’s a list of our Data Recovery partners to contact.

Now this wasn’t like a failed system drive I could just hook up in a still bootable computer and then grab the files off of it, this was a full on case of trashed allocation table (at least). And from my tech support days I knew that sending a drive off for data recovery would be both time consuming and hideously expensive. And naturally, we hadn’t made any backups lately.

As a sidenote, I will never let anyone question Dawn again for doing her penciling and inking on physical mediums rather than in Photoshop. Because of that we might still have gotten our sneak preview done in time… but without color. Maybe not even a cover. And there was the issue of all Dawn’s other artwork as well.

In the midst of that despair, I ran across a random forum answer regarding failed external drives that mentioned trying Quetek. I go to their site and find their File Scavenger program claiming to be able to recover data from corrupted and even reformatted drives for the cost of a $49 download and license. This was the very definition of “too good to be true”, right? But then they say, wait! Don’t believe us? Download a demo free so you can scan your drive with it and see what’s recoverable.

Malicious adware vehicle? Maybe. But considering the alternatives, I took the risk, and I’m glad I did. I plugged in the external drive, scanned it, and all the data was there. The demo even allowed you to preview certain things like JPGs and recover tiny files just to confirm that it wasn’t bullshitting.

I paid for the $49 license and started a recovery. Three hours later, every important piece of data on that drive was safely returned. The day was saved.

So yeah, I suppose this blog is one big shill when you get down to it. But before I found Quetek I had emailed one of the big Data Recovery outfits for a quote, and they just got back to me today: $65 diagnostic fee, then a minimum $695 charge for recovery, possibly all the way up to $1995.

Compared to $49 for a near 100% data recovery with no need for shipping and processing time? Yeah, I’ll shill that.

Happy trails!