Data Recovery: Think Your Data Disaster Is Unrecoverable? Think Again

Who enjoys untangling inaccessible, unreadable, crashed, cracked, corrupt, erased, missing, sabotaged, warped, bent, deleted and virus-damaged documents, drawings, tapes, files, pictures and videos?
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“We do,” says Susan Coon, founding owner and president of
Disc, Inc., a conversion and data recovery services firm that has
solved thousands of data dilemmas since it first opened for business in
1982. “Back then,” she laughs, “few people knew how to operate a
computer, and most never dreamed they would.” (For a complete list of
the variety of media Disc Inc. converts and recovers,

When she established her conversion and data recovery services firm
Coon says, “No one could have predicted the level of data disasters
that sophisticated technology can supply today.

Says Coon: “Our job is to prevent chaos and catastrophe- such as a
whole department having to shut down because of a hardware failure, or
worse – a company forced into bankruptcy.”

It is not only businesses that fall victim to major data loss, she
warns. “It can happen to your neighbor next door – or to you, when you
least expect it.”

In the company’s vast west Houston data recovery center, electrical
engineers David Carter and Armando Saenz manage a process some people
call magic. Carter joined the company 16 years ago. Saenz came on board
eight years ago. Both men say the adventure never stops in this

“A client came here in a panic last week,” says Saenz. “His digital
camera fell off his belt, hit the concrete and broke – with 400
pictures inside. He was a professional photographer who’d just
completed a photo shoot on a fly-fishing trip in Canada. Those pictures
were his living. We recovered the photographs – but that’s not all.
When he left our building, he was holding a fully operable camera in
his hand. He wasn’t expecting that level of luck.”

In her seven years with Disc Inc., marketing vice-president Stephanie
Robertson has fielded thousands of phone calls from computer users in
trouble. “People are almost never on a relaxed time schedule when they
seek our help. They need it ‘now’. We respond.”

She says much of Disc Inc.’s business is international. “Yesterday we
did a job for a Russian businessman. He found us on the Internet.”

Attorneys are loyal customers. The company’s 24-7 operation fits with
many litigators’ last-minute schedules. “With lawyers, this is how it
usually comes down,” says Robertson.

“On Friday afternoon, the judge tells the defendant’s attorney that he
can have access to the prosecutor’s special files. Only problem is, the
trial starts on Monday morning and the files are stored on ten dozen
dusty old 8-inch floppies. The attorney drops off the floppies at 6 PM.
Within 15 minutes, David and Armando’s tech team is up to their elbows
in data recovery and conversion. By noon Saturday, the floppies are
transformed into CDs, and they’re back in the lawyer’s hands. On Monday
morning, he’s in court winning his case – at least we hope he is.”

Exactly what kind of data does Disc Inc. convert and recover?

“Almost any format you can think of,” Carter says. “We work with every
drive out there, and we’ve amassed a state-of-the-art collection of
legacy hardware. For instance, we’ve got ten zip drives – hardware most
people threw out five years ago. I challenge anyone to name the media
we can’t transfer, duplicate or restore.” Carter ticks off a

* 3480

* floppies

* 9 track

* 4mm

* 8mm


* Super DLT


* VHS and Beta formats.

* CD, DVD, Mini DV

“We’ve been doing this for almost 25 years – we’ve seen it all,” says
Coon. “After this much time, we like to think of ourselves as pioneers
in the data recovery services industry,” says Coon. “The new hardware
that people are buying today will be old hat tomorrow – so, before
long, we’ll be recovering and converting it to the latest formats.”

What is Coon’s best advice when a computer snafu occurs? “Whatever you
do, don’t panic – and don’t give up. If you think your data is
unrecoverable or lost, let us get our hands on it. Some people say we
work magic.”

Find Disc Inc. on the Internet at, call (713) 864-7845.

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