Professional data recovery labs aren’t something a lot of people know about, but when they bring a broken computer or a dropped Western Digital MyBook to their computer repair shop to get their family photos back only to be told there’s nothing the technicians can do to help them, suddenly it becomes one of the most important things in their life—and solutions can seem hard to find.
Gillware Data Recovery was founded as a small tech startup in 2003 precisely because one of its founders knew what it was like to be in that situation and didn’t want anybody else to have to go through what he went through. The goal of brothers Brian and Tyler Gill was to create nothing less than the best data recovery company in the US: a professional lab that would provide customer-friendly services at a sensible cost.
Gillware Data Recovery: A Byte-Sized History
The seeds for Gillware Data Recovery were sown when Tyler Gill’s computer broke down due to hard disk drive failure. Unfortunately, in those days, the landscape for data recovery service providers was dire. Most high-end professional labs catered to large corporations, leaving little options for end users. It didn’t take long for Brian and Tyler to realize that there were people all over who were going through exactly what he was going through and dealing with the same dearth of solutions to their woes.
Seeing an opportunity to break into the industry in a way that would help the little guy, Brian and Tyler founded Gillware Data Recovery. Data recovery is a difficult industry to break into, with an absurdly high barrier to entry: The work requires computer engineering, computer science, and mechanical engineering experts. Because there is no publicly-available documentation on the inner workings of hard disk drives and no service manuals to rely on, Gillware’s first employees had to reverse-engineer everything and learn as they went along, their success rates rapidly increasing with time and practice.
Gillware was the first data recovery company to not only offer to evaluate a customer’s failed hard drive for free, but also to only charge the customer if their data could successfully be recovered. Over the years Gillware’s engineers became well-versed not only in the ins and outs of repairing hard drives, but also in recovering data from flash drives, SD cards, servers of all sizes, virtual machines, smartphones, and just about anything else that could contain data.
In 2006, Gillware developed its own offsite backup solution, creatively titled Gillware Online Backup. Creating and selling online backup was a no-brainer: it was obvious that online backup was the only sure-fire way to avoid data loss. The computer scientists who designed Gillware Online Backup were intimately familiar with the kind of situations the engineers in Gillware’s growing lab had to deal with and all of the different ways Gillware’s customers had lost data, giving them a unique perspective on how to prevent data loss that no other backup solutions provider had. In 2016, Gillware Online Backup was bought by StorageCraft.
Gillware’s next avenue of expansion was Gillware Digital Forensics, founded in 2016. Digital forensics was the next logical step for Gillware: With cybersecurity becoming more and more important with each passing day and so much forensic work requiring data recovery expertise, Gillware had a golden opportunity to leverage well over a decade of experience provide digital forensics, data breach incident response, and data recovery services to legal professionals, corporate IT departments, law enforcement, and everything in between.
Like all inventions, Gillware’s mother was necessity. In a perfect world, no one would ever need data recovery, and Gillware would not exist. Fifteen years on, Gillware remains committed to doing what it can to make an imperfect world just a bit better, one clicking hard drive and broken-apart USB flash drive at a time