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Preserving Legacy—Iconic Advertising Agency’s Historical Archive Saved

Case Study: Preserving Legacy—Iconic Advertising Agency’s Historical Archive Saved

Bruce Hettema

Device Type:
4 TB External HHD

Turn Around:
8 Business Days*

Owner, P&H Creative Group

Santa Rosa, California

Preserving Legacy—Iconic Advertising Agency’s Historical Archive Saved

P&H Creative Group, an Advertising company with data dating back to 1926, faced a data loss crisis and triumphed with the help of DriveSavers. Follow their journey from despair to data recovery success, preserving a rich legacy of creativity and history.

Data Loss Situation

Bruce Hettema, the owner and president of P&H Creative Group, faced a severe data loss situation. The company, which had a rich advertising history dating back to 1926 as Patterson & Hall (later Patterson & Sullivan), relied heavily on Mac systems for its advertising and design work. Initially, Bruce noticed his computer’s performance declining, leading him to believe it was overloaded. He decided to transfer critical files to an external drive for backup. However, the problems persisted, and the backup drive eventually failed to mount, resulting in a catastrophic data loss.

The data loss included in-progress client files, past project work, and 20 years’ worth of research and images documenting the history of the firm, including interviews with artists, audio files, video files, and original art files. This loss was not only devastating to ongoing business but also meant losing valuable historical records.

Bruce initially sought help from MacAdvantage, a local Sonoma County computer repair company he had worked with previously. MacAdvantage, a DriveSavers partner, referred him to DriveSavers, recognizing that expert data recovery skills were required to address the extent of the data loss.

I had audio files, I had video files… including Amado Gonzalez here, Charlie Allen, Stan Galley, who’s in the Illustration Hall of Fame, Chet Patterson, my original mentor, who had all this vast knowledge of the history of the firm. All those audio and visual files were gone.
Bruce Hettema, President/Owner, P&H Creative Group

Data Recovery Solution

DriveSavers engineers assessed the situation and found serious media and logical damage on Bruce’s Mac system. This damage was extensive and threatened the recovery of the historical archives.

The recovery process included salvaging data from the “P&H History archive images” containing JPEG and PSD files. DriveSavers successfully recovered the data, maintaining the folder structure and ensuring the integrity of the files. 

Bruce received his recovered data in a well-organized manner, with files retaining their original names and structure. The successful data recovery allowed him to access all his files and images, providing immense relief. 


Bruce Hettema, the owner of P&H Creative Group, experienced a critical data loss situation that jeopardized the company’s extensive historical archive and all current client data. After facing mounting issues with his Mac system and backup drive, Bruce turned to DriveSavers for data recovery assistance. The expert data recovery engineers at DriveSavers successfully recovered the data, including irreplaceable historical records, preserving the folder structure and file integrity.

The recovered data was essential for P&H Creative Group’s ongoing work and historical projects. Moreover, Bruce made the heartwarming decision to donate the recovered data to Berkeley or Stanford, ensuring that these valuable heritage images would be preserved and shared for future generations.

*DriveSavers Standard Turnaround times are 1-2 Business days, Economy 5-7 Business days, and Priority 24/7 service – on occasion, unique substances require more time and are approved by the customer.

Watch Bruce’s Video Testimonial.

DriveSavers Senior Marketing Manager
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