7 Secrets about Data Recovery Labs

Computer Pros Today has a variety of solutions that make Data Back-up easy, but we can’t reach everyone and sometimes even data backups fail. For those who don’t back up their data, we believe they would be much more likely to back up their data if they learned the Seven Secrets about Data Recovery Labs.

I’m writing this post so that everyone can be well-informed of the data recovery process and what to expect if they have to use a lab for Data Recovery.

Data Recovery Lab Secrets

1. There is no guarantee.
Data recovery doesn’t always work. Data Recovery is always an attempt. There are cases when the data is irretrievably lost.  In some cases, only a portion of the data is recoverable.
Each data loss situation is unique. In many cases, there are only a few files which cannot be recovered. Certain conditions will prevent any data recovery. As an example, if the data platters in a hard drive are damaged badly, no one will able to recover the data.
No one can truthfully promise data recovery or more recovery than someone else.

2. There are no regulations.
Labs can promise anything and there are some labs who push or exceed the limits of ethical behavior.
They might bait you with a low price and then quote a high price, because, at that point, what can you do about it?

3. Low price scams.
Be wary of labs offering tempting, low flat-rates like $299. If you carefully read their terms, you will see there are many reasons they can and will raise the price before or after you send them your drive. The final price will likely exceed that of a reputable recovery lab.

4. They may not be who they say they are & they may not be where they say they are.
There are many data recovery companies that appear to be independent labs but they are not. They are middle-man companies who simply forward their customer’s drives to another data recovery company. There are also many data recovery companies advertising that they have labs in Virginia. Most do not. What they have is a mail forwarding address. Their actual lab is located in another state. It’s better to use a lab who doesn’t fake it.

5. It takes time and if you want faster service, you have to pay for it.
The labs are busy and your drive will be added to the recovery list and it may sit parked for a week before it is touched. What will be the turn-around time, INCLUDING the shipping time? Probably two or three weeks. If you want it moved to the front of line, you have to pay extra.

6. The service and pricing can be complex, even for the labs.
Flat rates are unlikely because the lab doesn’t know what they are getting into until the drive arrives and they get their hands on it. Usually there is an indefinite price or a vague price range until they can diagnose the drives and give you a proper quote. That range could be anywhere between $500.00 and $5000.00, depending on the circumstances. Other considerations include payment for shipping to and/or from the lab.
The labs rarely mention the additional cost of the transfer drive. When the data is recovered, it is put on this new drive and shipped to you.
What happens if they come back with a quote much higher than expected and you choose not to go forward? What if they cannot recover data? Do they offer a “No Recovery-No Fee” guarantee? How much will the price be if they only recover a partial amount of your data? See what I mean? Complex.

7. Your old drive probably can’t be returned to you.
Disassembly takes time. Data Recovery requires a lot of planning and setup before the attempt begins. No matter how the data is recovered, it’s unlikely the lab guys will spend extra time reassembling your old broken hard drive.

Who do we recommend?

We used to offer our own data recovery lab service in the form of forwarding a client’s drive to a partner recovery lab. Long story short-We had a very bad experience with a  recovery lab as a forwarding partner and we didn’t want to be involved anymore.

Today, if we can’t recover your data, we leave the data recovery between you and the data recovery lab company.

Over many years, the only company that has consistently gave us and our clients straight forward communication, reliable pricing and an organized recovery was Drive Savers. Our partnership with them is limited to giving you a discount.