picture of lab techs holding an open hard drive

Data Recovery facts (that will motivate you to Back Up your Data!)

data recovery lab tech

We beg our customers to back up their data.  We have a variety of solutions that make it easy, but we can’t reach everyone. We believe if everyone knew more about Data Recovery, they would be much more likely to back up their data.

I’m writing this post so that everyone can be well-informed of the data recovery process and what to expect because most folks are NOT aware of this important information.

Data Recovery Facts

There is no guarantee. The first fact you need to know is that 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.

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

Be wary of low prices. The next fact to know is that it can be very expensive, depending on the conditions, the number of drives involved, the type of damage and so forth.
In most cases, however, a single drive recovery is less than $1500.
Be wary of labs offering tempting, low flat-rates, and be especially wary of any lab advertising $199 recovery. If you carefully read their terms, you will see there are many reasons they can and will raise the price after you sent them the drive.

We recommend Drive Savers

Which devices can data be recovered from?

Data can be recovered from most any type of storage device, including hard drives, SSDs, thumb drives, mobile phones, and more.

  • Computer and Laptop Hard Drives
  • USB flash drives/thumb drives
  • SD and micro SD cards / Camera flash cards
  • External Hard Drives
  • Portable Hard Drives
  • Solid State Drives
  • Smart Phones
  • iPads/Touchpads
  • Servers and NAS
  • Virtual Machines

Some data recovery can be done inexpensively by our experienced Computer Pros if the hard drive is still operating normally.
Some examples are lost passwords, accidentally deleted data, and accidental formatting.

The data recovery we are talking about in this post must be done in an ISO-certified clean lab or on specialized equipment.
This is for hard drives that either do not work or require a more extensive recovery process. This may also be necessary for government hard drives which must be repaired in facilities meeting strict SOC certification.

Examples include:

  • Dropped Hard Drive
  • Hard Drive Motor Failure
  • Read/Write heads failure
  • Power Loss, Surge or electrical damage
  • Ticking or Clicking hard drives
  • Physically damaged hard drives
  • Lost Encryption keys
  • Ransomware Encryption
  • RAID failure
  • Water/Liquid or Fire damage
  • Broken USB flash drives

What to expect:

  •  An indefinite price or very vague price range until they can diagnose the drives and give you a proper quote.
  • You may or may not have to pay 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 to ask before you ship your drives:

  • What happens if they come back with a quote much higher than expected and I choose not to go forward?
  • What if they cannot recover data? Do they offer a No recovery-no fee guarantee?
  • What if they only recover a partial amount of the data?
  • What is the turn-around time? How long will this take, INCLUDING the shipping time?
  • Is priority service available and how much more does that cost?
  • Will my old drive(s) be returned to me? In what condition?
  • Are there any other additional costs?
  • Who will be your point of contact?
  • Ask for a discount. They may offer military or senior discounts.
  • Get everything promised in writing or in an email.


Please call us and we’ll make it easy for you. 540-972-8881