Why is Data Recovery So Darn Expensive?

Few things in the computing world are as gut wrenching as the loss of critical data which is often made worse when you learn how expensive it can be to retrieve your precious files.

The process for recovering lost files from a failed hard drive can be quite extensive and time consuming, which generally causes the cost of the recovery to be expensive.

Hard drives are complex mechanical devices that operate at very precise tolerances and a failure in any of the mechanical or electronic devices can render your data inaccessible.

Many people assume that the amount of data they want retrieved is the basis for what the recovery should cost but that’s not usually the case. Whether you need to recover 1 file or 10,000 files has no real bearing on the cost of the recovery, because the real work (and expense) is in resurrecting the hard drive in order to get any data at all.

The act of copying files from a recovered drive (once it has been rebuilt) requires very little time and requires almost no human interaction once the process is started.

In general, there are two common data recovery scenarios: logical and physical.

A logical recovery is performed on a hard drive that is mechanically and electronically functioning properly but the data has become unusable due to corruption or file damage from user error, external hardware failure or virus attack.

Hard drives have a ‘table of contents’ that guide the computer to the location of the stored files. If the table of contents becomes corrupted, locating the desired files becomes impossible for the operating system.
Logical recoveries can be performed by technicians that have the knowledge and tools to work with data at the binary level to reconstruct the lost files and tend to be less costly.

Physical recoveries are necessary when a hard drive has experienced a mechanical or electronic failure. Physical recoveries require substantially more resources, tools and experience and must be performed in climate and dust controlled environments.

To add to the cost, often times a ‘donor’ hard drive must be located that can be used for spare parts. Locating a donor that is an exact match is critical or the recovery attempt will be unsuccessful.

Locating a donor requires far more than just finding another hard drive of the same size from the same manufacturer. For example, if you have a Seagate 80Gb hard drive that was manufactured in Malaysia, the donor can’t be a drive that was manufactured from the Thailand plant because it won’t have the exact same version of the firmware or supporting electronic components.

The secondary market for used hard drives that are cataloged at this level is substantially more expensive than going to a used computer store and grabbing whatever they have lying around, so paying $200 – $300 for a donor once it’s located is not out of the ordinary.

The worst case scenario is a hard drive that requires both a physical and a logical recovery as the cost goes up even further since two separate recovery processes are required in order to recover the data.

Of course the best way to avoid ever having to pay an expensive data recovery bill is to keep your pictures, music and critical data files backed up regularly! Whether you back up to an external USB drive or an offsite Internet based service isn’t as important as the fact that you actually backed up your data. Being proactive now will save you tons of money when your hard drive does decide to kick the bucket.

If you would like to learn more about the data recovery process visit our partners website – Drive Savers. We’ve been using this company for over 10 years now with exceptional results. If you do have need to utilize Drive Savers, be sure to mention our partner code for a discount on their services.
Discount Code: DS15440

Lost data? Your next steps are critical: http://www.drivesaversdatarecovery.com/company-info/recovery-tips/

Take a Virtual Tour of their facility: http://www.drivesaversdatarecovery.com/company-info/virtual-tour/
Museum of Bizarre Disk-asters: http://www.drivesaversdatarecovery.com/company-info/museum-of-bizarre-disk-asters/

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