So do you think data recovery is overly expensive? Have you ever called a data recovery lab and insisted they provide you with a firm price quote for a recovery of a hard drive without bringing it in for an evaluation first? Well, you may be surprised to learn that it is a bit more costly than you have been led to believe, and the price is affected by different variables, as each job is different and requires an individual approach. In a way, it is like taking your vehicle to the service center and asking the mechanic to give you a price without them having a chance to actually look under the hood and attempt to diagnose the problem. The comparison here is that your handheld device or computer requires evaluation by the data recovery engineers to determine the extent of the damage. It is only after an examination and diagnosis when data recovery prices will be offered in a quote form for the service to be performed. There are also a number of additional factors that can impact the cost of data recovery. These include but are not limited to the following:
Highly trained and experienced experts will be working on your hard drive. These computer scientists, electrical and mechanical engineers are specialized professionals who are at the top of their field and as such are in very high demand in the industry. That will be worth a few extra bucks right there. We are talking about their salaries. These experts also don’t get paid for the amount of data they recover. They are paid for the time they put into recovering and salvaging your data. It doesn’t matter if it is a 20GB or 2TB hard drive. The data still has to be located and recovered and that will take some considerable amounts of time and effort. One way to tell a reputable data recovery service from one that may be a tad on the sketchy side is precisely the method they use to bill out their cost. If they based their hard drive recovery cost just on the amount of data recovered and not the time it takes to do the job (the turnaround time) then you should grab your gear and perhaps look for an alternative provider.
This is completed related to the physical costs of doing business. In other words, the expense of
keeping the doors open and power to the lab and the machines required to conduct the data recovery. It also would include rents, all other utilities, and the associated costs. Climate control is a huge portion of the physical cost of doing this kind of business as ventilation, temperature, and air quality are key to the functionality of the data recovery lab. It has to be dust free. We are talking completely dust-free as you would expect any other laboratory setting to be.
Protecting your sensitive information costs money, too. Information security includes various aspects and they all must be performing at optimal levels which require frequent updates and upgrades to keep current. In other words, being able to maintain and complete security audits costs money. It also takes time and effort to stay at least one step ahead of any kind of potential risk to security ranging from breaches from hackers and viruses to just keeping your important and personal information protected from leaving the lab in any possible way.
This is the parts inventory or at least the department that handles the parts replacement. Hard drives, motors, heads, arms, you name it has to be replaced in many cases in order to properly recover the data contained on a hard drive. As manufacturers require specific parts for their products, it means one head-stack does not necessarily fit all hard drives in the lab. In other words, mass-produced generic hard drives are not going to do the trick here. This requires a fair-sized inventory of common replacement equipment. It also requires constant contact with suppliers – typically overseas – that can access the correct parts for the job. Often that access will be required on short notice which will add to the cost of those parts. Then there are the shipping costs. Everyone gets a piece of that pie when something has to be shipped from abroad.
As steady as the hands and fingers may be for many of us, as little as a slight twitch is all that would be needed to mess up one job. As a result, automated machinery is used because of their precision. They can be programmed to pluck out even the tiniest component in order to achieve recovery. These machines may not be as personable as a human lab partner, but you can’t argue with their skill and reliability. However, they are also expensive lab partners essential to the process which adds to the data recovery costs.
As an advanced technique, not all jobs requiring data recovery need this. However, when platter
damage is encountered, this process increases the chances of data recovery success. It is cutting-edge technology and if the term ‘data recovery’ had you nervous at first, platter restoration that utilizes the technology known as ‘burnishing’ gets us a bit twitchy. The upside is that although it is significantly more expensive when used, it isn’t always the solution.
NOTE: With hard drive recovery, data is typically recoverable in all devices. There is no guarantee that all of your data will be retrieved. If a professional data recovery service cannot retrieve your missing files, they typically do not charge you for their service.