I Need Data Recovery Tips
Free evaluations - The diagnostic evaluation should be free and there should also be no hidden cancellation fees. Some data recovery firms will evaluate your media for free, but then charge you if you decide against going ahead with the recovery and you want your drive back. These cancellation fees can cost in excess of $100 and companies will hold your media and the data on it ransom until they get their cancellation fee.
Experience - The data recovery company you choose should have many years of experience and an industry reputation. Reputable companies with an established record are often interviewed or quoted in newspapers or on television for stories about data recovery.
No fees for unrecoverable data – Sometimes, depending on the state of the media, data can be completely unrecoverable by anyone, for any price. There should be no charge if they are unable to recover your data. When there is physical damage to media, data recovery is usually a low-percentage proposition.
Ability to work on media from different operating systems - They should have the ability to work on media from different operating systems and hardware. Ability to recover a variety of file formats from many different file systems is critical. Many smaller data recovery firms may be using tools that are only successful on Windows or Macintosh operating systems. Reputable firms will have experience working on drives from all kinds of hardware and in various configurations.
Emergency or Expedited Services - The data recovery firm you choose should have emergency services or the ability to expedite data recovery. Data recovery can be a time-consuming process and the customer should have the ability to get their data back as fast as possible, if necessary.
Upfront pricing - They should be upfront about pricing, but NOT until the media is examined. Stay away from companies that quote you a price without even looking at the media first. A very rough estimate may be provided based on information provided by the customer, but no firm pricing should be given until the exact nature of the problem with the media is determined. Once the media has been examined and a quote is given on how much the recovery will cost, you should have the option not to go ahead with the recovery, at no cost to you, should the price be higher than your spend limit.
Pricing based on amount of time and work spent - Pricing should be based on the time and amount of work spent recovering the data, not the size of the drive or the amount of files. Complexity often plays into this, although the more complex the recovery the more time involved.
Storage of recovered data – What media formats does the data recovery company use when returning your recovered data? Common formats are CD, DVD, hard drive, or the media of the customer’s choosing. Watch out for any hidden fees that will depend on which format you want to use for your recovered data.
Testimonials - Has the data recovery company recovered data from a drive that was deemed unrecoverable by another data recovery firm? Do they have many testimonials on their website? Are the testimonials attributed to a person not just a company? Make sure the company you select does have testimonials and that they are attributed to a person with their titled. A lot of data recovery companies often just list companies they have done work with and do not provide any indication from the actually customer on how their experience was.
Have some idea about your drive- There are a few items you can do on your own to get an idea of what the extent of the data recovery will be before you sent it out to a data recovery company. For example if your drive letter is seen inside the windows operating system, although you cannot access it for whatever reason this type of recovery should be between $300-$600. If the drive cannot be seen inside the windows operating system, although it can be seen by the computers BIOS then the drive in almost all cases does not need to go into a clean room. Many bad data recovery companies will just tell you it is a clean room job to cover the costs of the clean room. Lastly, it is pretty good assumption that if a drive is making noise, clicking, or cannot be seen by BIOS that it will need a clean room. Anyone with computer repair experience will be able to provide these simple tests. Before you or a computer repair technician attempts to perform, any of these tests ensure the drive is not making any funny noises, powering on then off, or behaving in any way outside of the normal operation of a hard drive.
Levels of Data Recovery- Many data recovery companies have what they call levels of data recovery. There is no commonality between one company’s level 1 and another company’s level 1. This is due to no industry-defined standards detailing the levels of data recovery. The best way to understand the data recovery levels is to be aware that each companies levels are little different and ensure there are a clear explanation of the levels on their website. Here is an example of the five levels of data recovery with pricing offered by AE&E a Michigan based data recovery company. http://www.ineeddatarecovery.com/Michigan-Data-Recovery-Pricing.html some other companies have two levels clean room and non-clean room. While this may sound less confusing data recoveries performed inside and outside of clean rooms are complex and the level of complexity ranges greatly. If a company is offering flat fee or two tier pricing they are most likely performing easy recoveries and returning complex recoveries stating they are non-recoverable. There are many hard drive failure cases where attempting to use these low skill level tools actually can hurt the disk drive and cause complete data lost.