This is part 3 of a three part series! Be sure to check out part 1 here, and part 2 here.
Is it true that Hard Drive Recovery Group retains a copy of my information?
We keep a copy of the recovered data for 30 days after it has been shipped. It is possible that your return shipment will be misplaced in the mail or that the return media will arrive damaged (both of which are extremely unlikely scenarios), and we will be able to prepare a second shipment if something happens.
We do not, however, keep data for an indefinite period of time. Following the guidelines set forth by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) for data sanitization, we securely destroy all client backups.
What is the best way to package my hard drive for shipping?
Internal hard drives should be protected from static electricity by using an anti-static bag (these can be found at most electronics stores, or with purchases of graphics cards, hard drives, etc). If an anti-static bag is not available, aluminum foil or a clean plastic bag should be used to provide adequate static discharge protection instead. It is not necessary to protect external hard drives from static electricity. Hard drives should be wrapped tightly in three or more inches of bubble wrap, with all four sides taped together to prevent the drive from impacting the box’s sides.
Choose a box that is the appropriate size. We do not recommend using envelopes because a single tear could result in your device being misplaced during shipment. There should be no movement of the hard drive within its packaging; if you hear it shifting, you’ll need to re-package the drive. Additionally, you can ship your hard drive in its original factory packaging, but make certain that it is completely immobile. Select a shipping company that will provide you with tracking information.
If engineers repair my hard drive during the data recovery process, why can’t they return my files to me on the same device that they used to recover the data?
At Hard Drive Recovery Group, we take the protection of your personal information very seriously. All recovered data is stored on closed systems that are not connected to the internet, and our engineers are required to abide by non-disclosure agreements in their work. Any intentional or unintentional disclosure of client data is grounds for immediate termination and legal action against the company. Every data recovery case includes a standard requirement for maintaining client confidentiality.
Our engineers may be able to restore your drive to a functional state, but it is unlikely that it will be able to maintain that state for very long — repaired components are less reliable than factory-built components, and our laboratories use specialized techniques to read the data from recovered hard drives. To put it another way, the “repaired” drive is no longer reliable or functional. In the event that data is lost as a result of an accidentally deleted file, malware infection, or for any other reason unrelated to the physical condition of the hard drive, we still return the data on a separate device to ensure that our clients receive a complete and working copy of their files.
What is the likelihood that data recovery engineers will look at my data?
We may open individual files with your permission in order to ensure that your recovery is a complete success. Our laboratories have developed software tools specifically for this purpose, and we will use other methods to verify the recovery whenever it is possible. At Hard Drive Recovery Group, we take the protection of your personal information very seriously. All recovered data is stored on closed systems that are not connected to the internet, and our engineers are required to abide by non-disclosure agreements in their work. Any intentional or unintentional disclosure of client data is grounds for immediate termination and legal action against the company.
What can I do to increase my chances of obtaining a successful hard drive data recovery outcome?
The short answer is to turn off your hard drive as soon as possible. Make no attempt to recover any of the information. It doesn’t matter which failure scenario occurs because operating the drive during a potential failure reduces the chances of success. You can also improve the outcome of your case by properly packaging your hard drive (as described above) and by providing as many details about the failure as you possibly can. Make a note of any unusual noises, error messages, or other symptoms that may assist our engineers in diagnosing and resolving the issue.
What can I do to make sure that I don’t lose any data in the future?
Even the most reliable digital storage device will eventually fail — while hard drives are expected to last 3-5 years on average, some will fail much sooner. Several others continue to function for more than a decade, but their mechanical components eventually fail. Solid-state drives and other devices have lifespans that are comparable to one another.
Backups of your important files are the only way to ensure that you do not lose any data. We recommend that you keep at least two backups, one of which should be stored offsite (cloud backup services are an excellent option for consumers). In order to ensure that your backups are complete and usable, you should check them on a regular basis.