All around the web, whether it’s on Quora or in forums, there is always going to be a commenter that recommends you “download their miracle product”, some data recovery software that they claim saved them hundreds of dollars, or something of that nature. Can these testimonials, which are always very promotional sounding, no matter who puts them out there, be true? Can Data recovery software save you money? The answer here is it depends on the issue with your failure.

When Data Recovery Software Works

If you’ve encountered a logical drive failure, or a situation where part of your file system or partition has become corrupted, often data recovery software can be an excellent choice. After all, who wouldn’t agree to a potential solution that takes maybe two or three minutes to download and then less than an hour to deliver results? And in minor file corruption situations, cases where you have accidentally deleted files or have a partition table issue that disables your drive, many of these products do work. Heck, we use them here at Hard Drive Recovery Group! Some of these products are excellent, and restore your drive to its original condition sometimes within a hour or less. All data is intact. You may be down, say, $50-100, but you have saved yourself a lot of hassle because you don’t have to consider professional data recovery.

When Data Recovery Gets Expensive

One of the biggest problems we have with data recovery software is when a potential customer uses it on a hard drive that has been physically damaged. Now, this isn’t always even possible, as a real, physical hard drive failure will typically mean there is simply no way of working with the drive in the typical operating system environment. For this, we are thankful. These data recovery software products are built less for perfection, really, and more for restoring a file or two from a hard drive that is in otherwise pristine condition.

However, a real problem can occur with those folks that assume that it “must be the computer”, and decide to use something like a USB drive enclosure to fix the drive themselves. In cases like this, the operating system can be on another fully functioning hard drive, and can even contain the data recovery software you’re planning to use. With the help of the enclosure and a fully functioning hard drive, you can do a lot of things. However, when the hard drive is physically damaged to the point where it is making noises that betray poor read write head alignment, running that drive can be perilous.

Can You Fix A Broken Hard Drive By Running It? No. You Cannot.

In fact, one of the ways to ensure you have the most expensive data recovery experience ever is to use data recovery software and an enclosure to attempt to clone or even worse, fix, a broken hard drive. Generally, this will not work. We have almost never heard of a customer that had a physically failed hard drive and managed to restore all of his data with a piece of software. The fact is, physically damaged hard drives have an issue that most folks don’t understand, and that is that frequently, continued use of a physically damaged hard drive can damage the drive further, as well as damage the platters and the data contained on them.

What does this mean? It means that for an extra $50-$100, you may have either doubled the cost to recover data from your crashed hard drive, or in fact made the data all but unrecoverable. We are serious when we say that nine out of 10 unrecoverable drives have had previous data recovery attempts, either using software or physical tools.

The best way to get to the bottom of your hard drive issue and determine what kind of failure you have? Call a professional like Hard Drive Recovery Group. If you honestly value your data and really cannot lose it, talking to a professional first is ALWAYS a good idea.