Why Do Professionals Rarely Offer Flat Rate Data Recovery (Continued From Part 1)

Hard drive data recovery frequently necessitates the repair of mechanical components. When you have a logical, or file problem, this is not the case, which greatly lessens the cost of data recovery.

In order to treat some types of failures, engineers must replace components such as actuator heads or spindles in a cleanroom. This restores the device to a functional state for a short period of time. Of course, the initial installation and certification of a clean room, as well as operating it, is a very large expense.

Despite what some “hard drive jockeys” on the web may say, many hard drive components are specific to the device’s model number or firmware revision number, which makes it difficult to replace them. An accurate replica of the damaged drive is required for a successful repair and effective data recovery. The donor drive must be identical in all respects to the damaged drive. In order to meet this need, we maintain a large library of spare parts, which we constantly replenish. The clean storage of all these parts – also expensive.

Meanwhile, donor drives can be expensive if the hard drive isn’t widely available. If a customer is focused on a number like “$300”, as an example, it’s difficult to imagine a company searching out, buying and then using a donor drive for such a difficult data recovery service. In one recent case, we purchased a $800 hard drive to use as a spare. In some cases, multiple donor drives are necessary in order to achieve the best possible recovery. Will a flat-rate service with a predetermined price put in the necessary resources or will it fold before it has a chance to get off the ground? Probably not.

As we partly noted above, most flat-rate services cannot afford to spend tens of thousands of dollars on laboratory furnishings and equipment. Data recovery labs like those at Hard Drive Recovery Group that specialize in professional data recovery, for example, frequently employ firmware repair tools. These tools require extensive training and proprietary programming skills, and while they are useful in a variety of failure scenarios, they represent a significant financial outlay of resources. The purchase does not make sense for data recovery companies with limited financial and human resources looking to get you out the door with a complete data recovery for under $500. This is precise mechanical work, not amateur tooling about in someone’s garage.

As a result, many flat-rate services have it as part of their business model to turn down difficult cases or declare them “unrecoverable” after making only a half-hearted effort to recover them. It often leads customers to believe that they have exhausted their options. However, a well-equipped data recovery laboratory with goals that are aligned with those of the customers may be able to return a functional copy of the missing files.

Tackling The Root Causes Of Hard Disk Failure At Flat Rate?

Engineers are often unable to determine the root cause of a failure unless the physical media is evaluated once we determine there is a physical problem. Regardless of the failure scenario, companies that provide flat-rate services may use data recovery software on each and every hard drive that comes into their facility. Data recovery software can solve a variety of simple problems, but it also has the potential to cause significant media damage that can then actually make the drive unrecoverable for real!

When a hard drive is physically damaged, the actuator heads that control the data storage can come into contact with the magnetic platters that hold your information. As the hard drive spins, the heads have the ability to physically remove magnetic material from the drive platter, thereby erasing all data from the drive.

Professional data recovery services approach the problem in a different way.

While flat rate providers have been quite the scourge for the professional data recovery industry in general, we must acknowledge that some companies are able to maintain reasonable recovery rates while working in this flat rate mode. Many of these businesses operate in good faith and take responsible steps to recover each and every case they receive.

However, the business model simply does not support the best practices of the industry: as a general rule, flat-rate providers charge more for relatively simple cases and have low success rates for severely damaged hard drives; as a result, flat-rate providers charge more for cases that are relatively simple.

Hard Drive Recovery Group takes a unique approach to data recovery. Our engineers take every step possible to ensure that the customer’s data is returned in a usable state, regardless of the failure scenario, the type of files requested, or any other factors that may be involved. We do this while providing the most affordable rates in the industry.

Because we want to provide our customers with peace of mind, we have simplified the evaluation of media and cost-cutting procedures:

At each stage of the process, we are working toward the same goal as our customers: restoring their missing or deleted data. We’ve established a solid reputation by making significant investments in research and development. Since the majority of our clients are resellers, computer repair shops, or IT departments, we have strong incentives to provide transparent information about each case we receive. We operate under the assumption that our customers understand how our engineers work. Whenever possible, we keep our pricing as low as possible when a case requires simple data recovery methods.

In a certified cleanroom, a professional data recovery engineer assesses the drive’s potential for recovery. We write a detailed report identifying the root cause of the failure, after which we provide a quote for the repair.

You have the final say on whether or not to approve the case. If you decline, we will ship your hard drive back to you — you will be responsible for shipping costs, but we will not charge you for the evaluation.

If you accept the quote, we will proceed with the recovery. You will only be charged if and when we are able to recover your data in a usable format. In the unlikely event that data cannot be recovered, we will cover the cost of return shipping.

With our approach, we believe that we can provide the highest possible success rates while still protecting consumers. For more information, please see our hard drive data recovery services page, or contact us today!