Hey, saving money is important for everyone. And data recovery services, it’s clear after over 30 years in business, is NOT a category that most folks budget for. Which is why it’s always unfortunate that if you Google “cheap or low-cost” data recovery, you are likely to come up with a host of websites claiming to be able to recover hard drive data for as little as $300, and in some bank breaking cases as little as $200 or less.

Because of this, the average Hard Drive Recovery Group customer might be asking why you’re being asked to spend hundreds, and in some cases thousands, of dollars for your data recovery service. Why are data recovery fees so high, you might think. I mean, a deal is a deal, right?

While we wish this was the case, the fact is the cost for recovering data from physical hard drive failures NEVER costs this little. And frankly, $300 data recovery companies are only acceptable for really straightforward software difficulties and should be avoided at all costs. In contrast, if your hard drive crash is because of something even slightly more complex, such as mechanical or electrical damage, or even small sector damage, these $300 firms will be unable to assist you.

Why $300 Data Recovery Fees Are Often Not Plausible

First and foremost, if you have a drive that is no longer recognized by your operating system or that is generating clicking or buzzing sounds, you should probably go ahead and shut it down. About 95% of low-cost data recovery providers will not be able to assist you in your situation. Unlike most other data recovery companies, the majority of these businesses, typically “computer repair shops”, are unable to recover data in cases in which the drive cannot be recognized by the operating system. When this occurs, the $300 companies will usually tell you there is “nothing they can do”. Which I guess, is true. But that doesn’t mean a professional data recovery service shouldn’t be given a shot at recovering your data.

“We Couldn’t Recover Your Data, And Your Drive Appears Unrecoverable”

This is a typical statement that may be accurate in some cases, but almost NEVER in all cases. What may be happening is that they do not have the necessary technology to recover your information. So if you hear something like this, don’t be alarmed; there is still hope!

Alternatively, they may state that “we need to send it out to someone else.”. Once again, it is because they do not have the necessary equipment to recover your hard drive’s data and so must transfer it to a company that does, such as Hard Drive Recovery Group. This is rarely the best option for you, however. In order to earn a profit on their handling of the problem, $300 data recovery businesses will frequently charge additional fees on top of the outsourced task they have subcontracted to complete. This can lead to some truly frightening prices.

Determining What Is A “Real” Data Recovery Provider

Here are a few things you should inquire about when contacting a data recovery service…
Can you see into the company’s clean room or lab? Is it secure? If so, where exactly is all of this data recovery occurring?
What happens if the company can’t recover the data? Will you still be charged? For data recovery, $300 is an absolute steal. But on the other hand, how do you feel about paying $300 for sweet nothing? We, like other larger organizations with more resources, will only charge you for your data if we are successful in recovering it! No “assessment fees” here.

Clean Room Questions

How clean is the work environment on-site for those who need to repair physical damage to drives? It is possible that your data will be permanently damaged if you work in an unsuitable setting. A clean room is often necessary, and $300 companies will need a heck of a lot of drives to build and maintain such a facility.
Companies who charge $300 will often only be able to assist you by removing money from your wallet. Even if you consider your data to be something you want to protect and keep, it is probably not worth the risk to continue using your disk if it is experiencing extremely complex problems. We and other hard drive specialists can assist you with extremely tough processes since we have the necessary equipment and knowledge to do so successfully. Because specialists are the best at what they do and have access to the greatest equipment, their services are more expensive than those provided by other types of professionals.
NOTE: If your drive produces strange noises, smells burned, won’t spin or displays any other unusual physical symptoms, DO NOT KEEP TURNING IT ON as this could cause additional and more damage to your media.

When Can $300 Data Recovery Be Worth It?

Where data is not particularly valuable and you do not wish to experiment with over-the-counter data recovery software.
Knowing that your drive is just experiencing a file system failure and not any other type of physical or electrical harm to the drive is quite comforting.
In cases where you do not give a damn about the security of the facility to which the data is being sent, or the security of the data itself.

What about data recovery software that is available over-the-counter?

In general, we do not recommend that you attempt to run data recovery software that is available over-the-counter. IF, ON THE OTHER HAND, you have the ability to connect your drive to a different computer via an external USB caddy or enclosure and install trial software (you can find many data recovery utilities by searching Google), you may be able to determine whether or not you can recover the data on your own for a lot less money than $300 in most cases. ON the other hand, if there is something more complex going on with your hard drive, no amount of Google or store-bought software will be able to save you from your situation.

Be Smart, And Remember That The Lowest Bidder Is A Bad Call For Valuable Data

Consider who you provide your data to if your information is extremely valuable. When customers return to us after attempting the less expensive options, it’s sad, but it’s unfortunately part of the business. We try to chalk it up as a “data recovery entry-fee”, which is an important learning lesson for everyone.
Remember: if you value your data, going cheap is the worst thing you can do.