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Shopping For Data Recovery? Here’s What You Should Know

By Mike Cobb, Director of Engineering

Odds are, at some point in your life, you will find yourself in the uncomfortable position of suffering a serious and unexpected data loss.
A traditional hard drive, which is an electromechanical device, will eventually break down over time all on its own. Before this has a chance to happen, there could be an accident, fire or flood. Your device might be stolen. You might even have a product defect on your hands.
When this type of thing happens, we all want something easy and inexpensive. Unfortunately, what is often needed is exactly the opposite. If data is lost that has significant material or emotional value and there is no way to recreate it, data recovery may be unavoidable. The question that must be asked: does the value of your data justify the price?
The truth is, data recovery can be costly and extremely complicated due to the way hard drives are designed, the way they operate and the way they fail—either through physical damage, mechanical breakdown, electric system failure or software/logical failure. The equipment is not designed to be recovered or repaired. It’s meant to be replaced when (not if) it fails.

How do you tell the difference?

Do a basic Google search for data recovery, and you’ll see an astoundingly large number of options when it comes to data recovery. The reality is that they are not all equal. Very few of them can actually produce a great outcome when faced with a serious hard drive failure.
One huge variable is having the right mix of experience and expertise needed to properly understand and then diagnose the cause of failure. Not to mention, actually having the equipment and capability to do whatever work is necessary to get the data back.
A low-cost provider is working on a very thin margin with inexpensive tools. A resource like this doesn’t have the time or budget to get involved in more advanced technology that should include an advanced cleanroom laboratory, and they don’t employ engineers who have had training and experience in the art and science of data recovery.
When comparing data recovery vendors, here are some questions you should be sure to ask.

Do they use a Certified ISO Class 5 Cleanroom?

Without the proper protections provided by working in such a tightly controlled environment, any opened drive would be susceptible to contamination and further damage just by opening the cover.
Unless it is known beyond any doubt that a failure was specifically caused by a software introduced to the device, there is no way to know what type of problem is involved without opening the drive and inspecting it. This must be done inside a cleanroom.
We highly recommend doing a Google Maps search for the address of the company you are sending your drive to. Many data recovery businesses operate out of homes or small offices in strip malls. You can be sure there is no certified cleanroom in such a location.
Discover why microscopic particles can cause huge damage.

Is there a free evaluation before any work is done?

Most data recovery companies charge an evaluation fee just to look at your drive and determine if they think they can recover it—without actually attempting to recover any data. If the provider determines that they are unable to recover the device or you decide to decline based on cost or other factors, you are still obligated to pay the evaluation fee.
DriveSavers offers a FREE evaluation for every device. Once the free evaluation is complete, if the customer doesn’t think their lost data is worth the price, then they can decline the service (without cost) and we will return the equipment (no charge).

Is the data recovery guaranteed?

If the data is unrecoverable by DriveSavers for any reason, there is no charge. In addition, we guarantee that the data we recover will work or we will not accept payment. No data, no charge.

Are they recommended by the major manufacturers?

DriveSavers is recommended by every major manufacturer of every type of data storage device. Using DriveSavers for data recovery will not void the warranty on your hard drive.
See which manufacturers approve DriveSavers for data recovery.

How much experience do they have?

Find out how long each data recovery company you talk to has been around. DriveSavers pioneered the data recovery industry in 1985 and has been a global leader in this field ever since. We see hundreds of drives every week.

What about security?

This is a BIG one. How safe is your personal data with the data recovery provider?
Most people don’t think about it, but with data breach and identity theft on the upswing, what assurances do you have that your bank account information, credit card, personal pictures and private documents—all stored on your computer hard drive—will be protected from hackers and data thieves armed with the most sophisticated tools in the world?
DriveSavers security measures are strong enough to qualify DriveSavers to work on not only government systems but also help to protect sensitive information needed by large corporations, small companies, hospitals, colleges and universities, banks and individuals.
See our annual third-party SOC 2 Type II security audit and find out why it’s important.

In the end, come back to DriveSavers

Talk is cheap. Data recovery is not, but it still may be the best way to recoup from a loss.
If you need help with any data loss scenario, call 800.440.1904 to speak candidly with a DriveSavers data recovery advisor. Feel free to ask us any question that comes to your mind, and ask for any assurance you need. We can provide proof of our cleanroom, our security and more.
Call us anytime. We answer our phones 24/7. After all, losing data doesn’t always happen during regular business hours.

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