Hard Drives Tech Industry

The Truth About Data Recovery

Hard Drive Recovery in Action

Having had a very negative experience the last time I dealt with an off-site data recovery lab, I decided to take a friends advice and contact a recovery lab they dealt with and swore by.
I thought that, having spent more than $1500 the first time around, I would shop around. Calling 3 labs and leaving my friends recommendation to the last, I found there seemed to be a few common denominators when it came to data recovery labs I spoke with;
– lack of information with regards to their actual recovery work,
– vague description only of their service level (cost and timeline)
– and an Unwillingness to take time out to ask questions and understand my problem during my initial call which wouldn’t have allowed them to provide me best consult including a “ballpark” outlook on their service level (cost & timeline)
4th call and taking my friends advice, I reluctantly called their recommended lab.

Awesome – totally different reception from the get-go;
The person I spoke with immediately asked my issue and from there dug into what happened asking me everything I had been hoping to talk about in all my previous calls with other labs;
How the failure happened, was I present at time of failure, any visual and audible queues I notice during/after the failure … and then all the obvious queries and comments you’d expect a lab of this caliber would ask – type of device, the type and amount of data I need to recover, etc.

From there I was provided a “soup to nuts” ballpark descriptor of their service. Cost, turnaround time, which was followed up by an email directly from their representative detailing everything we just spoke about. So, not only did they speak to me like someone who understands what im going through, but they provided a written (emailed) copy of what they went over with me so I had it all in writing, for reference.

At the end of it all, I told them what I had been running into regarding other recovery labs and they said the best thing I did was call around. They told me the professional off-site data recovery industry is, for the most part, largely unregulated so recovery labs and service levels can vary wildly.
They did tell me that most labs out there today give them a bad name as it seems the “customer service” aspect to their industry has not been absorbed yet.

This lab was definitely a breath of fresh air.
I asked why they did things the way they do and they told that it could be due to their business model.
– This particular lab told me they had been in business for 9 years but had only been offering their services consumer-direct for the past 2years. Prior to this they had traditionally offered their services through a network of Partners and/or reseller type business such as PC repair shops and IT consultants.
They told me that the customer service they extended to me was no different than how they treated their Partners. It was only when they went consumer-direct that they started hearing about how guarded and impersonal other labs were.

Glad I found them!

Hard Drives Tech Industry

The Data Recovery Industry


Data Recovery has changed immensely over the years. Like everything thing else, especially “I.T.” related, off-site data recovery has evolved into more of an inclusive service from what it once was.

What does that mean for those of us who have failed hard drives and need recovery? Well, it means a more transparent industry, better communication and most importantly, a better understanding of what options there are to us so when the worst happens again, we can mitigate the effects of losing all that data through advice on backing data up and utilizing better storage techniques so that we can rely and fall back on redundancies rather than risking everything on a single storage solution.

So, years ago I found off-site data recovery labs to be very impersonal and almost cryptic in the way they communicated.
Always by email, never any clarification or explanation on their findings or level of work. – which leads to my biggest gripe, being cost.

What happened? How did the drive fail? Was I responsible? How did you recover my data? -and how can I avoid this happening again.

Nothing at all; I send and email to check in for an update and 2-3 week later, I receive a reply telling me their work was ongoing. Ok…
1 week after that I receive a cost quotation for $1545.00. No explanation and no detail with the quote other than an odd Sku number.

After trying to contact by phone, the whole process sounded as though it was something the recovery company was trying to hide. I felt like my data was being held for ransom.
… fast forward 3years and yes, the inevitable happens again.
This time I thought I had a backup plan. Well, yeas and no. I did but because I hadn’t researched my options and learned how to properly back up, I soon discovered that my “automatic backups” hadn’t been automatically backing up at all. Human error – or lack of understanding the software I was using.

Hesitant to go through the taboo process of off-site data recovery again, a friend gave me the number of a newer recovery company they dealt with the year before.

This time it was taxes and payroll – all business data. So, I had no choice but this time I was determined to shop around and do my homework on which lab to deal with. The potential to have another $1000-$1500 is no small expenditure so I was determined not have the same experience.