One year while establishing a referral system with computer repair companies a member of our marketing team hit upon an important question asked often by customers; how much data recovery cost? “Well that’s a variable cost, as you know, dependent on the severity of the damage to the drive,” he responded. The PC repairman found this answer unsatisfactory. How could he not know? His customers are pretty simple people who want set pricing. How could he do any marketing without having a general estimate of what the “simplest” repair could cost? Though the man did not realize it, he had stumbled into an issue that has plagued data recovery for years now.

How do I pick a trustworthy data recovery and hard drive repair firm?

It is a valid question. In Charlotte, NC alone there are over 10 data recovery firms, and that is just inside the I-485 loop. For this reason, it is worth investigating why there are so many options, the limits of them, and how to determine the data recovery and hard drive repair firm that is right for you. 

            For background, the data recovery business has been on the incline, parallel to the increase in personal computer usage following its boom in the 1990s. With this increase, there are now more external hard drives purchased, more Cloud backup services, and more data recovery companies than ever before. With the reliance on our computers has also come the need for ways to save data that has been lost, like family photos or term papers that have been worked on all semester. With this rise has come the emergence of companies looking to turn a quick dollar under the guise of wanting to help their clients. In order to avoid making the wrong decision there are several things, both negative and positive, to be on the lookout for.

            The largest signal that can be demonstrative of an unreliable data recovery and hard drive repair firm is fixed pricing. Though that may seem like a rather sweeping statement, there is a logic that backs it. Let’s take a simple example to work with: a 100Gb hard disk drive with simple mechanical failure. The read-write head crashed and a platter has been damaged. To fix it correctly would mean acquiring parts that are roughly the cost of a hard drive itself, opening the drive to its most essential components, and doing the computer equivalent of microsurgery to complete the repair. Between the parts, an expense paid for by the data recovery firm, and the labor, a “simple” repair can quickly mount towards an expensive proposition. And the expanse cannot be truly accounted for until a proper diagnostic is done and assuming there are no underlying issues that will be revealed during the repair itself. As the process continues cost can mount, especially if the damage in question is severe.

            A fixed rate largely means that they are charging for a diagnostic, from 100$ and up, charging a flat rate for the problem discovered, and then using simple tools to essentially screenshot the data. It can be altered or accessed beyond being viewed, and the excuse often given is the severity of the damage and the uniqueness of the problem. This is all a methodology to bamboozle the customer with jargon so that they don’t fully understand why their drive wasn’t salvageable. None of this actually solves the customers core issue but it nets the firm a nice little profit from very little work. Furthermore, there are companies that operate in a half step.

            Some data recovery firms specialize in very specific types of so that they can hopefully remedy those specific problems, while partnering with larger companies that they can send repairs that are beyond their purview. But this limits the range of what can be repaired so they keep operating costs low. They receive a number or drives, repair some, and from that generate a meager profit. It is a more innocuous version of the same issue and still impacts the overall data recovery industry. So, what does this mean for customers and data recovery providers? 

            The unrealistic claims and assertions by unreliable providers have made the industry a confusing mess for customers. They often go to firms that cannot actually recover the data and are then left looking for other solutions elsewhere. This makes for a process that doesn’t just cost money, but costs valuable time for people in need of real solutions. But there are ways to find a reliable data recovery and hard drive repair firm in an industry flooded with options.

            The simple way to find a quality data recovery provider is to do simple research. Look for companies with verifiable years of operation so that expertise can be verified. Look at the reviews, both positive and negative, to see what customers are saying about their experience. Most importantly look for data recovery providers that have certified, on-site clean rooms. This means that they are able to tackle a broader range of problems and will have greater success in actual data recovery. It just so happens this all describes us here at Carolina Data Recovery. 

Here at Carolina Data Recovery we provide:

  • Free Quotes and Evaluations 
  • No Data – No Fee Guarantee. You do not pay unless we recover the data that you need.
  • Locally owned, and operated since 1999. 
  • Experienced Staff. Carolina Data Recovery engineers have a combined 60+ years of hands-on experience in physical hard drive repair.
  • All Makes and Models. We provide data retrieval and file system repair of Windows, Mac, Unix, Novell, Linux and VMware systems.
  • Fast Service. Our Charlotte, NC hard drive and RAID recovery location houses an on-site ISO 5 (Class 100) Certified Cleanroom making it possible for Carolina Data Recovery to recover data from all types of storage devices and operating systems in as little as 24 hours for clients across the Carolinas, Virginia, Tennessee, and Georgia. 

If you or anyone you know needs quality data recovery and hard drive repair, come and see us at one of our three locations.


Carolina Data Recovery

You have enough to worry about. Let us handle your precious data.