What is data recovery and why do I need such a service?

Data recovery is the process of recovering data from failed storage media, in this case a hard disk drive (HDD).

 What does data recovery involve?

Data on your hard drive could be inaccessible for a number of reasons. The drive could be suffering from issues related to a physical or mechanical failure, degraded magnetic media, electrical problems or firmware corruption. Data recovery involves bringing the hard drive back to a functional state by repairing or replacing faulty components, and then recovering the data from drive by means of specialist recovery tools.

 Is data recovery always possible?

We have an exceptionally high success rate for hard drives which are recoverable. Some hard drives are, however, just not recoverable no matter what. For example, a HDD which was has been burnt in a fire has a very low chance of recovery as the platters which store the data are damaged. Or a hard drive which was dropped whilst in use, and then powered on afterwards. The damaged heads will often scratch the platter/s to such an extent that recovery is just not possible. In cases where recovery is possible, which is most of the time, recovery is most certainly possible.

How much does data recovery cost?

The price of data recovery is dependent on the type (laptop or desktop) and size (capacity) of the hard drive. We have a ‘no recovery – no cost’ policy. This means that if the data you require is not recovered, there is no charge to you. Please click here for our pricing page.

Why does data recovery cost more than I paid for the hard drive?

Data recovery is highly specialised field. Immense knowledge and experience is needed to recover data from a failed hard drive, along with numerous forms of specialised data recovery equipment sourced from around the world. 

How long does data recovery take?

This depends entirely on the type of failure, the extent of the damage, the complexity of the recovery process and the lead time for any parts which may be required, if not currently in stock. Some recoveries take a day, whilst others may take 2 weeks. An average time frame is 4 to 6 working days. Where possible, we offer our clients a priority 1 to 2 day turnaround time.

How do I get my data once the recovery process is complete?

We will offer you a few options. The customer can bring in their own hard drive onto which the recovered data can be copied. Alternatively, we offer the data on a portable, external hard drive at a competitive price. Or if the data is very small, it can be uploaded to the cloud.

Can I do anything myself to try and recover the data?

When a hard drive is failing, or has already failed, any DIY attempts by the user to try and recover the data only increase the damage, and reduce the chances of recovery. For example, running a scan on a drive that is failing, mechanically, will only damage the drive further. If your drive is at this point and the data is important, book your drive in with us so that we can perform an assessment for you.

What normally happens when a hard drive fails?

We have compiled a list of common failures, information on which can be found here. 

What does my hard drive look like inside? What is actually in there?

If you are interested to see what a hard drive looks like inside, along with all the components that make it work, have a look at our article which we have put together for this purpose. It can be found here.

I want to book in my hard drive. Where do I go and what do I do?

We are based in Claremont, Cape Town. Address and directions can be found here. When you book in your hard drive at our reception you will need to fill out the book in form.  A form will be provided to you at reception, or you can download it from here and bring it along with your drive.


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