Seeing a bill for hard drive data recovery for the first time is often a shocking experience. Data recovery services often cost upwards of $1,000, even for the least expensive services that reputable data recovery companies offer.
It’s important to know a little bit about how data recovery is done and why it is so expensive to avoid being ripped off when you need data recovered off of a damaged hard drive. Here’s a look at why data recovery costs are so high–and how to get them lower.
1. Turnaround time. Data recovery labs are often very rushed, and they have to treat each new case completely differently to maximize the chances of recovery. Companies with fast turnaround times tend to have higher quotes in many cases. You can sometimes barter with the customer service representative at the data recovery company of your choice, offering to wait as long as necessary to have pricing reduced. If the data recovery lab is very rushed, they’ll gladly take you up on this offer rather than lose your business.
2. Condition of a hard drive. The condition of a hard drive is the biggest factor in determining data recovery cost. Once your hard drive has failed, you really can’t do anything to improve its condition, but you can prevent it from taking on more damage. Don’t try to turn on your hard drive after its initial failure, as this may cause more damage to components such as the hard drive heads and platters. Never attempt to open or recover a physically damaged hard drive yourself–it’s important that data recovery only be attempted in a class 100 clean room, and many data recovery companies will automatically double the cost of recovery when they see that a hard drive has been opened. Take care to securely package and ship your hard drive. Use no less than about six inches of bubble wrap, and ship your hard drive via UPS or FedEx to the data recovery company’s location.
3. Return media. Data recovery companies make a little bit of money from return media, and as a result, some of them don’t inform their clients of all of their return media options. Insist on sending your own external hard drive for data to be transferred onto, as you’ll certainly get a better deal from a website such as tigerdirect.com or newegg.com than you’d get from a data recovery company. If you’re only recovering a few files, ask about the cost to burn the recovered information to a CD or DVD.
Do you have any other tips for saving money off of the cost of data recovery? Post in our comments section below.