Losing your precious files is never an easy thing to go through. It often strikes when you least expect it, and when you had already made other plans. It can truly ruin your personal goals and even cause emotional pain if those files were related to education or business. We are here to tell you that there is a way out. Nothing in life is guaranteed, but if the data loss happened recently, you might be able to remedy the situation yourself or even better, hire a professional to do it for you. Here’s how to find data recovery services near you.
How to recognize data loss?
There is no definite sign that defines data loss – it’s one of the many signs or multiple signs appearing at the same time. Generally, when you notice anything strange regarding your daily workflow, it’s time to suspect your hard drive. Also, some can be caused by you (accidentally formatting the entire drive) or others with malicious purposes (remote access abuse, malware, ransomware).
A few signs to keep an eye on
- Suddenly empty folders or entire partitions that used to contain files
- Inability to access drives or partitions missing from the list in Finder/This PC/My Computer
- Files cannot open, citing various errors or corruption or are opening slowly
- Buzzing, clicking, or unusually spaced-out noises coming from the PC case
- You dropped your smartphone, laptop, tablet, or desktop computer recently, dropped something heavy on it, or it got damaged by another activity (shipping, exposed to power surge/power outage/lighting strike, or elements such as water or fire)
Now that you know what could be the cause or symptom, what should you do? In truth – nothing! That’s right – take no further actions on the drive you suspect is faulty. Do not copy new files, install new software, or download anything else. Any activities risk overwriting the old files on your storage and lower the chances of recovery. This includes powering down your drive, drying the device if it got wet, removing the battery (where possible), and don’t try to open it on your own.
What can data recovery services repair?
Files can be stored on a wide variety of devices and drives and read by multiple operating systems, the most common being Windows, Mac, Linux, iOS, and Android. Regardless of the type of drive and operating system, professionals in the data restoration field have specialized tools. They can fix both physical (electrical or mechanical) issues and those related to software or human error.
The following is not a complete list, because technology expands rapidly, and new types of storage are introduced and improved on. Most commonly, they can restore data from storage drives such as:
- 3.5 and 2.5-inch hard disk drive (HDD) and 2.5-inch external HDD
- 2.5 inch SATA solid-state drive (SSD)
- M.2 drive
- NVME drive
- USB drives
- RAID configured disk drives
- Internal and external (SD cards) memory of smartphones and tablets
Can I do data recovery myself?
Although the consensus is to leave it to the professionals, sometimes this isn’t the option. It could be due to financial reasons, fear of invading your privacy, or time constraints. And, honestly, this website wouldn’t exist if we weren’t committed to teaching our readers how to take the matter into their own hands. There is a wide variety of different articles we’ve written and will continue to write, but we need to warn you.
We only advise trying to retrieve files if you are certain the problem was on the software side. To ensure this is indeed the case, we recommend downloading a hard drive diagnostic software. It will inform you of any errors, give you an approximate lifespan, and show a drive health percentage. Did you notice the drive is very close to the end of its lifespan? Do you have files you cannot afford to lose? We recommend you stop using it immediately, powering it down, and unplugging it completely.
What are the dangers of repairing yourself?
Are you curious about why we don’t recommend repairing physical issues? Let’s take HDDs into account first. Opening the HDD immediately voids your warranty. Also, the platters inside are very sensitive to dust and debris. Do you have a separate clean room in your home that ensures no dust will touch the inside of the hard drive? We didn’t think so, and no matter how quick you are, specks of dust will find their way inside. That pretty much eliminates purchasing parts online and replacing them yourself. Also, manufacturers sometimes intentionally prevent you from replacing the PCB, the brain of the HDD, even if you purchase the same brand and model.
And if you thought HDDs are tricky, think about how small the electrical components are on a laptop, smartphone, tablet, and NVME/M.2 drives are. You would need to purchase a magnifying glass, a soldering station, replacement parts that match, and know exactly what you are doing. And, powering on a drive that wasn’t repaired properly can pretty much destroy any chances of recovery. After that, no matter how much you pay and who you contact, the deed is done.
How to find the best data recovery services in your area
As already mentioned, there could be tens or even hundreds of data recovery companies operating nearby. If not in your area, in the nearest city. Whichever the case, choosing the best one will save you a lot of money, time, and ultimately safeguard you from permanently losing your files. These are some of the best ways to find the top data recovery services operating in your area.
1. Do a Google search and check Google Maps
In our opinion, this should be your first step. The majority of businesses in this field advertise their services on Google Maps. You will be able to see their phone number, official website, location, when they are open, and other relevant information. All that is left is to contact them and arrange an appointment. There’s also another benefit to this. If you cannot find any reputable service providers in your city or even your country and need your files back desperately, find businesses that have the highest rating. They often support international shipping and will guide you through the process. You will pay a bit more but can sleep easy knowing your data is in good hands.
2. Search social media
Do a few searches on Facebook or Instagram based on data recovery words in your language and your location. It is very likely that pages will appear immediately, and not only that. The less popular shops often tend to charge less and could be closer to your home. As always, don’t play around with data you can’t afford to lose.
3. Check local ads and selling/trading platforms
Know a local version of eBay or Amazon or any other advertisement websites? Businesses will likely advertise their services using those websites. You can easily spot a data recovery ad on a related website. So, that will be a good option as well.
4. Business directories
There are many business directories just like Google Maps that allows businesses to put their listing in order to be founded by the users. So, your next best bet would be looking on such websites and sorting data recovery services by their popularity.
5. Word of mouth
People who were so satisfied with the results tend to share the good news and recommendations, whether you want to hear it or not. Try and remember if anyone you know had a pleasant experience with data recovery services, and ask them for details.
What about the costs
The expertise, knowledge, and experience aren’t free, that’s for sure. We can tell you one thing – in the majority of cases, diagnosing the issue is free. The price of recovery depends on a lot of factors – the difficulty of restoring/scope of work, location of the shop (rent can vary significantly), potential shipping costs, model, manufacturer, and rarity of the parts for the storage drive if they are needed. We have covered this in detail in our article about why data recovery is expensive.