It’s a nightmare when your hard drive suddenly crashes, and you lose important data because of it. Whether the damaged HDD contains personal files or official business data, you need to recover the lost files as soon as possible. Well, the safest and quickest way to retrieve your precious files is to contact a data recovery company. However, every time you look at their quote, you might ask yourself this question: why is data recovery so expensive?
Does it really cost that much to retrieve your data, or are companies just looting profits from your misfortune? In this article, we will answer all your questions regarding the cost and process of data recovery. This will help you figure out if the price of data recovery is justifiable. Without further ado, let’s dive in.
Is It Possible to Get Flat Rates for the Data Recovery Services?
You have probably tried to figure out how much it will cost you to recover your data by searching on the internet. Most of the time, you don’t see a website advertising the exact cost to recover your data. Even though some companies display a specific rate to recover your data on their website at first, the prices drastically increase after they analyze your situation and come out with a quote.
This forces us to ask a serious question: why don’t we see a flat rate from the data recovery service companies? Well, there are multiple reasons for that. Here are two main reasons it’s difficult to offer a flat rate data rescue service:
- It’s not possible to analyze a damaged hard drive correctly. This is especially true for remote cases. Experts need to get their hands on your drive and examine its problems. Only after a full inspection of your drive using industry-grade tools will they be able to deduce a proper cost to recover your data.
- The data recovery process can vary. It can either be quite simple or extremely complex and tiresome. Data rescue process requires delicate handling of your drive to extract the lost data safely. Most data recovery experts charge $100-300 per hour for their services. If your drive is severely damaged, the experts need to tackle mechanical, logical, and other kinds of failure to retrieve your precious data. Because the difficulty and duration of work varies drastically, it becomes extremely hard to offer a flat-rate service and data recovery becomes so expensive.
What Determines the Data Recovery Cost and Makes it so Expensive?
Identifying the type of damage your device is suffering from is important to get an accurate understanding of the situation. As we explained, different types of failures are responsible for varying costs of the data recovery process. In this section, you will learn what determines the price and makes data recovery so expensive.
If your hard drive is suffering from mechanical failure, it’s quite easy to identify it. Most of the time, drives that suffer from mechanical malfunctions are quite loud. They also make cranky, screechy, and other strange sounds, pointing towards your drive’s mechanical defect.
If you suspect that your hard drive is suffering from mechanical failure, you need to stop using the HDD right away. Otherwise, the fault can become worse over time and reach a point where it might cause a permanent data loss. In simple words, if you continue using your damaged HDD, it will minimize your chances of recovering the data. As a result, the cost of data recovery will skyrocket.
Mechanical failure requires cleanroom care. The experts carefully evaluate and reconstruct your HDD’s damaged parts there. Even a single speck of dust can hinder the process and cause a permanent data failure. Therefore, if your HDD is severely physically degraded, it will require extensive cleanroom treatment, making data recovery so costly.
Malware or Ransomware
Malware and ransomware can pose a serious threat to your hard drive, causing it to lose data and weaken its functionality. Here are some common signs of malware or ransomware attacks that may be causing you severe data loss:
- Random deletion of files
- A sudden change of file extensions
- Ransom note popping up on your desktop
- Appearance of locked files or suspicious files with inaccessible data
If you see your computer showing one or more of these signs, and you have lost a significant amount of data recently, you should bring your HDD to a data recovery expert for a checkup.
Logical failure is another type of HDD malfunction that might be responsible for the loss of your precious data. To make matters worse, it’s hard to detect. This type of failure might occur because of corruption in the operating system or file corruption that affects the hard drive. This type of HDD malfunction may cause the following problems to occur:
- Accidental file deletion
- Severe directory damage
- Multiple formatting issues
Logical failure might also result in an HDD boot failure or make your HDD read a certain part of its partition, making it lose data.
The vast majority of the time, your disk drive might suffer from one of the three failures we mentioned above. However, nothing in this world can always be simple, can it? If you’re particularly unlucky, your disk drive might suffer from all three possible failures simultaneously. This will make it extremely difficult to extract the lost data from your hard drive. As a result, the recovery price might hike up significantly, making data rescue expensive.
The Cost of Cleanroom
It’s quite expensive to build a cleanroom for a data recovery laboratory. In other words, building a cleanroom is a significant investment from the data recovery companies to ensure the entire process goes smoothly. The use of a cleanroom ensures a higher data extraction rate, even from the most damaged disk drives. At the same time, since the maintenance of such a room is quite a hectic and costly process, whenever its use is required, the data recovery cost shoots up.
The average cost of building a cleanroom is around $375 per sq. foot of an ISO laboratory. Here’s a simple breakdown of the cost of building a cleanroom.
|Classification||Cost per sq. ft for small applications less than 500 sq. ft||Cost per sq. ft for larger applications over 2,500 sq. ft|
|ISO 6||$300 -$400||$200 – $300|
|ISO 7||$250 – $350||$150 – $200|
|ISO 8||$200 – $250||$100 – $150|
|ISO 6||$400 – $550||$300 – $450|
|ISO 7||$350 – $500||$250 – $400|
|ISO 8||$300 – $450||$200 – $350|
Do Companies Calculate Data Recovery Cost per GB?
Your hard drive’s size and the volume of data you need to recover do affect the total cost of data restoration. Yet, this doesn’t mean that the cost of data recovery is calculated per GB. In fact, the main factors that determine the recovery cost are the charge for the data recovery experts’ time and the number of hours the experts needed to use the professional equipment to extract your data.
Even if the data recovery specialist charges a fixed amount, the time the data recovery machine and the software take to inspect your hard drive and extract data will vary for each case. This is the main driving factor for your recovery cost, making data recovery so highly priced.
For instance, if your problematic disk drive only has a storage space of 256 GB, it might not cost you much to recover your data. But if you need to retrieve TBs after TBs of data, it will take the data extraction machines far longer to finish the recovery process. This will result in additional charges, which can accumulate, making your data recovery cost skyrocket.
The Cost to Recover Data from A Hard Drive
On average, the cost of a basic HDD data recovery can be between $100 and $700 depending on each case. The final price will depend on the type of damage your disk drive has suffered and the methods the experts need to use to derive your data safely. That’s the basic data recovery.
However, you might need advanced data recovery if your HDD suffers from one or more of the following problems:
- Mechanical failure
- Electrical failure
- Problems caused by malware or ransomware
- Logical failure
- A combination of failures mentioned above or a complex failure
- Data extraction needs to be carried out in a cleanroom and requires use of advanced data recovery methods
Most data recovery companies have a list of HDD failure classifications, such as basic, standard, and advanced. These classifications help customers understand the complexity of damage and the cost to extract their data securely.
If your hard drive needs advanced recovery, you can expect the quote you receive to be between $700 and $2000 in most cases. The exact price depends on the location in the world, the renown of the company, and how soon they must start and finish.
Can You Recover Data on Your Own?
Maybe you’re feeling brave today and want to perform a DIY (Do-It-Yourself) procedure to extract your files from your damaged HDD or other storage devices. However, you must be aware of the fact that, unless you’re a data recovery expert, performing DIY data recovery might damage your storage device further. This might cause you to lose your data permanently and even the professionals might not be able to help you later.
Do you still want to go on the adventure on your own? If so, no problem. However, there are a few things you need to be mindful of. First, determine which type of damage your HDD is suffering from. Is it a mechanical failure or any other issue?
There is a lot of amazing data recovery software available on the market that might help you reach your data. You might even take some data restoration courses to ensure frictionless data extraction. Here is a list of factors that will cost you money when trying to perform DIY data recovery:
- The cost of data recovery software
- The cost of the tools to fix the mechanical failure of your HDD
- Extra data storage cost
- The cost of imaging equipment
- A data recovery hood a.k.a. cleanroom equipment
Recovering your lost data is a remarkably delicate process, where anything can go wrong even if the simplest of mistakes occur. The data recovery experts have trained for years and needed lots of repeated hands-on experience to be capable of restoring your data safely. Thus, make your decision carefully after considering all the risk factors.
Why is Data Recovery so Expensive?
We understand the cost of recovering data from a damaged HDD is quite high. Nonetheless, the services provided by professional data recovery companies will be top-notch. They work with precision and care to ensure you get all your lost data and deleted files with the highest chance of success possible.
On top of that, professional data recovery companies invest huge amounts of money in their budget to discover the most effective methods to recover your data. As a result, the success rate of full data extraction has reached over 95% for most companies. This is one of the main reasons why data recovery is so expensive.
Other main factors that determine the data recovery cost are:
- The number of hours a data recovery expert spends on your case
- The replacement parts
- Quality guarantee by the data recovery company
- High-grade professional data rescue equipment and software
- Cleanroom and laboratory costs
While it might cost you hundreds of dollars to recover the data from the damaged hard drive, we think it’s worthwhile. You must consider the importance of your data and the delicate process the experts go through to provide you with great service. Therefore, if your HDD with important files malfunctions next time, visit a reputable data recovery company. This way, you will get your precious data without a hitch, even if it’s a tad expensive.