data recovery

Data Recovery

In computing, data recovery is a process of salvaging (retrieving) inaccessible, lost, corrupted, damaged or formatted data from secondary storage, removable media or files, when the data stored in them cannot be accessed in a normal way. Files are most often salvaged from storage media such as internal or external hard drives (HDDs), solid-state drives (SSDs), USB flash drives, magnetic tapes, CDs, DVDs, RAID subsystems, and other electronic devices. Recovery may be required due to physical damage to the storage devices. Or in instances of logical damage to the file system that prevents it from being mounted by the host operating system (OS).

The most common recovery scenario involves an operating system failure. Other scenarios include malfunction of a storage device, logical failure of storage devices, accidental damage or deletion, etc. (typically, on a single-drive, single-partition, single-OS system). In these cases, the ultimate goal is simply to copy all important files from the damaged media to another new hard drive. This can be easily accomplished using a Live CD. This provides a means to mount the system drive and backup drives or removable media, and to move the files from the system drive to the backup media with a file manager or optical disc authoring software. Such cases can often be prevented by disk partitioning & consistently storing valuable personal files (or copies of them) on a different partition from the replaceable OS system files.

Hard Drive Failure

Another scenario involves a drive-level failure, such as a compromised file system or drive partition, or a hard disk drive failure. In any of these cases, the data is not easily read from the media devices. Depending on the situation, solutions involve repairing the logical file system, partition table or master boot record. Another method is to update the firmware. We also employ or drive recovery techniques ranging from software-based recovery of corrupted data, hardware and software-based recovery of damaged service areas (also known as the hard disk drive’s “firmware“), to hardware replacement on a physically damaged drive. This involves changing parts of the damaged drive to make the files in a readable form which can be copied to a new drive. If a drive recovery is necessary, the drive itself has typically failed permanently, and the focus is rather on a one-time recovery, salvaging whatever files can be read.

Accidental deletion of data

In a third scenario, files have been accidentally “deleted” from a storage medium by the users. Typically, the contents of deleted files are not removed immediately from the physical drive; instead, references to them in the directory structure are removed, and thereafter space the deleted data occupy is made available for later overwriting. In the mind of end users, deleted files may not be visible via a standard file manager, but the deleted files still technically exists on the physical drive. Still, the original file contents remain, often in a number of disconnected fragments, and may be recoverable if not overwritten by other files.

The term “data recovery” is also used in the context of forensic applications or espionage, where data which has been encrypted or hidden, rather than damaged, is recovered. Sometimes files present on a computer can be encrypted or hidden due to reasons like a virus attack which can only be recovered by computer forensic experts.

Cost of Data Recovery

It is impossible for us to give an accurate estimate as to the likelihood or cost of recovering lost or corrupt data without first examining the device, computer, hard drive or USB stick.

First, we will need to examine your device so you will need to leave it with us for 24 to 48 hrs for us to test and assess (data recovery can take some time!). You will also need to pay a non-refundable $75 fee when you leave it with us to cover our time (this includes free pickup and return of your hard drive). If we cannot recover any data or deleted files or if it is a simple fix that will take us no more than 30 minutes, there is nothing more to pay.

If we are able to recover data the total cost is $125. This includes burning your data to 3 DVD’s (a total of 14 Gigabytes). If your data exceeds this amount we may ask you to provide (or we can sell you) an external hard drive, to copy your backup up data too. This will result in additional cost which we will quote you on.

Cost of Data Backup

In cases where we are given a hard drive to backup data from and an external drive to copy it too, we charge a flat rate of $85. This charge includes free pickup and return of your computer (we don’t charge a call out fee).

In instances where no external media is provided to backup files too, (as with our data recovery service) we can supply a new external drive at additional cost. Prices for this is dependant on the physical size of the hard drive required.

An additional labour charge may also be charged if we are required to physically remove a hard drive from a non-working laptop in order to get to the data on the drive. This charge is dependant on time taken to dismantle the laptop in order to gain access to the drive (usually done within 1 hour).

Contact us to arrange YOUR data recovery today.

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