If you’re reading this article, it probably means that you are suffering from some form of data loss. We feel you – it’s a painful, frustrating, and emotionally draining experience. 35% of computer users experience unexpected data loss. Sometimes data can be deleted due to an incorrect command, whereas, at other instance a system cleaner can wipe some important directories. Even viruses and numerous other malware types can corrupt or delete your data. Furthermore, data is often overwritten after the re-installation of an operating system, which occurs due to a virus infection, corrupt files, a damaged boot loader and the like. But it is not just deletion of data that leads to data loss, as data can also be lost when your hard drive crashes or SD Card becomes non responsive. Below are our thoughts on the subject and what you can do to seek help.
Why Data Loss Occurs
Data loss can occur due to hardware failure, software problems, viruses, power related problems, flood/water damage, fire/heat/smoke damage, and vandalism and sabotage. Hard drives are also by design very sensitive devices. They are in some ways akin to needles with records, except that the platters are spinning at a much faster rate. Also, in the case of hard drives, the needle is not touching the plates at all, but if the needle becomes defective due to normal wear and tear, manufacturer defect, or low-quality parts, the drive can fail. If something happens to any of the mechanics inside the drive, data loss can occur.
Don’t Try This At Home!
Data Recovery is quite a tricky and laborious process that is often not possible without the knowledge of expert data recovery techniques. If you become a victim of data loss due to hard drive failure, a virus, or any other disaster, do not try to operate your computer. In cases such as head crash, this will only worsen the problem. Beware of using disk utilities as they can be destructive to your data in all but the hands of the most capable and experienced professionals. Many “technicians” do not have data recovery training and can ruin the chances for a successful recovery.
The Internet Is Full Of Scams
So many websites and companies now claim to offer flat-rate, incredibly low priced data recovery. They do not have any online reputation or if they do, they know that people will not take the time to research the company before giving them their project. The internet abounds with statements like ‘We Can Get Your Data back…Guaranteed!’ however they are untrue: it is impossible to guarantee full recovery (100% success rate). There are some circumstances that make it impossible for anyone to recover data regardless of the situation. Further, we can’t tell you how many times we’ve heard from customers who shipped their drives to a small repair shop because the company told them “we’re in IT, we understand how this works” or “we’ve built computers for 30 years, we get it.” No matter how much computer experience an individual or company claims to have, the hard drive itself and the recovery of the sectors that hold data is another animal entirely.
There are many different types of data recovery that are possible. Media types we support and have encountered include IDE, SCSI and SATA interface hard drives (PC, MAC, Server, and Notebook). Microsoft operating systems supported for data recovery include: Windows 2000, 2003, 2008, NT Server, Windows 8, 7, Vista, XP, 2000, ME, 98/95, Workstation. Apple operating systems include Mac Os9, OsX, and iOS (all flavors). Linux systems include Android, Ubuntu, RedHat, Fedora, Debian and others. In addition to the above, we also support FAT, NTFS, HFS+, exFAT, ext 2,3,4, and virtual disks, including VMDK, VDI and others.
Drives and Partitions
Lost or deleted partitions, firmware corruption or fully formatted drives, and other disk problems.
Accidentally lost or deleted files, including ‘system restore’ factory default actions that overwrite your data.
Lost Photo Recovery
Missing, corrupt or non-readable pictures, JPG, RAW, TIFF and other image formats from your digital camera.
USB Thumb Drives
Broken flash drives due to bending of the connectors, being stepped on, dropped or other physical damage.
Microsoft Outlook PST recovery or Mozilla Thunderbird deleted emails and damaged mailboxes.
It is also possible to obtain data from all kinds of devices, not just laptops, desktops and servers. For example, we lost data can be retrieved from devices such as Android operating systems, iPad tablets, iPhone and other smartphones, and MP3 players such as the iPod. In our case, we have not only successfully recovered from these devices, but also from e-Readers and tablet media devices such as the Kindle Fire.
How Our Process Works
Drop off or mail in your media to our facility (you can also bring in your computer with the hard drive installed). If mailing in (or if you want to save yourself another trip to our shop), please also include a drive for us to recover the data to. We also have drives available for purchase. We will perform a thorough and complete hard drive diagnosis on our data recovery station using a dedicated technician. You will be contacted by your technician with the price of recovery. If you decide not to have recovery work performed, no problem! Just pick up your failed media or we’ll return ship it to you. There is no charge for diagnosis (unless we perform a detailed software evaluation and you decline a recovery). Priority and emergency service is available.
Most of the data recoveries that we perform fall into this category. Our standard data recovery for a single drive starts at $149 and is capped at $899; however, you will be given a more accurate estimate once we complete our evaluation. We use methods that save us time and thus save you money, but in many cases, recovery work is time-consuming and requires many man-hours of labor. If we deem that some or all of the data can be recovered, we will contact you to inform you of estimated recovery success rate and costs. You will work with your technician throughout the diagnosis and recovery process to ensure you get back the data you need.
Clean Room Recovery
Any physically failed hard drive must be recovered in a cleanroom to prevent any contaminants from coming in contact with the platter surfaces inside the drive where the data is actually stored. Without the cleanroom, dust particles and other airborne debris would adhere to the platter surfaces in the drive. If a drive is run with such contaminants, it would permanently destroy the sector locations where that data is saved, thus rendering it unrecoverable entirely.
Clean Room Pricing
Clean room recovery starts at $1199 and can be much higher. The cleanroom environments themselves (we use a class 100 clean room to recover drives) are incredibly costly and require continuous maintenance, upkeep and regular certifications. But, even more than that, the recovery process itself is an extremely delicate science. Hard drives are highly sensitive and finicky devices. The tools, techniques, knowledge, equipment and experience required to recover data from a physically failed hard drive is where the costs truly come in. These are some of the reasons why recovery is as expensive as it is.
Once Your Data is Recovered
Recovered data can be transferred to a removable storage device (such as an external hard drive or USB thumb drive). If you’re switching to another computer, bring it in and we can custom migrate the recovered data to it. We can even cross-platform migrate (PC to Mac or vice-versa).
If your hard drive has crashed, you have suffered from a virus infection or for some reason are being unable to access your data, then San Diego PC Help can resolve your problems. Many technicians do not have data recovery training and can ruin the chances for a successful recovery. We have years of experience: every day we are dealing with lost or deleted partitions, firmware corruption or fully formatted drives, and other disk problems. Contact us now to speak to the experts or mail in your drive. We accept all types of devices, including USB, External Drive, SD Card, internal storage medium, RAID, etc. Our capabilities advance continuously, if you don’t see your system here call us.