Cost of Data Recovery Prices for 2023

Every case is unique with data recovery. While many cases are the same no two are exactly alike. I offer data transfer and data recovery services and I cover them in detail in my 5 Tiers of Data Recovery.

All recoveries require a data recovery diagnostic first and purchasing or providing return media. These prices are per device or media.

  • There is a flat-rate diagnostic fee of $175 per hard drive or piece of media that are 4TB or smaller, for standard service. This includes drives or media such as SATA hard drives, external hard drives, Solid State Drives (SSD), SD cards, memory cards, or flash drives. This covers local cases in the Capital Region of New York or cases mailed in from the United States.
  • There is a flat-rate diagnostic fee of $250 per hard drive or piece of media that are 5TB or larger for standard service. This includes drives or media such as SATA hard drives, external hard drives, Solid State Drives (SSD), SD cards, memory cards, or flash drives. This also covers all mailed in international cases.
  • Cell Phones (iPhone and Android) have a flat-rate diagnostic fee of $250 for standard service.
  • Emergency service, opened drives, drives with contamination, onsite service, RAID, TIER5 services, drives with non-user removable storage such as MacBook Pros with an integrated SSD, certain international cases, obscure formats, legacy formats, I charge an upfront flat rate fee diagnostic fee determined by the complexity and time for a case. These fees start at $500.

Recovery Overview

What is wrong with your drive or device will be determined during a diagnostic at that time you will be informed of your options and the total recovery cost.

  • Typically a hard drive, SSD, flash drive, or memory card will cost $175 for a diagnostic fee and $350-$1,900 for a data recovery project (labor, parts, and return media).
  • Typically an iPhone or Android phone will cost $250 for a diagnostic fee and $550-$2500 for a data recovery project (labor, parts and return media).

Data Transfer

Tier 0

If a hard drive comes to me with no hardware or software issues I can perform a data transfer. I charge the time to clone or transfer the data plus the return media cost.

Transfer data is usually simple, it can be time-consuming based on the amount of data or drives. I can often quote a project price equal to one or a few hours, and copy the data to a USB flash drive, external hard drive, or computer.

Tier 0 Cost is typically $150-250


Software or Logical Recovery

Tier 1 and 2

The software cases range from simple to moderately difficult. In these cases the hard drives, SSD’s or flash memory that have no hardware issues.

Tier 1 and Tier 2 covers deleted files, deleted folders. Drives that have been accidentally formatted with no new data written to it, or drives with some data written. These tiers also includes simple permissions issues or simple filesystem or partition corruption, RAW Recovery, lost partitions, and severely corrupted file systems fall in this range also.

Tier 1 and Tier 2 Cost $300-$1000


Difficult Hardware and Software Cases

Tier 3 

This tier covers time-consuming and complex software cases. It also covers hard drives with many bad sectors, hard drives requiring PCB (printed circuit boards) repair/replacement, firmware repair cases, and drives with stuck read-write heads that be used and do not require additional parts.

This tier covers USB and SD cards that have Damaged PCB Boards, Flash Memory, or USB Drives that have failed control chips, severely damaged PCBs that require directly accessing NAND Memory.

Tier 3 Cost is $500-$1,200 plus donor parts


Hardware Very Difficult

Tier 4

This tier is quoted for hard drives that have physical damage and or are not working. These cases require sourcing of parts and have a high complexity to complete. This level includes hard drives that require read/write head replacements, dropped hard drives, drives that require extensive firmware repair, hard drives that require mechanical internal repairs, and drives with multiple hardware issues. Also the high-density drives, known models requiring specific challenges, time-consuming projects, and drives that have contamination or hard drives that have been opened (exposing the platters), and drives requiring decontamination.

RAID Array Data Recovery and Monolith All In One Chips are included in this tier. “Monolithic” USB flash drives and SD cards have all the internal components of the device, including the “flash memory chip” and the “mass storage controller,” combined into one single chip. Previously it was easy to direct access to the underlying storage medium, monolithic devices are complex.

Tier 4Cost is $750-$1,800 plus donor parts


Extremely Complex

Tier 5

Extremely difficult cases are rarely quoted. This tier is for Extremely difficult, custom recovery solution’s, and any drives with smoke, water, fire damage, or other serve damage. This tier includes any case previously worked on and claimed to be “unrecoverable” by a reputable data recovery company. Complex virtual machine recovery, unusual file systems, and fragmented file recovery are also in tier 5. Advanced or nested RAID Formats Such As RAID 6, and RAID 60, proprietary RAID types in SAN units, and RAID Arrays with more than 8 drives. Last, are any large complex cases requiring custom programming, scripting, extensive research, and development also fall into this category.

Tier 5 Cost is $1,800+ plus donor parts


Cell Phone Recovery

iPhone and Android data recovery are complex and the cost is based on the case.

Cell Phone Recovery is $500-$2000 plus donor parts

Floppy, Optical Media, and Legacy Media

 If you do happen to need any floppy disk, optical media you can contact me, pricing varies.

Large Media

For large media (4TB+) there are additional costs in time and returned media.

Large Media Cost is $100+


Emergency Service and Rush Services

Emergency service means your case gets moved the the front of the line and is worked on as fast as possible

Emergency Service is $500+


Return Media

Return media prices are reflected in your final quote typical prices for 2023 for new external USB hard drives are: 1TB hard drive for $50, 2TB for $80, and a 4TB for $100, 8TB for $170, and 14TB for $259.

You are free to provide your own return media as long as it is a new sealed USB 3.0 drive and it has enough storage space.