Hard Drive Recovery FAQ

Why Do Hard Drives Fail?

Normal Use – Hard drives have components that can wear down over time. The read/write heads, spindle, and actuator assembly are particularly sensitive. Also, electronics circuits, individual chips, or can fail. These failures cause the drive from interfacing with your computer.

Physical Damage – I get a ton of dropped drives. Dropped drives need special help. These drives have hardware damage most of the time and should under no circumstances be run in a failed state. Running a dropped drive in a failed state means powering it on or letting it spin up. 

Other than Failed or Physically Damaged Hard Drives What can be Wrong?

Disks can be accidentally formatted, virus attacks, user error, lost partitions, Operating System or file corruption can also occur and cause data loss. The options are almost endless.

How Much Does Data Recovery Cost?

In most cases, I charge a data recovery diagnostic fee of $175 flat rate per hard drive (4TB or under) for standard service. The diagnostic covers me seeing what is wrong with the drive including the reason for the failure and lets me give you a quote for the total cost for recovery, the chance of success with an estimated completion time.

For emergency service, rush service, onsite service, RAID, TIER5 services, obscure/legacy formats, and drives larger than 4TB I charge an upfront flat rate fee determined by the complexity and time estimate to get a recovery for the case.

What Factors Affect Recovery Cost?

The main factors that determine the recovery cost of a hard drive are:

  • What is wrong with the drive and caused it to initially fail
  • The hard drive’s brand, model
  • Are donor parts needed, and if so what and how many parts sets
  • How long with the job takes

Other factors such as drive format, the total capacity of the drive, the total size of all data on the drive have little to no impact on the cost for most cases.

How Long Does the Process Take?

Typically anywhere from days to over a month depending on the complexity of your case, if parts need to be sourced, the number of other cases I am working and if you chose Emergency/Rush Service, Priority Services, or the more cost-efficient standard service.

How is my Data Returned?

For the majority of cases, I return data on a new USB 3.0 external hard drive. If the data is a small amount it can go on 128 GB or smaller flash drives.  Your return media options may vary depending on the size of your recovered files. For local customers, I make a trip and return your failed drive and new return media. For customers outside the Capital Region, I mail your failed drive and new return media by UPS, USPS, or FedEx.

How Can I get My Hard Drive to You?

If you are in the Capital Region I can pick up your drive and answer all questions in person from your home or business. If you are outside the Capital Region you can mail me your hard drive.

If I am outside New York, How should I mail you my Drive?

Mail your drive via UPS, FedEx, or USPS and email me a tracking number. To safely send your hard disk to Eric’s Computer Services, place it in an anti-static bag and tape the bag closed.  You can find anti-static bags at most electronics stores. I will provide you all the details you need once you contact me.

Please wrap your drive in a few layers of bubble wrap. If you are mailing multiple drives please wrap them each individually. Please do not use foam or popcorn to pack the drive, as this will cause static electricity problems.

Place the drive in a shipping box that is appropriately size and make sure there are at least 2 inches of padding on all sides of the drive. Make sure the drive is secure inside the box> Do not allow any room for it to move or shake loosely. If it does place additional bubble wrap or packing material to stop it from moving around.

If you need to ship a whole computer, laptop, NAS, RAID array, or another device, get help from a shipping company also there will be additional return shipping charges.

What is your Success Rate?

It varies by the case, what is wrong with the drive and type of media but overall about 95% of drives I get are fully recoverable or near fully recoverable (95-99% of data). I always provide an accurate diagnostic and try to identify and issues with your case before starting.

Do you keep a copy of my data?

I offer to keep no data and turn everything over to you once the recovery is complete with the data on new media or multiple drives, or keep your data up to a maximum of 30 so you can get it backed up and guard against any unexpected events.

Why should I choose Eric’s Computer Services?

I have been in business and offering professional data recovery since 2003. I offer the best data recovery in the Capital Region and specialize in hard drive recovery. In most of my cases ~70% are internal, or external hard drives. For local clients’ I also offer on-site support with getting a data backup solution after a data loss, whether you use my recovery services or not.

Additionally, I list a few of the companies I publicity have helped in the past on my main service page, and for some cases, I publish case studies on individual hard drive recoveries.