A crashed hard drive is an instant migraine.
Whether it causes you to lose hours of sales analysis or treasured personal photos, the hardware failure is as painful as it is infuriating.
If you’re fortunate enough to have data recovery software, the suffering might be short-lived. However, if not, you would soon be asking yourself how much data backup services typically cost. In truth, it’s tricky to paint an accurate picture of the cost of these types of IT services.
The quote depends on the precise nature of the problem, the volume of data requiring recovery, and whether you have any data backup in place (or if the data backup services provider has to start from scratch). That said, while we may not be able to give you a concrete data recovery cost, we can give you an idea of what to expect.
Let’s start by running through the issues that incur a cost.
What Determines The Data Recovery Cost?
The best way to determine the possible cost is to look at the type of drive failure you’ve encountered. Even if you’re not a computer expert, there are a few simple ways to make an educated guess.
Start by answering the following questions:
- Is the drive making an odd sound? If yes, you’re likely facing a mechanical failure.
- Does an external hard drive work when plugged in? If yes, you may have a local logical failure.
- Does your computer crash when you try to start it up? If yes, you may have fallen victim to malware or ransomware.
Each of the above will involve different fixes with variable costs. To help you better describe the issue to your preferred IT services provider, here’s some more detail on the different failure types.
A mechanical failure is the easiest to spot. Your computer will start to make the dreaded creaking or whirring noises, which are often associated with the hard drive overheating; or struggling due to physical damage.
If you suspect mechanical failure, turn your device off immediately. Leaving it on only risks further damage, which could result in irreversible failure and permanent file loss. With the device turned off, you give your IT services company a fighting chance of recovering the data.
They’ll just have to remove the hard drive, replace the broken components, and hopefully salvage as much of the precious cargo as possible.
Logical failures are less evident than mechanical failures. They can result from an issue with the device’s operating system; or, there may be a corrupt file in the disk drive. If you’re not a computer expert, you’re unlikely to be able to identify the precise cause, but be careful: a logical failure can also result in:
- Accidental file deletion
- Formatting issues
- Directory damage
An IT support professional will be able to help you spot the problem and avoid any of the above from happening.
Malware or Ransomware
The other common causes of data loss are malware and ransomware. Computer viruses can infect a computer, damage the hard drive, and corrupt files, ultimately resulting in a combination of mechanical and logical failures. While the malware itself can be hard to spot, common signs of infection include:
- Random file deletion
- A locked screen (with a request to pay a ransom)
- Inaccessible data
If you suspect you’ve fallen victim to malware or ransomware, contact your cyber security services provider immediately. Only they’ll be able to eliminate the threat and safeguard your data.
How Much Does It Cost to Recover Data From a Hard Drive?
Whether you’ve hit a mechanical or logical failure, or have malware on your device, your best hope of recovering your data is your hard drive — but what will it cost?
You should expect to pay anywhere between $100 and $700 for basic data recovery, assuming the damage isn’t too severe. If your hard drive has completely failed or is corrupted with particularly malicious malware, the costs could rise exponentially. To get an idea of the expected costs, ask your IT support provider to assess the nature of the problem and classify it as basic, standard, or advanced.
The further up the scale you fall, the higher your costs will be.
Why Can’t I Find A Flat-Rate Data Recovery Service?
If you’re still scratching your head and asking why we haven’t given a straight-up cost estimate, it’s because it’s just not possible until we’ve dug around your device.
Ideally, we need to do two things before we can quote:
- Examine the hard drive: until we’ve examined your hard drive, we can’t tell what’s wrong. And if it’s corrupted, it’s risky to try to diagnose the issue remotely. The best way to understand what’s wrong is to let a qualified IT professional assess the drive in person using the appropriate diagnostic tools.
- Determine the ideal fix: there is no ‘one-size-fits-all’ data recovery solution. That’s why data recovery software has to cover so many potential failures. If your problem is mechanical, we’ll have to account for the cost of new hardware; whereas if the issue is logical, perhaps we already have the necessary software to carry out the fix. As we hope you now see, we can only know the cost once we’ve determined the ideal solution.
We realize people want specifics. But where data loss is concerned, there are too many variables to give an accurate picture without further details. Whatever costs you find online will only surge once more information becomes apparent, so… what’s the best advice we can offer today?
Find a trusted data backup services provider and take things from there.
Looking for IT support? Give Mid-coast Tech a call on 207-223-7594 for some free, no-obligation advice.