What Does Data Recovery Cost? A Breakdown of Rates & Fees

What Does Data Recovery Cost Breakdown of Rates Fees Expenses

When your hard drive crashes and stops working, it can be a nightmare. Whether your personal files are at risk of being lost or your business data is on the line, you’re probably thinking: How much will data recovery cost me?

This page is dedicated to those interested in learning about every aspect that might go into determining the cost for data recovery. Although a home-remedy might work out for some data loss situations, we believe a specialist should recover your damaged files. Specialists have the most expertise and knowledge to guarantee a higher chance of successful data recovery. 

We will be clear about what you should expect from a data recovery company, whether you choose Proven Data or another credible data recovery company. 

As a data recovery service provider since 2011, we’ve seen data loss scenarios affect both the home computer user and large businesses. With thousands of successful data recovery cases under our belt, we understand there might be confusion on how a data recovery company provides a quote for your failing storage media device. If you lose access to cherished personal memories or business-critical data, it can be devastating and leave you with a feeling of uncertainty, especially if you can’t see the costs upfront.  

The data recovery industry is notorious for hiding their prices and not providing a transparent pricing structure. A trustable data recovery business should have an experienced data recovery engineer on call to clear up any confusion you may have about pricing.

We are here to educate and showcase how to calculate data recovery costs if you decide to move forward with data recovery services and the expenses you will incur for DIY data recovery. The rates and costs listed on this page apply to data storage devices such as: 

  • Server Data Recovery
  • RAID Data Recovery
  • Computer Data Recovery
  • SSD Data Recovery
  • Laptop Data Recovery
  • Computer Data Recovery
  • External Hard Drive Data Recovery
  • Internal Hard Drive  Data Recovery
  • Mac Data Recovery
  • SD Card Data Recovery
  • USB Drive Data Recovery
  • Camera Data Recovery

Is There a Flat-Rate Data Recovery Service?

During your research on the internet, you’ve probably tried to pinpoint an exact cost for data recovery. We understand that data loss victims are concerned about not finding any direct advertised prices on a company’s website with specific data recovery costs. Some businesses might advertise concrete prices, however, the quote you receive once they analyze your data loss situation might drastically change. There are several reasons why flat-rate data recovery services are rare:

  • Impossible to examine the drive remotely: It is impossible to properly diagnose a failing device from a remote location and provide an exact quote. Data recovery experts must have access to the device to use the assessment tools and technology in their lab to discover the problems your damaged drive is having.  
  • No “one-size-fits-all” solution: Data recovery can be a straightforward process or extremely complex, requiring extensive experience in the delicate operations needed to recover your data. Most data recovery experts work on an hourly basis, and their rate is $100-$300 an hour on average. If your broken hard drive requires parts, mechanical rebuilding, or advanced methods of recovery, the cost will be reflective of the extra work. A wide range of failures can occur making flat-rate pricing difficult.

Knowing the different types of data failure scenarios will give you a better understanding of the effort required to obtain your data from a data recovery engineer’s perspective.  

Types of Drive Failures That Determine Data Recovery Cost

Identifying the type of device failure will give you a more accurate picture of the damage and the costs & fees associated with data recovery. Is the drive making clicking, beeping, buzzing sounds? Does the computer recognize the external hard drive when it’s plugged in? Does it work intermittently, then disappear?

Mechanical Failure

You might know right away if there’s a mechanical failure with your hard drive or data storage device. These errors usually are loud, creaky, clanky sounds, and other noises that come from the drive because of physical damage.  

If you suspect your drive has experienced a  mechanical failure, turn it off immediately. Any further use of the damaged drive can result in irreversible damage to the internal components and may cause permanent file loss. By continuing to operate the device, you are significantly minimizing your chances of data recovery.

This type of device failure might require cleanroom care, where data recovery experts carefully reconstruct the failing components of the drive. Permanent data loss can occur if any dust or debris gets into the drive during this process which is why a controlled cleanroom environment is used to protect the internal components.

Logical Failure

Another drive failure that can occur is a logical failure. These types of failures might be less evident than mechanical ones because they occur as a result of operating system or file corruption in the disk drive. Complications in the software and other issues may arise such as:

  • Directory damage
  • Formatting issues
  • Accidental file deletion

A logical failure might also exhibit problems where the hard drive fails to boot or read certain partitions. 

Malware or Ransomware

You may be a victim of ransomware or other malware that can potentially damage the hard drive and files. Common signs of ransomware or malware in data loss scenarios include: 

  • Deletion of files
  • Ransom note on the desktop
  • Changed file extensions
  • Locked files or data

Ransomware recovery services can help you understand the process of recovering your data if it is related to locked files or malware. 

Logical, Firmware & Mechanical Drive Failures

In a perfect storm, hard drive failure can have all types of failures. This scenario presents a challenge because a business or a home user might be unaware of the extent of the damage to their device.

Devices that have experienced logical, firmware, and mechanical damage are likely subjected to higher recovery fees by a data recovery company. 

Logical, Firmware, & Mechanical Drive Issues
Logical, Firmware, & Mechanical Drive Issues

What Does a Cleanroom Cost?

The expense of building a cleanroom for a data recovery laboratory location is significant. A cleanroom is an investment taken by a data recovery company to ensure a professional atmosphere during the data recovery process. Cleanroom upkeep can be a time consuming and costly process, but it is necessary to provide a high chance of hard drive data recovery.

The average cost for a clean room in data recovery is around $375 per square foot of ISO laboratory.

Data Recovery Clean Room Lab Costs
Data Recovery Clean Room Lab Costs, via Compass International Inc.

Does a Data Recovery Company Charge a Per-Gigabyte Fee?

The size of your hard drive and how much data needs to be recovered will impact the cost for recovery. 

This does not mean that data recovery is based on a per-gigabyte basis. The main driver for data recovery cost is the hours spent on your case & how much time a data recovery engineer allocates. The engineering time might be consistent, but the machine running time (time the data recovery machines take to diagnose) may vary. 

For example, your data recovery quote might not change much if you have a broken hard drive between 50 gigabytes or 200 gigabytes storage. If you were recovering many terabytes worth of data, you should expect the recovery charges to be higher. It is helpful for you to understand that the cost is largely dependent on both the hours of machine recovery and engineering time.

Part of the data recovery process includes placing your recovered files onto a new drive, which will be an expense factored into the quote. If the size of the data set is larger, this may impact the cost.

How Quickly Will It Take To Recover Damaged Drive?

Most data recovery service providers will have different tiers of turnaround time, depending on how quickly you need your files recovered. These can range from standard to emergency level, and the exact business days may differ between companies. 

If you need to recover the data in the fastest possible way, you can expect a much higher cost since the recovery experts will be working on your case with the highest priority.

Clients often ask if it is possible to speed up the hard drive. It is important to note that data recovery engineers are at the mercy of the drive and cannot change the hard drive’s speed. For this reason, be prepared for some recoveries to take longer than others.

How Much Does It Cost to Recover Data From a Hard Drive?

Basic hard drive data recovery costs average between $100 and $700 based on these factors. This price typically depends on the severity of damage and what is required to reach the point of data extraction. The hard drive data recovery cost might reach an advanced stage if the hard drive:

  • Failed mechanically
  • Experienced an electrical failure
  • Experienced a firmware failure
  • Experienced a combination of multiple failures
  • Requires clean room attention and the most advanced data recovery techniques

Data recovery companies often have levels of failure classifications such as basic, standard, or advanced. These classifications will help you better understand the severity of the damaged drive and what to expect for your data recovery case. 

If your broken hard drive needs advanced recovery, you should expect the average cost of data recovery to be between $700 – $2,000.

Can I Recover The Data On My Own?

You might be exploring your own DIY data recovery for your personal files from a broken hard drive or data storage device. We caution you that a DIY solution for data recovery is extremely risky and can result in permanent, irreversible data loss.

If you are feeling brave and want to explore recovering the data on your own, you will need to determine what type of drive failure (see above) and the extent of the hard drive damage you have. Out in the wild, there is a lot of free data recovery software and resources available that can help give you pointers and guidance about how you might be able to recover the files on your own. You might be looking for advice to fix your own broken hard drive to save money (instead of using a data recovery service). 

Some of the expenses you may incur while recovering your data include

  • Data recovery software
  • Precision tools for fixing mechanical failure hard drive 
  • Imaging hardware & extra data storage
  • Cleanroom equipment or a data recovery hood

Data recovery is a delicate procedure that requires years of experience and training with many different data recovery operations. We want you to make the most informed decision on what data recovery route has the best chance of success for you.

Can you recover the data on your own?
Can you recover the data on your own?

Why Is Data Recovery So Expensive?

Data recovery services might seem unusually expensive. However, the services available for recovering lost files, deleted files, and broken hard drives provide a specialized service to ensure your data has the highest chances of being restored.

Additionally, a reputable data recovery company will budget for new processes and technology in their research and development. Budgeting for the most modern technology and techniques used to recover broken drives or files ensures that data recovery success rates are high.

Some of the main factors in data recovery costs are:

  • Expert labor by the hour
  • Replacement parts
  • Quality guarantee
  • Professional-grade imaging equipment (hardware and software)
  • Safe & protected laboratory location

What Do I Do Now With My Damaged Drive?

Now that you have a better understanding of the various factors that contribute to data recovery costs for your damaged drive, you can make an informed decision on your next step. If you decide to recover your data on your own, keep in mind the inherent risks associated with DIY data recovery. The first attempt in data recovery is critical, and each improper data recovery attempt can result in permanent damage to your files. 

Proven Data has real, friendly & accessible data recovery services that work closely with you to ensure we meet the highest standards. Our data recovery rate is over 97% because we follow industry-leading data recovery procedures.

Data loss can leave you with a feeling of uncertainty. Trusting the right data recovery specialist from the beginning can make all the difference in safely returning your critical data.

Submit a case on our website if you are looking to get started with a data recovery project or have any questions!

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