What’s Wrong With Cheap Data Recovery?

by admin

At Tierra Data Recovery we understand everyone would like good cheap data recovery.  Unfortunately like so many things in life – you get what you pay for.  That’s why we provide affordable professional data recovery.

Beware of companies that offer low entry prices just to get your drive.  Once they have it the costs can escalate and you can end up with a much larger bill than you expected.  Below we explain that if you use cheap data recovery you can be putting your data at risk. If you value your data – use a professional data recovery company.  Call us on 0800 999 4447 or email [email protected]

When people looking for cheap data recovery first approach a professional data recovery company they are often surprised by the cost of getting the data back from their ailing hard drive. A common question we hear is:

Why shouldn’t I go to the company that only charges £99?

The purpose of this short article is to answer that question and explain why the cost of professional quality is necessarily higher.

So what do we do that Mr. £99 Cheap Data Recovery doesn’t?

  1. We forensically clone the drive as soon as we receive it and all subsequent work is carried out on that clone. This is vital as by far the most common physical failure for any type of hard drive is a failing media surface (also known as bad sectors). A hard drive will lose access to more and more of its storage sectors over its lifetime. Each hard drive is designed to cope with a certain number of bad sectors but once this amount has been exceeded every additional lost sector occurs within the user data and once this stage is reached the spread of bad sectors rises rapidly with the use of the drive.

Sadly Mr. £99 Cheap Data Recovery will typically thrash such a drive by repeated scanning of the original failing drive using recovery software and thereby causing more and more of these sectors to become permanently and irretrievably inaccessible and losing more and more of your data. It is a scenario that we are all too familiar with as we are often sent the pitiful husks of hard drives after such a thrashing. It can be very frustrating both for us and the end user to note that had the step of cloning the drive been carried out then most, if not all of the user data could have been saved.

In fairness to Mr. £99 Cheap Data Recovery it has to be said – he is only charging £99. Cloning a drive (especially a physically failing one) is a very time consuming business. The typical 500GB drive can literally take 24 hours+ to clone because, in order to avoid thrashing the hard drive and adding unnecessarily to the number of lost sectors, we must clone around the damaged areas of the drive and this takes time and a lot of human intervention. Very difficult to spend this amount of time on the first step of recovery when your total price for the job is £99.

  1. The equipment, knowledge and experience required to recover data from a physically failing drive is esoteric and expensive to acquire, there isn’t a credible data recovery company around that doesn’t spend a serious amount of time researching. Hard drive manufacturers do not publish much in the way of technical information and so the knowledge of how to match a suitable set of read/write heads from a donor drive is achieved through research and experience (unfortunately a simple matching of hard drive model is nowhere near close enough to provide suitable parts). Similarly, knowledge about the operation and repair of hard drive firmware (essentially a miniature operating system stored on the hard drive and used by the drive in order to get itself up and running) is hard won and expensive to achieve. Ask Mr. £99 Cheap Data Recovery to recover data from your “clicking” hard drive and his response will be revealing.
  2. An often ignored but essential stage of the data recovery procedure is the verification of the files that have been rescued.

You Won’t Get This From Cheap Data Recovery

A typical recovery will consist of tens if not hundreds of thousands of individual files. How do you know that they have been recovered intact? A typical JPEG photograph will consist of between 200 and 2,000 sectors worth of data read from your hard drive, if just one of these is corrupt in the recovered file then the image is ruined.

A professional data recovery company will spend many hours previewing the recovered data to ensure its integrity. It will also provide screenshots of recovered files rather than simple file listings. In order to acquire the file listing for a defective drive it is only necessary to read the file table on that drive, this represents a tiny amount of the information stored and sadly the existence of a file in the file table does not mean that the file itself exists in a coherent state. If the data that you need back is easily demonstrable (such as documents or photographs etc) then never part with money on the basis of a file listing alone. Any reliable data recovery company should also offer you the opportunity to request screenshots showing files of your choice. You simply won’t get this if you waste your time with cut-price cut-service operators.

contact sheets like this are not available with cheap data recovery

An example of a file recovery preview contact sheet showing the name size and date of each photograph

Tierra Data Recovery File Preview Example

An example of a screenshot demonstrating the recovery of some documents

You Get What You Pay For

So, in essence it’s the old story- you get what you pay for. It’s common sense, there is a limit to what Mr. £99 Cheap Data Recovery can do for the money. Time is money and he has very little room to turn a profit. So ask yourself – which corners is he cutting? If you truly value your data, use a proven professional data recovery company and don’t let yourself down with cheap data recovery.

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