So you’ve got a failed hard drive or other media and you’re thinking about recovery and want a cost estimate. This article will explain what you can expect to pay at a typical data recovery company, and how you can get good service for a reasonable price. We’ll also discuss some pitfalls that you should avoid which could result in paying exorbitant rates for data recovery, or worse yet end up losing your data permanently. It’s no small matter choosing a company to entrust your data to, so there’s a balance to find between cost savings and quality of service.
How Much Should a Data Recovery Cost Estimate Be?
The fact is, it really all depend on the situation. However the really simple answer is that for a typical hard drive the cost of data recovery should be between $300-$1,200. Rarely should anyone be paying more than that, even with a top notch professional data recovery company. However there are companies out there, generally the big brand name ones who still want you to think that data recovery estimates should be in the thousands of dollars every time. Some charge a minimum circa $800, even if there’s nothing wrong with the drive’s hardware, and can go up to two or three thousand dollars fast. Here’s a pretty typical pricing structure that you should see at any legitimate data recovery company.
- Logical Recovery | $250 – $500
- These are the drives that have nothing wrong with the hardware, but rather are just corrupted in their file structure or perhaps have a few bad sectors causing them to be unstable.
- Tier 1 | $300 – $700
- If your HDD stopped responding, but is still spinning up and isn’t making any odd noises, or has just entirely stopped spinning there’s a good chance the data recovery cost estimate will fall within this pricing tier.
- Tier 2 | $650 – $1200
- If your hard drive needs any clean room work, it’ll fall within this tier level. Generally you can assume that if your HDD is clicking, beeping/chirping, or clicks then spins down it’ll be in this price range.
- Tier 3 | $800 – $2000
- These are the really hard cases that data recovery companies really don’t even want. Often despite the high quotes companies (including ours) lose money on this tier level. Also it may include cases where the recovery is unlikely to succeed and the potential payout must meet the high risk factor.
Here’s a few reputable companies pricing pages you can reference: Our Pricing | Providence, RI USA Recovery Force | Guelph, Ontario Canada Data Savers LLC | Atlanta, GA USA If you’re being quoted far higher than what you’re seeing here, you’re probably being ripped off.
Pitfalls to Avoid When Getting a Data Recovery Cost Estimate
There are certain pitfalls to avoid when getting a data recovery cost estimate. I’ve listed a few below:
- Flat Rate Data Recovery Places – There are companies who advertise flat rate data recovery usually around the $300 range or below. While these companies aren’t all entirely incompetent, they are limited in what they can do. There’s no one out there doing clean room work for $300/drive. Simply put the costs associated with the work are much higher than that. So most often they only accept the easier jobs and then either tell the customer it’s “unrecoverable” or refer it out to a more expensive lab for the work.
- Extremely Cheap Data Recovery – You’ll find no shortage of places offering things like $99 recovery online. Don’t fall for it, it’s most often a scam and you won’t get your money back when they fail to recover you data. Also avoid the local guys who are charging something like $175 for data recovery. Most are doing nothing more than run some cheap or even free data recovery software against a drive that likely shouldn’t be subjected to that. We see cases all to often where a well meaning tech at one of these places pushed it too far and made data recovery impossible.
- Brand Name Companies – You know the guys you’re referred to by Best Buy or the Apple Genius Bar. While these are legitimate and quality companies, they are also wicked expensive. Often their minimum quote is more than the maximum you’ll pay from another less known data recovery firm.
- Companies With High Evaluation Fees – It’s a sad fact that there are a percentage of cases where the data is simply gone and no team of engineers in the world would be able to recover it. So if you go to a place charging $100 or even $200 for evaluation, then you might be just throwing away money. Most reputable data recovery companies will either provide the evaluation and data recovery cost estimate completely free, or for a reasonable charge like $30. Other companies will only require that you approve their minimum cost before doing the evaluation and providing the cost estimate.
Need A Data Recovery Cost Estimate Right Now?
Feel free to contact us and speak with a technician. We can consider the specific details of your case and let you know what you should be paying for data recovery service in most cases. Or if you’ve been quoted a high price for recover, send us over the info and we’ll see if you’re being ripped off.
Nice post about the data recovery cost estimate!