This is the story of the death of my hard drive, and its subsequent effects on my life. One long and stormy night, I was intently working away on my latest crime drama novel. As I so cleverly began typing on the last page, “All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy”, suddenly, my computer screen went dark. I wondered, “Did my joke about Jack bring some malevolent spirit to kill my computer?”
Alas, as humorous as this may sound, hard drive disasters are no joke. Every week, 140,000 hard drives crash in the US alone. 6% of all computers will suffer an episode of data loss yearly. Given the amount of computers used by businesses, this 6% translates to approximately 4.6 million losses of data. Some hard drive brands are particularly susceptible to failure. 60% of companies that lost their data, will shut their doors within 6 months of the disaster. The staggering cost of this loss comes in at over 20 billion dollars. With shocking statistics like these, it only illustrates the dependency we have on our computers.
Let me first begin by saying, if you don’t have a system in place right now that backs up your data, whether done by an outside vendor, or a systematic data backup that you personally do. It is time to initiate one into place.
If it is too late for you, and your hard drive has died, it is time to consider your options. Recently, do it yourself tools and tips – thanks to the vast amount of information available on the internet – have surfaced as a means to help you personally recover your hard drive. However, the problem with this is, hard drives are not typical pieces of electronic equipment. Given their complexity, it is not impossible to believe that something will eventually go wrong. Most people don’t even understand how a hard drive and its components work in the first place.
I am going to be frank with you, I personally don’t know how they work either. What I do know is, recovery is best left in the hands of a qualified professional. The downside to this option is the price involved to recover the hard drive. Shop around and find someone who will first, diagnose the drive, essentially taking a look at it and giving you an idea of what has gone wrong and how much it will cost to fix it. Many companies have a “no fix” guarantee where you don’t pay unless they are able to recover it.
If it’s a loss of data due to your own human error, you can check out some resources online as to how to recover it. In the event the hard drive experiences a mechanical problem, it is highly likely you will need to give it to a professional to oversee its repair and recovery. And it might be well worth the price. Shop around and find someone that will work for you.
Find a Cheap Data Recovery Service and Avoid Being Taken for a Ride
If you’ve ever experienced a hard drive failure, you know how devastating it can be. Months, sometimes years of hard work— Poof. Gone.
Of course, computer repair shops also know this pain well. So well in fact, that they’ve learned to capitalize on it. When you come into a computer shop with your ill-fated machine, you’re ready to believe anything.
“Make it work again!” you cry, “I just need my files back!”
If the data on your computer is critical, you will likely pay any amount to have it recovered. However, a little patience can go a long way. While it may feel like the world is crashing down around you, taking a moment to breathe can save you from losing your mind— and your life’s savings.
Think about it. By walking into a computer store upset and desperate for a solution, you’re broadcasting a powerful message. You’re essentially saying, “Hey, take my money. What ever it costs, I’ll pay it.”
Smelling your desperation, any salesman worth his salt is going to seize this opportunity and quote you a sky-high rate.
However, if you’re able to keep a level head about you, it can pay to weigh your options. An informed customer is harder to manipulate. Instead of rushing down to the nearest herd of nerds, try the library instead. From there, you can access a working computer and do some research.
The first thing to look at is the average price for data recovery. You will likely find a range of prices. But keep in mind that some of the most outrageous prices are for only the most severe problems.
Spend a little time learning what these problems are. Every hard drive failure is not created equal. If you can get some idea of the terminology used by data recovery professionals, you will be much better equipped when you return to the store.
It’s also a good idea to look for an alternative to your closest tech shop. Sometimes, just the mention of a competitor’s name is enough to bring your quoted cost down to a more affordable level.
Some mail-in services are so inexpensive that they’ve become household names in the recovery industry. When your technician gives you a quote for recovery services, drop one of these names into the conversation. You may find his “best price” quickly dropping to match this other company.
Of course, if you aren’t keen on negotiating, why bother in the first place? Looking around online you’ll see lots of companies offering low-cost data recovery. These companies are able to offer rock-bottom prices that other shops just can’t match.
The reason for this is twofold.
Firstly, these companies specialize in data recovery and only data recovery. They don’t have to maintain large inventories of additional products like the Apple store or Best Buy. This brings down their overhead and allows them to spend their revenue strictly on equipment that helps them do their job.
The second reason that some companies can offer such cheap data recovery is their mail-in business model. Instead of wasting money renting a store in a high-traffic area, these companies can operate in less expensive areas of town. The savings are then passed down to their customers in the form of incredibly low costs.
But whether you decide to send your hard drive to one of these specialists or you want to work with a traditional brick and mortar store, the underlying principle is this: cheap data recovery is out there, if you’re willing to do a little work. You’ll either need to negotiate down to a better price, or research a company that charges below the competition.
Either way, make sure that the next time your hard drive takes a tumble, you aren’t stuck with a bill you can’t afford.