Did you know?

When you delete a file from your computer, it doesn’t just disappear. The contents are still there, but the file’s space will be marked as “not important” or “free.”
Your file will only be lost if it is overwritten by another file – before that, it is possible to retrieve the deleted file.

How does Data Recovery work?

…and what dictates the cost?

Are you one of those people who will hoard images and videos on a single device, hoping nothing bad happens, but mostly just not thinking about it? If so, you have a lot of likeminded people around you.

Most of us live with frail hope that our valuable data will always be at an arm’s reach – but I, typing this from a computer repair shop, can tell you that illusion can get broken real quick. 

For simplicity’s sake, let’s just talk about images for now. How do your pictures get damaged in the first place?

Before we get there, take a look at how images are stored on a device: your picture is broken up into pixels, each little square defined by a color code, which in turn gets converted into ones and zeroes. 

This procedure allows your computer to recreate and display it correctly. 

What can go wrong with...

  • Damaged Surface

    Since the hard drive works mechanically, aka the writing hand is moving over its big platter, magnetizing little blocks of 0s and 1s, it’s easy to bump into the hand and make it scratch the surface. About your pictures – they are now all messed up, and unreadable.

Think of a vinyl record playing – if the needle that follows the grooves digs too deep, it will damage the groove pattern, and the vinyl can start sounding off.
That’s exactly how it works with hard drives. There is a little needle at the end of the arm, and if your HDD gets bumped when it’s in the process of reading or writing, it will damage the storage blocks.

  • Faulty or misaligned read/write arm

    Sometimes the arm (officially called the actuator) can stop functioning correctly and start to reset itself over and over, being unable to read or write and rendering your HDD useless.
    The resetting might cause a clicking sound, which is never a good sign – it means the hand is not working correctly, and in the worst-case scenario, it’s also damaging the drive’s surface.

  • Wear and tear

    The older a mechanical part gets, the more likely it is to have issues. The same thing with hard drives – they are just more likely to start having problems with the hand getting misaligned or not being able to reset.

What can go wrong with...

A Solid State Drive (or a USB/flash drive) a  doesn’t have moving parts. Instead, it relies on charges being stored in little blocks that get logically accessed (meaning you don’t need to painstakingly go over every file until you find yours, but you can access it from wherever).

  • Power surge or outage

    Since an SSD requires power and uses capacitors, it is vulnerable to power fluctuations. When you experience an unexpected power outage or surge, your SSD might corrupt data already on your drive. The easiest solution to avoid this is to get a surge protector, keep your laptop sufficiently charged and use a battery backup for a desktop. 

  • Bad blocks

    Every block in the SSD has a certain amount of read/write cycles. If the cycles are nearing their limit, the block will become unusable. Issues arise when you start to have many bad blocks, so the SSD has a hard time figuring out where to write new data. Bad blocks often cause Blue Screens of Death or errors of being unable to read or write. They might also corrupt your files, so your images, for example, cannot be read anymore.

What dictates data recovery pricing?

  • Logical data recovery:
    Our first option is to use software to recover data. Many free options are available, but – you get what you pay for. Many of them only recover a small portion of data for free, or simply withhold functionality to entice to buy.

    At PRO, we use professional-grade data recovery tools to find deleted or corrupt data blocks and piece them together like a puzzle. Software data recovery is a hit-or-miss, so we offer a no data, no charge policy for our software data recovery.

    Our SSD and HDD recovery rates start from $179, data recovery from SD cards and USB flash drives starts from $99 and depends on the amount of data that needs to be recovered.

  • Mechanically damaged drive data recovery:
    This type of data recovery is more expensive than software recovery because it is much more laborious. The drive is taken apart in a cleanroom, meaning an area that is meticulously clean, at a specific moisture level, etc. Since a small speckle of dust can damage the data, it’s essential to keep it ultra-clean.

    Then, we repair the drive. If that’s successful, the pieces will be put together with software once again.

The takeaway

Try to take precautions with your device, such as not moving your laptop or bumping into your desktop when it’s on, and it has a hard drive installed. You also shouldn’t allow your computer to be exposed to temperature fluctuations (bad for the SSD!) and always double-check before deleting anything permanently.

If you accidentally deleted data or your drive/USB flash drive/SD card does not show any data, all is not lost. Bring it in our shop where we can diagnose it for free and let you know if we can retrieve data from it.