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We at Discount Computer Peripherals, Inc. sell hard drives but do not perform any data recovery services.
Therefore to help our customers needs we have scanned the Internet for the most valuable information on the data recovery process and selection of a data recovery company. Note: we do not recommend any particular data recovery company.
Click on, contact, and compare as many of the data recovery companies advertised until you are comfortable with one particular company to perform your data recovery. For your convenience we have organized a list by State and City at the bottom of this page.
You can bookmark this page in your favorites to look for other data recovery companies to contact.
Throughout this article on data recovery we refer to data recovery on a " hard drive ".
If you need data recovery of another type of media like DVD, CD, tape etc.. simply substitute it for the phrase " hard drive " in most places.
Here is a list of some of the things to do or not do if your hard drive fails.
- Do not try to repair the hard drive yourself by opening the case or replacing the circuit board. Exposing the hard drive media to unfiltered air or other contamination can cause unrepairable damage. Installing the wrong version or firmware revision PC board can completely wipeout some or all the data on the hard drive making data recovery impossible.
- Do not re-install the operating system on the failed hard drive as you will lose all the data.
- Do not try free or shareware data recovery software as these can make the problem much worse.
- Do not bang or shake the hard drive as this could cause permanent un-repairable internal damage.
- Be very careful when removing the hard drive from the computer. Put it in an anti-static bag or anti-static container and secure it snugly in a foam filled box. Most people do not realize how extremely fragile hard drives are.
There are at least six types of hard drive failure.
1) Computer virus presenting itself as or causing file, boot, index or hard drive failure –
See our webpage here on software to fix computer viruses.
2) Logical file, index, RAID, SQL, or boot sector corruption - Only repairable by a
qualified data recovery or IT professional.
3) Sectors or blocks on the hard drive that have become physically inaccessible – Bad
sectors or blocks can be mapped out but the data that was in those bad areas may or may not be recoverable.
4) The firmware stored on the hard drive has become corrupt. The hard drives of today
store boot up and operating firmware both on the PC board and the hard drive itself. The firmware stored on the hard drive can become corrupted due to sudden power loss, motherboard failure etc.. – in most cases this can easily be fixed by a qualified data recovery company with little or no data loss.
5) Physical failure of the hard drive - If the motor, head mechanism, or pc board inside
the hard drive has failed it is possible to replace the bad part or relocate the media to an identical hard drive if one can be found. Ask your data recovery company to contact us first for compatible hard drives. If the read/write heads have touched or crashed the media surface too much, the data in the scratched area is probably lost forever and data recovery of that section of, or the entire media is unlikely.
6) Failure of the PC board - A qualified Data Recovery professional can usually find a compatible PC board and repair the drive with no or only minor data loss. Note: Many variables are involved in finding a compatible PC board such as firmware revision, drive revision, manufacture date, OEM it was made for etc.. not just any board from the same drive model number can be used. Ask your data recovery company to contact us first for compatible PC boards
Some questions to ask a Data Recovery Company
- How long has the company, and technician(s) who will work on your drive, been
providing Data Recovery Services ?
- Will the work be performed in-house or outsourced to another company?
- Does the company provide references you can contact or via signed affidavits?
- Can the company provide on site or on line data recovery?
- What is the usual time it takes to recover data on your type of drive with your version of operating system?
- Does the Data Recovery Company provide a security guarantee that no employees will use, sell, copy etc.. any of the data on your hard drive?
Note: Most people do not realize how much private information, like passwords, financial data, personal data, pictures, etc.. are on a hard drive.
- What exactly is the breakdown of costs involved in the data recovery process?
- Up front non-refundable costs, even if no data is recovered?
- Will you be notified of the estimated cost before any work is performed or is
going to exceed a predetermined price limit?
- How is the final cost calculated? Flat fee, price per hour, and what is the mark up
on parts purchased for repair etc..
- Will the Data Recovery company provide a list of the files recovered or show a screen shot of a restored operating system or program before being paid?
- How will the recovered data be returned? Original hard drive, DVD, CD etc..
How to avoid losing your data in the future to a hard drive failure ?
Backup your hard drive data frequently !!
See our page on backing up data here !!
Note: these are only some of the questions, answers and solutions possible for data recovery. We do not perform any data recovery and are not experts by any means on the subject. Please consult the wikipedia page here http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Data_recovery for more information before contracting with a data recovery service.