Understanding the Factors That Affect Pricing
What does a new car cost? What’s the price of a house in your area? How much do I have to spend on a new pair of shoes? How much will data recovery cost my business? There’s no single, correct answer to any of those questions. How do you respond if someone asks you a question like this? Most people would say “It all depends.” There are too many variables, and an exact answer isn’t possible, or even logical. But, you can provide a range of prices: A basic subcompact car is less than $15,000, whereas the sky’s the limit on a large luxury vehicle with a window sticker showing six figures. The same pricing scenario applies to data recovery cost.
Depending on the type of problem you have, the cost of recovering lost data can be a few hundred to several thousand dollars. “It all depends.”
What to do when you think you’ve lost data on your computer or external drive…
First, let’s assess the problem. There are three levels of severity:
Level 1: You’ve accidentally deleted files, but your device is working properly and you can access all your other files.
Level 2: There is a logical failure with your device. This is a non-mechanical problem (no hardware is damaged or broken) that prevents you from accessing most or all of your files.
Level 3: Something is physically damaged. Maybe you dropped your laptop on a hard floor or spilled coffee on it.
Level 1: Accidental Deletion of Files
If you delete a file and then empty your trash bin, you might think you have permanently deleted the file. It’s very likely your file is still on your computer or drive. But don’t add or move any other files until you resolve the problem.
A deleted file remains stored on your device, but you just can’t see it. A deleted file is recoverable unless you create new data that can overwrite the deleted file. There are many file recovery applications available for free or at a reasonable price.
Consult with an IT professional before installing or using any data recovery software on your devices. If a do-it-yourself app doesn’t solve your problem, call on a professional data recovery provider, who can recover your data from a computer with a hard disk drive (HDD) or a solid-state drive (SSD).
Data recovery services can retrieve your data on any storage device, including external hard drives, SD and microSD memory cards (such as the one in a camera), USB flash drives (thumb drives), and internal drives in mobile phones, tablets and cameras. Depending on the complexity of your issue, these professional services may cost less than $300.
“But I only lost one file. Shouldn’t that cost less to recover?” No, sorry. The cost of recovery does not usually depend on the amount of data needing to be recovered. It takes a professional just as much time to recover a 2-gigabyte file as a 1-terabyte file. A data recovery company often charges a flat fee, an hourly rate, or a combination of both. But you’ll probably be happy to pay a reasonable price to recover your productivity, security and sanity.
Level 2: Logical Failure of Your Device
You can’t see the problem with your computer or storage device, but it’s there. This category of drive failures is called logical failure, and it can have any number of non-mechanical causes: a malware attack that damaged a file directory, corruption of the master boot record (MBR), or improper formatting of a drive.
It is unlikely you’ll be able to fix the problem with a file recovery app or any other DIY solution. You will need professional help from a data recovery service, and it could cost up to $1,000 or more. Level 2 problems are more painful and expensive than Level 1, but probably don’t require replacement parts, and certainly they shouldn’t give you a reason to buy a new computer.
Level 3: Mechanical Failures and Physical Damage
Now we’re in the big leagues of technology headaches. Something is visibly broken, or something sounds strange, or got wet, or just flat-out died. It’s not pretty. These kinds of problems may cost more to fix than replacing the broken equipment, but replacing a computer doesn’t solve the problem of lost data. Repairs may require advanced facilities, such as cleanrooms, and replacement components. We could be looking at $3,000 or more in expenses.
An Ounce of Prevention
Of course, losing a file on just one device is only a minor inconvenience if you have backed up your data in a different location. No individual laptop should be an island of important information. For advice on remote server data backup, see this article on our Tech Blog or contact Invision.
For more than 20 years, Invision has provided IT solutions, including outsourced IT support, IT consulting and IT services to businesses throughout the Kansas City metro. From Olathe and Overland Park to Shawnee Mission and the Plaza, Westport, Independence, Gladstone and beyond, our team develops tailored solutions to respond to the unique needs of businesses of all types to help them thrive. Contact Invision for more information.