Find answers to some frequently asked questions (FAQs) on data recovery here. If you don’t see the answer you’re looking for, please contact us and we’ll be happy to discuss your query further.

Why did my hard drive fail?
Hard drives can fail for a number of different reasons such as electrical problems, unintentionally poor handling, mechanical deterioration, computer viruses, etc. Of course data loss can also be caused by human error such as accidental file deletion, formatting, or partitioning. Hard drive issues can be divided into two categories: logical and physical.

Logical damage can be caused by formatting problems, file structure corruption, viruses, malware, or simply when files have been deleted. In these situations, the drive itself is not physically damaged, but the data on the drive has been rendered inaccessible. If your data has experienced a logical failure, our technicians will utilise specialised hardware and software solutions to retrieve your data, securely and safely.

Physical failures occur when a drive itself is mechanically or physically damaged. Data recovery from physically damaged hard drives may involve modifying or replacing failed or damaged components, using specialized hardware and software tools.

What happened to my memory card?
The loss of photos from your digital camera can certainly be distressing. Unfortunately, due to their small size, frequent use, and portability, memory cards are especially vulnerable to failure. Data loss from a memory card is usually caused by either accidental formatting or deletion or physically failed hardware.

If you can’t access the photos on your memory card, it is really important that you stop using it immediately; failure to do this could lead to irreparable data loss.

Can you get my uni assignment back from my USB drive?
We can certainly try! Allow us to give you a piece of advice though, if you have something that is really important, don’t trust it to a $8 USB drive you bought at the post office – multiple backups are never a bad idea.

What is the data recovery process?
Data recovery is split into two stages: evaluation and recovery.

During the evaluation stage, one of our data recovery specialists will carefully inspect your device or media in order to diagnose the issue. Although each case is unique and depends on the type of damage and device or media being checked, an evaluation usually involves mechanical and electrical diagnostics, creating a sector by sector copy, and finally assessing data integrity.

Upon completion, you will be given/emailed a diagnostic report and informed of your data’s prognosis along with other information such as if any parts will be necessary for a successful recovery and the cost involved. Once we have received your authorisation will we proceed with the process of recovering your data.

For mechanical damage, failed or compromised parts are replaced in a clean environment using exact replacement parts to ensure compliance with manufacturer requirements. Some examples of parts that fail are read/write heads and assemblies, magnets, motors, and logic boards.
If there is no mechanical damage, or after the mechanical damage has been repaired, the next step is logical recovery. This type of recovery uses specialised software to extract all possible data from the device or media by either repairing the low-level file system, extracting data from fragments found in the data image or both.

Once data has been extracted, it is then copied to a drive provided by the customer, or purchased from us.

How much does it cost to look at my device?
When you drop off your device, one of our technicians will perform a diagnostic report in order to determine the nature of the issue. The cost for this service is $65 (incl. GST) and you will be provided with a copy of the diagnostic report which includes a quote for the recovery. At that point you can decide if you would like to proceed. We won’t do any work without first getting your authorisation. If further parts are needed, you will be contacted before we proceed.

How long does the data recovery process take?
On our standard service, evaluation will take 2 to 3 days depending on the complexity of the recovery.

Recovery time will depend entirely on the severity of the fault and how much work is required to recover the data. In most situations our aim is to complete recoveries within two to five days, but as stated, there are a number of variables that can affect this.

Our priority service is available with a typical turnaround time of 3 to 5 days total in most situations. Please ensure you inform us if the recovery is time-critical.

Below is an approximation of recovery timeframes on the standard service:

• 1-3 days for basic software recovery
• 3-5 days for complex software recovery
• 7-10 days for basic hardware recovery
• 2+ weeks for complex hardware recovery

In some extreme cases involving severe media failure/damage or the requirement for specialised spare parts the timeframes listed above may be increased as we have to source an exact match for your components.

NOTE: The above timeframes do not refer to priority and emergency services and are only a guide for standard service turnarounds.

How much is this going to cost?
Because the total cost of a data recovery job is dependent on so many variables – from the size of the hard drive, or other media, to the severity of the data loss, we can’t give you an exact figure. Costs generally range from $325 (GST included) to $425 (GST included) for drives that have no mechanical or electrical issues.

Do I get charged if you cannot recover data?
“No Recovery – No Charge”. If no files or only very limited files can be recovered or you choose not to proceed with the recovery after evaluation, there will be no charge for the recovery.

This excludes any priority fees and fees for specialised work/parts as outlined in the diagnostic report. These fees will need to be paid before the recovery process is undertaken.

Is it safe to use a disk utility program to try my own data recovery?
While most disk utilities provide preventative maintenance by fixing minor problems, they can render data unrecoverable in the event of extreme corruption. While it can be tempting to try the recovery on your own, if there are any issues with the drive or the file system, this will likely make the issue worse.

How can I prevent data loss?
Backup! The reality of hard drives and other electronic storage media is that they are going to fail eventually; it is not a question of if, but when. Even new hard drives can fail without notice. Nothing can prevent data loss better than performing routine backups of all your data. Users can save hours, days and weeks of downtime by minimizing their data loss through routine backups. A good anti-virus software package, updated regularly, can also offer some protection against data loss.

Have a question not listed here? Contact us and we’ll do our best to give you an answer!

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