Hard Drive Recovery Levels

by Aug 07, 2018

PC-3000 Express RigAt Blizzard Data Recovery our goal is to offer affordable service and maintain a high recovery rate. Quality service requires an investment in the best data recovery tools. Without proper tools and experience a DR lab could not maintain an acceptable recovery rate. Since data recovery requires a substantial investment in equipment, software, and recurring support services it becomes a challenge to offer affordable pricing. At Blizzard we compound the problem by offering flat-rate pricing. One issue we saw for the average personal computer user was the wide range given for most recovery service quotes. Someone that requires our service typically wants to know how much it might cost before taking the next step. That’s why we came up with our 3 level pricing system.

So what determines a level 1 recovery? With hard disk drives you sometimes have file system failures that prevent end users and/or computer support services from completing successful data retrieval. While some file system failure might be recoverable with off-the-shelf tools, in many cases they just aren’t. This is where experience and even investment in software comes in to play. There are also some minor firmware issues that can be handled as a level 1 recovery. In most level one firmware issues the drive appears to the owner or I.T. pro as if it still works, but when they try to access or copy files it fails. One more item that can be handled as a level one recovery is minor media damage where a low number of bad sectors are preventing the operating system from completing read requests.

WD Seagate Head CombsFor level 2 recoveries we have media damage on a larger scale. Lot’s of bad sectors can push a recovery from hours to days, or even weeks. When a hard drive is dropped or a laptop meets some blunt trauma, and the read heads still function, you can often count on bad sectors and the cases are rarely just a few hours of recovery. There are also complex firmware failures that fall under our level 2 data recovery classification. One more case type we include in level 2 is PCB repair or swaps. If a HDD circuit board has been damaged or needs to be swapped in order to complete the recovery then we consider it a level 2 recovery.

Level 3 cases are determined by the need to inspect, remove, or replace the internal parts of the device in a clean environment. In many level 3 cases we need to replace the head stack assembly with parts from a known good donor. In order to keep prices down for donor parts we have to stock a large number of donor hard drives. If we waited until we need the parts we would most likely have to pay a premium for the parts and our prices would have to increase.

So that’s it, that’s how we became one of the few companies that can offer flat-rates, maintain a respectable rate of recovery, and a make a profit that affords us the ability to grow, and continue buying the best hardware and software tools.