Hard Drive Recovery Levels

Hard Drive Head SwapSome claim that flat-rates are not possible for data recovery, but we do it every day, and with great success. While the average cost of data recovery may have come down a little in the past few years, many big name labs still charge a premium that the average personal user and even most small business owners just can’t afford. At Blizzard Data Recovery our goal is to offer affordable service and maintain a high recovery rate.

UPDATE: We now have a single rate for hard drive recovery based on the full capacity of the drive.

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, continuing education, 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 and small business owner was the wide range given for most recovery service quotes. Someone that requires our service typically wants to know “how much does hard drive recovery cost?” before taking the next step. That’s why we came up with our 3 level pricing system.

Level-1 Hard Drive Recovery Service

In some cases you will see hard disk drives that have file system failures that prevent end users and/or computer support services from completing successful data retrieval. Deleted files and lost data due to OS failure or re-installation are typically level-1 recoveries if the drive is still healthy. 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. 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.

Level-2 Hard Drive Recovery Service

Significant media damage can push a recovery from hours to days, or even weeks so those cases are considered level-2. 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. Firmware failures or the need for firmware manipulation fall under our level 2 data recovery classification. PCB repair and ROM swaps are also included in this level of data recovery service. Most WD and Toshiba portable drives have USB PCBs so they typically fall in this category. 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. If the user has encrypted their data we also consider it a level-2 recovery.

Level-3 Hard Drive Recovery Service

In most of these cases we need to inspect, remove, or replace the internal parts of the device in a clean room environment. It’s not uncommon at this level to replace the head stack assembly with parts from a known good donor. In less common cases we have to perform a disk drive platter removal. 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. You will have a difficult time finding another data recovery company that provides this level of service, at our prices, and they include the parts at no extra charge.

So that’s it, that’s how we became one of the few companies that make a strong case for flat-rate data recovery, we 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. We have beat prices quoted by Drive Savers, Fields Data Recovery, File Savers, Geek Squad (Best Buy), Seagate Recovery Service, and Secure Data.