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Professional Data Recovery Service UK Advice & Price
Professional Data Recovery Service UK Professional Data Recovery Service UK Professional Data Recovery Service UK
 
 

Data Recovery Advice and Price Guide

  

 HARD DRIVES

 A recovery case from a Hard Drive usually comes into 5 main categories:

 1. Logical Failure: Where the drive itself is working fine, but the data is inaccessible. For example, when the drive has been accidentally formatted, or the file table has become corrupted. Also applicable if a manufacturers "System Recovery" has been performed, if this is the case then it is ESSENTIAL that you do not use the PC at all. Immediately shut it down and seek professional advice. If you continue to use the machine, then there is a very good possibility that the data area will be overwritten (for example with temporary internet files) and your personal data will be lost FOR GOOD!

2. Media Issues: Where the drive has developed bad sectors, making it difficult or impossible to access via any Windows based operating system. This can be most commonly diagnosed by the fact that the hard drive is seen correctly in the BIOS (i.e. Correct Model number and capacity) and the computer locks up (freezes) when you try to access the drive. In this case a sector-by-sector image of your entire drive must be made onto a known good drive, then specialist software must be used to extract your data from this image. We have various specialist cloning facilities, including DeepSpar Disk Imager, costing thousands of dollars each, which use combinations of soft/hard resets of the drive, as well as powering the drive down if necessary, to ensure the best possible image of the faulty drive.

3. Electronic Failure: Where the logic board (PCB) has failed or died. This can be most commonly diagnosed by a  completely dead drive, burning smell or making clicking noises. In this case a perfectly compatible PCB has to be located to re-enable access to the drive. This is NOT a simple matter, as nearly all drives have ROM (Mainly WD & Seagate) or NVRAM (IBM/Hitachi) information programmed into the PCB itself. This information has to be read off to a file, and then re-programmed into the donor PCB. This requires specialist hardware & software, again costing many thousands of dollars, to do this. In some models, such as Toshiba laptop drives, this ROM info is absolutely UNIQUE to the drive and so the original PCB must be repaired to facilitate the recovery. We have surface mount and hot-air soldering facilities to do this. Also, more often that not the electronic failure has also caused partial media problems (bad sectors), so an image needs to be made and worked from (see above Category 2 failure)

4. Firmware Failure: This is where some modules of "firmware" on the actual platters of the drive has become damaged or corrupted. The drive requires these modules to the read from the Service Area (SA) of the drive, before it will start up and become ready. This often manifests itself by the drive spinning up as normal and sounding OK, but is inaccessible in the PC's BIOS. It may be seen as it's factory alias (e.g. "Athena" for some Maxtor drives, or "HAWK" for some WD models). To recover from this requires extremely specialist hardware and software (such as from ACE Laboratories or Salvationdata), plus years of experience and technical knowledge to repair the SA. This requires great skill and resources (such as replacement modules from compatible stock/library drives), as one small error can render your drive irrecoverable. Likewise, more often that not,  the firmware failure has also caused partial media problems (bad sectors), so an image needs to be made and worked from (see above Category 2 failure), especially in cases where the "G-List" (Growing defect list) has been damaged or corrupted.

5. Physical Failure: In this case, a physical fault is preventing your drive starting up. This can range from a single failed head, through complete head stack failure, to motor failure. A single head failure can be diagnosed when the drive ID's OK and starts to image well, but in patches (e.g. The DeepSpar Imager may image 150,000 sectors perfectly, then 50,000 inaccessible, and so on. In this case 1 of 4 heads has failed). A complete head stack failure usually manifests itself by clicking from the drive when it is started up. If your drive clicks at all then DO NOT UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES continue to try and access it, or put it in the freezer (an "old wives tale" that WILL almost certainly destroy your data FOR GOOD).  In the case of head failure, your drive needs to be disassembled in a dust-free cleanroom environment and the offending heads removed. Then the replacement heads need to be fitted, this is an EXTREMELY skilled job and not to be undertaken by unskilled personnel. Any Tom, Dick or Harry can buy a cleanroom and claim to be a "data recovery specialist", but it takes years of training and practice to be able to perform this procedure successfully. Replacement heads are also very difficult to locate sometimes, due to compatibility issues, so large resources and vast product knowledge is required. Fortunately we have thousands of spares in stock, and access to worldwide partners to locate the more difficult to find parts. In the case of motor failure, this is usually shown by the drive not spinning up at all, or making a quiet buzzing sound. In most cases, a motor failure requires the heads and platters to be removed and placed into a wood working chassis. Once more, great skill, techniques and specialist equipment is required to do this. Finally, more often that not, the failure has also caused partial media problems (bad sectors), so an image needs to be made and worked from (see above Category 2 failure).

More common failures by Manufacturer:

Toshiba - Head Failure (clicking), Motor Failure (not spinning or rattling noises)

Hitachi - PCB failure (dead), Head Failure (loud clicking)

WD - PCB (dead or clicking), Head Failure (loud clicking), SA Failure (spinning up but not seen in BIOS)

Seagate - Head Failure (quiet clicking), Motor Failure (Not spinning and quiet "Buzz buzz buzz" sound)

Maxtor - Firmware Failure (Seen incorrectly in BIOS), Head Failure (clicking)

Samsung - Head Failure (Clicking), PCB (dead)

Price guide according to failure:

 Service Required  Category 1  Category  2  Category 3  Category 4  Category 5

 Economy (14 days+)

 POA  POA  POA  POA  POA

 Regular (7-10 days)

from

£79

from

£129

from

£149

from

£195

from

£295

 Express (3-5 days) from £195 from £249 from £295 from £395 from £495
 Emergency (~48 hours)  £295+  £395+  £495+  £595+  £695+

THESE ARE GUIDE PRICES ONLY, A FIRM QUOTE WILL BE GIVEN AFTER YOUR FREE EXAMINATION.

WE OPERATE ON A CASE-BY-CASE BASIS, AS WE BELIEVE THIS IS THE FAIREST WAY (RATHER THAN A FIXED FEE DEAL OF £295 FOR EXAMPLE, FOR A CASE WE'D ONLY CHARGE £149 FOR).

OUR AIM IS TO RECOVER AS MUCH OF YOUR DATA AS POSSIBLE, AT THE BEST POSSIBLE PRICE, WITHOUT CUTTING CORNERS.  

PLEASE CALL FOR ADVICE AND PRICING ON RAID (MULTI HARD DRIVE STORAGE DEVICES), NAS (NETWORK STORAGE).

All prices are estimates only and based sight unseen on your drive. All prices are based on an average drive size of 160Gb. Parts (if required to be specially ordered) are not included, but you will be advised before incurring ANY expenses.  The price ranges in each cell represent differences in procedures between makes & models of drives (for example Toshiba head swaps are much easier to perform than the much more difficult WD models). VAT applies to UK sales, other taxes may apply to International cases.

 Flash Devices

These devices include USB "pen drives", SD cards, Compact Flash cards, XD cards and the like.

Failures from flash devices, generally fall into 3 categories:

1. Logical Failure - Where the device is functioning well but data has been lost. The files may have been accidently deleted, or the drive may have been formatted. Specialist software is used to recover your data.

2. Physical Failure - Where the device has been broken, or physically damaged in some way. The unit has to be professional repaired to gain access to your data. In some cases, the device cannot be repaired, or the damage has caused further problems, putting the device into category 3.

3. Electronic Failure - These device generally consist of a controller chip and one or more "nand" flash chips. If the controller fails, or the flash chip(s) become partially corrupted, we need to use extremely specialist equipment to recover your data. Generally speaking, all these devices use "wear levelling" technology, which results in the data being spead all over the memory of the flash chips. Also, the controller often "mixes" the data across one or more chip, to improve speed, much like a "RAID" on hard drives. We are one of the few recovery companies in the UK to possess the tools, experience and skills to remove the chips from the device and decode the data held therein. In fact, we do flash recoveries for many other Data Recovery companies, so chances are if you have a case like this, we'll end up with it anyway!

Price guide according to failure:

 Service Required  Category 1  Category 2  Category 3

 Economy (14 days+)

 £25 - £29  £29 - £49  £49 - £99
 Regular (7 - 10 days)  £29 - £49   £49 - £99  £79 - £129
 Express (3 -5 days)  £49 - £99  £99 - £149  £99 - £179
 Emergency (~48 hours)  £99 - £149  £149 - £199  £195 - £295

All prices are estimates only and based sight unseen on your device. All prices are based on an a single chip device of average capacity of 1Gb. The price ranges in each cell represent differences in procedures between makes & models of devices (for example some controller chips are much easier to perform recovery on than others). VAT applies to UK sales, other taxes may apply to International cases.

 
Professional Data Recovery Service UK
Professional Data Recovery Service UK
Professional Data Recovery Service UK
Professional Data Recovery Service UK Professional Data Recovery Service UK Professional Data Recovery Service UK
 

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Courier Collection fee of £14.99 applies, which is waived on successful recovery case
 
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