Hard drives are for the most part mechanical. Like cars it’s not a question of if they are going to fail, but when.

If you can no longer access the data on your drive, don’t panic (in large, friendly letters!), we can usually help. Using powerful software and tools we have in our shop, we can often retrieve data from hard drives which are no longer readable and from computers that no longer work. Unfortunately though, we generally cannot retrieve data from failed solid state media (memory sticks, SD cards, SSDs…) because of the way these work and the newness of the technology.

Destructive Data Recovery

Sometimes, drives can be completely destroyed. Fire, water and shock damage can damage a hard drive so much that even we can’t read anything from it. In these cases, we can send it off to a professional data recovery specialist that will rebuild your drive for you and recover as much data from it as they can. Unfortunately, this can be somewhat expensive. For this, prices are £95 to have your drive inspected and then between £400 and £600 to recover the data. Excessive, yes, but for some users it may be their only option.

accidentally deleted something?

We can usually recover files that have been deleted from the recycle bin as long as they haven’t been written over. So if you’ve accidentally deleted something really important, the first thing you need to do is stop using the computer. Although the files are technically still on there, all the file system of the drive has done is mark the part where it was as empty, so if you try to save something new there’s a chance it will start to overwrite it, therefore making recovery impossible. We usually charge for a Simple Fix to recover deleted files.

TIME scales

The time that it takes us to recover data can vary a lot. This is because it is soley dependent on how healthy your hard drive is as the older and more damaged, the longer it can take. The duration can vary from between a few minutes to sometimes over month for really unhappy drives, with the average being in the hours. We’ll give you a call as soon as it is done, as well as to give you a rough idea of how long it should take once we’ve got the transfer started.

How will i get my data back?

When we perform the service, we’ll need a secondary hard drive (or memory stick) to copy your recovered data to. We have a wide selection of portable hard drives and memory sticks in stock, however you are of course more than welcome to bring us your own. Just make sure that it’s big enough! We may also be able to “cherry pick” data with you (depending on how healthy your drive is) if you only need an important folder or file and perhaps already have a backup.

Memory sticks, sd cards and ssd’s (cont.)

All of these devices are “solid state”. That means that rather than a spinning disk, the data is stored in flash chips. This is excellent because it almost completed eradicates latency from seek and spin-up times and they don’t have moving parts to wear down. However, if the drive stops working it is often impossible to recover data as they are such as new technology, the tools simply aren’t out there to help us. Thankfully they tend to last quite a while before this though!

But wait! If you are simply receiving errors such as these…

memstickerr_1

memstickerr_2

memstickerr_3

… You should know that the first can usually be repaired, but the last two suggest file system corruption, potentially fixable, but more likely an issue with the device’s logic. You should also be wary about clicking the “Scan and Fix (recommended)” button as this can sometimes go ahead and reformat your drive, deleting everything that is on it in the process. So no, definitely not recommended, Microsoft! You can give this option a go, but make sure you’ve backed up first.

INTERESTED in recovering data?

If you’re interested in this service, just give us a call or come and see us in the shop with your computer. We can take a look at your PC while you wait and have a bit more of a chat about what it is we will do. Or if you’ve just got a question, take a look at our contact page and fill in the form to send us a message. We’ll try and get back to you today with an answer!