Disasters happen. Hard drives are mechanical parts, and as such they die usually earlier than other parts. A motor can spin only so long. The hard drive read/write head sits so close to the magnetic platter that a hair cannot fit between them. In fact, the only thing keeping the read/write head from making contact with the platter is the air from rapidly spinning platter. A slight jar can cause the read/write head to land on the platter. Sometimes, the read/write head gets stuck. And then there are the non-mechanical problems.
If your hard drive went for a swim, it could die. If your hard drive was burned to a crisp, it could die. If your hard drive had a surge of electricity, it could die. If smoke got in the hard drive, it could die. If your hard drive had a visit with an 18-wheeler's tire, it could die. Or, it could die for no good reason.
Hard drive crashes can and do happen. Thus the best prevention to backup important files. A recent backup can save time and a lot of money. Data recovery is not cheap. Price estimates are listed below.
And then there is human error. Suppose you accidently deleted a file. Or worse, you accidently formatted your hard drive. There is still a chance that your data is still there.
Sometimes, the drive is dying but not dead. If your data is becoming corrupted, it may still be possible to save your data without the high expense. You'll know your drive is becoming corrupted and dying because it is still accessible. It is when the hard drive becomes inaccessible that you'll have a money problem. Viruses, worms, and malware also do not require an expensive data recovery option.
If, on the other hand, files are slowly becoming more and more corrupted, your hard drive is dying. The best action to take then is to stop using the drive and have a new one installed. If no critical system files were damaged, transferring your files to the new hard drive could be quick and painless. In some cases, critical files were damaged and a new install of Windows is needed.
However, if your drive truly is dead, then more expensive measures must be taken. You may either contact Techs-on-Call directly or contact our repair provider directly, it is your choice. Before you contact anyone, the first thing you must do is turn off your computer to prevent further damage. If you can, disconnect the drive. If you cannot, please call Techs-on-Call to take care of the whole process. We'll disconnect the drive and we'll ship it off for you. Plus we'll give you a price quote which is guaranteed never to be higher than the estimated price. And if that wasn't enough, there is no minimum fee if the drive is irreparable.
Techs-on-Call is an authorized partner for DriveSavers. DriveSavers is an industry leading repair company that saved the Simpsons season 7 (a very good year), Sean Cannery's movie Entrapment, and many others. They are recommended by NASA, Microsoft, Apple computers, and many major hard drive manufacturers.
If you prefer, you can contact DriveSavers directly at 1-800-440-1904. If you mention Reseller ID#: DS17109 you will get a 10% discount on all work plus no minimum charge if the data cannot be recovered. Visit DriveSavers at drivesavers.com to see their credentials. You may wish to call us first before calling Drive Savers because from time to time, Techs-on-Call has coupons for Drive Savers.
As for the accidental formatting or deletion, sending the drive may be necessary. DriveSavers can recover files with professional programs. However, Techs-on-Call may be able to help too. The first thing you must do is discontinue use of the drive. When a file is deleted or the hard drive is formatted, the data is not removed. Deleting a file tells the operating system that this space is free to use. Files may or may not be written there at any time. Formating a hard drive tells the operating system the whole drive is blank. Except low-level formatting, which requires special programs you most likely don't have access to. In both cases, the data is still there, you just have to find it. And that can be very tricky and time-consuming. And there is no guarentee, especially if the drive has been used a lot. You need to act quickly to keep your mistake from being a big problem.
Note: RAID devices are subject to a $200 minimum fee.
One of the best ways to prevent catastrophic file loss is by using a RAID 1 array. What this is when you have two hard drives of equal size and both simultaneously do the exact same thing. This essentially is a mirror. In the event one dies, the other has an exact copy ready to take over. The only downtime is the time used to set up the RAID 1 array and switch over to the good hard drive. This provides the most security but with a small performance hit.
Only businesses really need to worry about down time. Most customers will be fine with just a regular backup of their data. Due to the ever increasing size of hard drives, backups are becoming cheaper and easier to do. Many external hard drives have a simple backup program. Those who need something more should call Techs-on-Call for more information.
Below are some estimates of costs. Unless specified otherwise, these are for a general idea only and not the final cost.
|If the Drive is Still Accessible or There is a Recent Backup|
|On-site Hard Drive and Windows install||Standard hourly rate + any hard drive costs + any software costs|
|Off-site Hard Drive and Windows install||$100 + any hard drive costs + any software costs|
|Attempt to recover deleted files||Standar hourly rate on-site/$80 off-site|
|If the Drive is Inaccessible|
|Time-critical emergency, 2 days total||$40 to $120 per megabyte + $100 + overnight shipping costs|
|Time-critical emergency, 4 days total||$35 to $110 per megabyte + shipping costs|
|1 to 2 business days to repair + shipping time||$22 to $45 per megabyte + shipping costs|
|No rush, up to 7 days to repair + shipping time||$12 to $31 per megabyte + shipping costs|