Frequently Asked Questions

As you browse through companies that advertise data recovery you have probably noticed that they all have nearly perfect success rates.  This is a tactic to lure you in.  The truth of the matter is that all drives must be properly diagnosed to determine the success rate.  If your drive is recoverable, we can do it!

Yes, we have several class 10 cleanrooms that are quality tested annually. Tri-State-Data-Recovery-uses-Class-10-Clean-Rooms

Due to a common misconception not all hard drives can be recovered.  Continuously powering on a drive with damaged heads can result in a head crash which could destroy the platters rendering the drive unrecoverable by anyone.  Tampering or opening a hard drive outside of a clean room can cause contamination that could result in data loss.  Formatting your drive and overwriting the sectors can cause corruption.  Running software on a drive with bad sectors can result in a head crash or increased media damage.  Professional data recovery is always recommended for any failing hard drive.

Yes, local clients will have the opportunity to view their recovered data in our office to ensure satisfaction!  If you aren’t local then you will receive a file list upon completion of all recovered data.  In most cases we can separate any problem files so you will know what, if anything isn’t recovered perfectly.

Unfortunately not all drives can be recovered.  If your drive falls under this category then you pay nothing further than the diagnostic fee.  In certain cases where the odds of success are low due to severe damage then we may request the cost of parts to attempt the recovery.

While SSD storage devices are designed for speed and performance they are not recommended for important data storage.  SSD has a lifespan and the NAND degrades over time.  Recoveries are much more complex and the odds of success are also lower.

The simple answer is no.  Most computer repair shops outsource your drive to another state only after tampering and running software on it potentially causing more damage and tacking on middle man fees.

Yes, we have received drives from all over the world.  Click on the submit a case button for safe shipping instructions or call us and let us walk you through the process.

We keep a copy of your data on our encrypted servers for two weeks after completion of the case to give you time to back up your recovered data.  After two weeks we purge your data from our servers unless prior arrangements have been made. 

No.  Your data is stored on our encrypted servers while the work is being performed and only for two weeks after the case is closed to give you time to back up the recovered data.  Only the engineer that you will speak to will have access.  The labs are locked, monitored by cameras, alarmed and off limits to unauthorized personnel.

There are times we can provide file lists on level 1 recoveries and other times not unless the quote is approved regardless of what’s on the drive because of the work involved in repairing the drive.

We have a secure drop that is camera protected inside the lab.  The secure drop is open 24 hours.  Inside you will find everything you need to submit your case.  Payment for the diagnostic fee can be paid via PayPal from the site or by calling with a credit card.


No, we have received world class training to ensure that we are providing the best possible recovery attempt on your failed drive.  We have three labs on-site in our Philadelphia facility including a class 10 clean room data recovery lab and state of the art micro soldering lab.

We travel overseas for advanced training courses and certifications from the developers of the most sophisticated tools available in the industry and collaborations with some of the best engineers in the world.  We continue training annually to keep up to date with modern technology and drive architecture.  Since the technology used to recover your data doesn’t derive from America, we must travel overseas to keep the highest standards in the industry resulting in the best odds of success for your data recovery attempt.   Along with some of the best training available in micro soldering here in the USA.

Yes, we have been certified HIPAA  compliant and follow all security protocols.  A business associates agreement can be created upon request.

Tri-State Data Recovery HIPAA Compliant

Tri-State Data Recovery uses hardware firewalls internally maintained and updated daily by a full time employee who holds a degree in Network Management and several certifications such as CompTIA A+, Network+ and Microsoft.  Clients’ data is not uploaded or stored in any type of cloud or external network.  Client data is encrypted and stored locally for the stated time frame.  Client data must be shipped via signature confirmation or picked up in the secure lab.  After the allotted time-frame we will user a Garner PD-8700 degausser and physical destroyer to purge your data forever.  Finally we do not allow third party access for any additional unnecessary audits.Tri-State Data Recovery Garner HDD Destroyer

We kindly request that you call or email us to schedule an appointment so the engineer can personally meet with you.  Same day appointments are normally available given enough notice.

Yes, the engineer working on your case will call you after the diagnostic has been completed to thoroughly explain the problem and costs involved in recovering your data.  

We understand that at times the value of your data is not worth the cost of recovery.  If you deny our quote then you pay nothing further than the diagnostic fee which you’ve already paid at the start of the process.  Your drive will be returned in the same condition as was received or properly disposed of upon request.

The flat rates advertised by these companies is their starting rate.  Most of these companies focus on the quick and easy cases. The free diagnostics and pick up services are lures to get your business.  It’s very important to choose wisely because in the wrong hands your data will be lost forever.

Yes!  If you are in the I.T. industry and would like to partner with us we offer discounted rates for our regular clients’.  

Software should never be used on a failing hard drive.  It is not designed to work with physically damaged hard drives and will cause severe media damage if used on failing drives.  It is only safe to use software on logical recoveries (level 1) i.e.- accidentally deleting your data or virus corruption.  

Yes, you have the option of including a good external drive.  We ask that the drive is blank with no previous data on it and recommend using a new drive.  Alternatively, you can purchase a new external data drive from us at cost.


Tri-State Data Recovery has recovered thousands of drives for data recovery. We are so devoted to providing the best possible attempt at recovering your data that we continuously participate in international training courses on the most advanced technology in media storage drives and devices, along with collaborations with other data recovery engineers world wide.  We accept all hard drives, solid state drives, usb flash drives, SD Cards and RAID arrays from any desktop, laptop or portable hard drive with any interface.

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