What’s this about flat rate data recovery services?  As the niche industry known as data recovery becomes more and more flooded with PC repair shops, technology solution providers, cell phone repair stores and even the big box electronics stores tapping into the professional data recovery industry, the confusion and deception has reached a global climax.

Why are they offering services that they can’t provide?  Easy, if they can’t recover your data with their rudimentary skill set, often damaging the drive further, they will outsource it to a lab that you may not be aware of.  Does the quality of the lab matter?  No, it’s all about money.  Whichever firm offers them the most commission, that’s where your drive is going, if it isn’t destroyed in the process.  How would you know if they are qualified to offer professional data recovery services?  Ask some questions and call a few reputable companies to get a feel who you are most comfortable working with.  Questions such as “Where did you receive your training from?  Can I see the cleanroom  and the certificate to verify standards are met with the quality inspection company who performed the tests? “(cleanrooms should be inspected annually)

So how do they get away with it?  They are more like salesmen than engineers.  They will talk their way through it since this industry lacks public knowledge, often stating there are more fees for the level of complexity, cost of donor parts or additional fees for tampering.   For example a company that states they do a recovery for a flate rate of $300 data recovery could end up costing $500 for the service and hundreds more for the parts .

Do these companies that offer these low flat rates have the same knowledge?  Not at all!  Most haven’t left the country for any type of training and the technology used for professional data recovery does not derive from America.  You can own top equipment but without proper training in cleanroom techniques and data recovery architecture, the service will fall short of world-class, even professional.  Can my drive still be recovered if I try a discount company first?  The odds of success will be much lower and the original problem will normally be much more severe and costly.  A damaged hard drive must be examined professionally in a cleanroom by an engineer to give a proper assessment.

“If you think bargain shopping for a data recovery service is the best choice to make with your critical data then maybe, before it’s too late, you should consider looking into their facility, education and experience in the industry.  They should have a straight-forward process, fair pricing and most importantly answers to your questions.  I’ve seen too many times in my professional career that more people wish that they did.”

-Don Anderson

President – Tri-State Data Recovery & Forensics, LLC

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