So your hard drive crashes or is damaged in some other way. Where should you send it? The choice is important. If you don’t send it to one of the first rate data-recovery services (expensive as they are), a cut rate company could mess up your drive and make it impossible for a first rate company to retrieve your data.
Posted November 20, 2017. Updated November 29, 2018.
There is no question in my mind where I would send one of my drives: DriveSavers.
I have never had to send a hard drive to a data recovery service. I have had several hard drives fail over the years (one brand in particular) but they were backed up to other hard drives so I just swapped out drives and created new backup drives.
But a friend in desperate need of help had a hard drive crash and asked for my recommendation. I went online to do some research. DriveSavers is widely considered to be one of the top three data recovery services in the U.S. and they have an excellent reputation. I highly recommend you choose one of the top three. (The other two are SalvageData Recovery and Secure Data Recovery.) Just take a look at these reports for DriveSavers.
How Drive Savers Got My Data Back – at Wired.com
DriveSavers breathes life into a dead drive – at Geek.com
Profile: DriveSavers stays true to data-recovery roots – at MacWorld.com
And there are stories like this all over the internet. It is a response to someone who thought $1,600 was too high a price:
“Backups and your disaster plans are cheaper than recovery any day.
-> http://www.drivesavers.com is what we use all the time. However there are no discount places we dare use since we must succeed and some find the discount shop destroys the drive rendering a trip to the usual place a wish that will never come true.
The $1,600 is the right price. We had some medical test results that absolutely had to be saved. (Dumb IT staff) The price was $28,000 and worth every dime.
Bob” – from CNET.com
Or this story from Mens Journal. The Mens Journal article also points out the top three data-recovery companies.
And you can check out all the 5 star reviews on Yelp (plus reviews from a few unhappy people).
Take a good look at DriveSavers Museum of Disk-Asters:
You can click on individual photos at DriveSavers to get the whole story.
Quite a few computer repair shops actually send their customers damaged hard drives to DriveSavers. When they get the data back they tack on their own fee in addition to the charge from DriveSavers. Why not go straight to the source?
DriveSavers is not cheap. $1000 – $3000 is typical for average home users. Major business data losses are far more expensive.
It is really important to choose a first rate data recovery service, even at the prices they charge. All the really first rate data recovery services are pretty much in the same ball park price wise. I recommend you choose one of the top three. One of the things I learned from reading stories on the internet is people who chose cut rate companies ended up having their hard drive further damaged so that a good company could no longer recover the data. So choose wisely.
The 3-2-1 Photo Backup Plan – It is really important to have a good data backup plan.
The Best Hard Drive Recovery Services – Business News Daily
Data Recovery and Disk Repair: A Guide to Software and Services – Tom’s Hardware
The Best Hard Drive Recovery Services – Business.com
This is one in a series of articles that will guide you to the best of all things photographic. The rest of the series is here: Buyer’s Guide: Recommendations For The Best Photography Equipment, Software, Books, Magazines, DVDs, Online Photo Labs and More.