Frequently Asked Questions
Data recovery is the process of salvaging data from damaged, failed, or inaccessible storage media when it cannot be accessed normally.
DO NOT keep trying to re-boot your computer this may cause extra damage. DO call us at 800.886.2231!
Standard service can range between 2 to 5 business days. We are also available 24 hours a day for emergency services (additional fees apply). Emergency recoveries often can be returned within 24 hours of receiving the disk drive!
Our success exceeds 96% recoverability. Year after year, for over 23 years our engineers have strived to meet the demands of new technology and every increasing bit storage density. If we cannot recover your data, then it is truly unrecoverable by anyone!
Yes. Data Mechanix works on desktop and laptop drives. We work on virtually all types of media.
Data recovery costs vary depending on the size or complexity of the device(s), the amount of labor and parts to recover the data. Our skilled customer service professionals will give a range of pricing for your specific situation. Once we have received the device and performed a free evaluation an exact cost quotation will be issued. Contact one our customer service professionals for a quote at 800-886-2231.
Data recovery is a difficult process requiring expensive equipment and extremely skilled engineers. If your data is important, find the right company, not the one right next door. The largest data recovery companies with the most technology and equipment often only have one or two locations in the whole United States. Be wary of a company with a branch in every city, they are subcontracting your sensitive data to some unknown entity.
Within the evaluation process your drive or device will be tested to find out the exact cause of the failure and what process is necessary to access your data. The evaluation is free of charge and a firm quote will be issued before any work is started. At times within the evaluation stage a report of recoverable and/or damaged files may be available.
In more than 96% of all cases, our engineers have been able to recover all of the user data on a failed disk or device.
Evaluation is usually completed within one business day of receiving your drive or device.
Data recovery involves correcting a failure of the “disk drive system”. There are complex areas of potential failure consisting of firmware, hardware, mechanics, and hidden files that are unique and specific to each disk. We also utilize expensive specialized equipment to access the hidden layers of a disk drive. Additionally we often must match failed components on disk drives that were only produced for a very small period of time, perhaps only a few weeks. Finding components that match can be an expensive process. Much like finding a donor in a human organ matching process.
Data recovery charges are for the LABOR involved with identifying and correcting the problem associated with fixing the disk drive system. The modern disks have their own “operating system” and a very complex system of parameters and self-checks, which any one item can cause a system failure. It takes years of training for our engineers to gain this level of knowledge and skill.
In most cases, the amount of expense or effort doesn’t change with “targeting” specific data. The expense is in correcting the specific failure and gaining access to the data. Much like the cost of refueling the rockets on the Hubble Space Telescope in orbit. The cost isn’t the fuel; it’s the journey to get access to the telescope.
The degree of difficulty and amount of damage to the media affect the cost. With most drives containing billions of sectors, damage can slow the process and increase the cost. However, often we can identify a problem and recover the disk fairly “routine” and limit the cost of the recovery.
Disks are a “system” of hardware, firmware and software. A failure in any of the components can cause a loss of data. Often times we have seen a physical impact or some external “compromise” such as an overheating which can affect the disk drive. Allowing a disk to be jarred or impacted is the primary cause of failure. However, sometimes a component fails, rendering the disk inoperable.
None of the manufacturers cover the cost of data recovery. Their warranty only covers the replacement of the physical device. Much like needing “contents insurance” on a house, the insurance company won’t replace your rare paintings in the event of a fire without an additional policy.
We assume that you have made all reasonable attempts to gain access to your data. Some of those include trying another cable, another computer, using a friend’s computer or having a local service company look at it. Remember, opening a disk outside a clean room is never a good idea.
Cables are rarely the problem. Most USB, Firewire and Lightening cables are interchangeable. We want you to vet any “simple” problems. When in doubt, connect to another computer or have a service company look at your disk. Please make sure they DO NOT OPEN THE DISK. Also, if a drive is making mechanical clicking sounds or unusual sounds, then it’s rare that the cause would be a cable or connection issue.
A disk drive or other device goes through an extensive self-test and micro code loading on startup. Often times a failure is detected during power up that was only briefly detected during the last session. If a disk detects a problem during power up, it fails to initialize, and protects itself from further harm by powering off.
Placing a disk drive in a refrigerator or freezer is never a good idea. Since the air inside a disk drive is “equalized” it mimics the ambient surrounding air, and hence it contains moisture that condensates or freezes on the delicate platters. Please be aware of the online remedies, many of which are very dangerous to a delicate hard disk. Also, NEVER hit or strike your disk. Most of these processes will only cause more problems to the disk and increase the cost!
Hard disks rely on encodings on the magnetic platters called Servos. At the factory these encodings are placed at the beginning of each sector or group of sectors throughout the entire disk surface. The drive relies on these “markers” to determine the position (track) of the heads. When a disk cannot read its position, it travels to the limit of its range and encounters a limit stop. This abrupt stop causes a click. Typical causes of clicking are media damage or a failed read/write head. Continual use of a disk that is clicking will inevitably cause excessive media damage from the heads scraping on the platter surface or from the head “slaps” from the limit stop jarring. If you want to recover your data, don’t continue to use your disk. Since this is a purely mechanical problem, don’t look for the quick-fix software solution, but instead contact a certified data recovery professional with the skills to remedy the problem. Call us at 800-886-2231.
Data Mechanix is committed to data security. Our facility is secured by multiple physical layers of security. Only employees have access to our core data sensitive areas. We never give physical tours of our data recovery areas. Additionally, no customer data is ever placed on a server connected to the internet for download. Your data is always confidential! A Confidentiality Agreement is available upon request or we can use an agreement provided by our clients. Our facility is certified by all government security agencies.
We strive to make the process as user friendly as possible. We can copy the recovered files to an external drive or any form of media that you feel most comfortable with. There is never a charge for copying your data, and in almost every case, the data is in the same file structure that it was on the original device.
Drive failure cannot be avoided, but data loss can. Make sure to always have a current backup of your data. Proper handling including not dropping your disk or subjecting to excessive temperatures can dramatically increase the lifespan of your disk.
SSDs (Solid State Disks) are memory devices typically made of NAND Flash memory and are not susceptible to shock damage. However, because of the complex and delicate nature of NAND Flash memory, they often suffer a higher failure rate than disk drives. Because the memory erase process damages the device, most cells are limited to as little as 1,000 erase cycles. The SSD must also constantly move data from over utilized areas to underutilized areas, creating an accounting issue (roadmap issue). Any failure of the “roadmap” or over use can cause the device to abruptly fail, often without any advanced warning!
Removable hard drives these days are very inexpensive. A simple way to backup is to have a second copy of your data on a separate drive. DVD is also a good, though size limited, method to backup critical data. Try to avoid any backup software or compression, sometimes restoring your data from a software compressed format doesn't work!
If you have a box from a drive manufacturer with foam rubber inserts that the drive fits into, this is the optimum way to ship your drive. If not, the next best way is to first seal the drive in an anti-static bag. Then wrap it up in plastic bubble wrap, going around the drive 4 to 5 times and secure it with tape so the drive does not slip out of the plastic. Tape all the drives together so that they cannot make contact with each other. Place in a box that gives you at least 6 inches of clearance. Fill the box with popcorn or bubble wrap. Make sure there isn't any kind of shaking and the drives are secure.
If your system blue screens when you are trying to boot or during the middle of an operation it could mean that your operating system is damaged, there could be bad sectors on your hard drive that the system is unable to read, your hard drive could be failing, you might have a virus, or some of your system critical files have been deleted, corrupted or damaged.
We are authorized by all of the hard drive manufacturers. A label will be placed on the hard drive to show the drive has been opened in a clean room environment. You're warranty coverage will not be changed.
Data Mechanix offers a "NO-DATA, NO-CHARGE" policy on all of our standard service data recoveries.
Contact Data Mechanix!
12 Mauchly, Building B
Irvine, CA 92618
Providing Drive, RAID and NAS Data Recovery Services Nationwide.
Call Data Mechanix at 800.886.2231 or click below to request a quote!
Call Data Mechanix at 800.886.2231 or click below to request a quote!