Frequently Asked Questions

Data recovery informations

Seriously damaged hard drives can be a real challenge but recovery is still possible. Here is the answers to many questions you may ask yourself.

What is data recovery?

Data recovery is the process of retrieving deleted or inaccessible data from failed electronic storage media such as computer hard disk drives, removable media, optical devices and tape cartridges.
Your data can become inaccessible due to a software problem, computer virus, mechanical or electrical malfunction or a deliberate human act.
Regardless of the cause, our experienced technicians are able to recover lost data 90% of the time.

What happens during the evaluation process? How long does it take?

It usually takes anywhere from 24-48 hours, after we have received your drive, to properly evaluate it.

During the evaluation process we will determine whether the data corrupted is hardware related or can it be fixed using a sotware solution. If we determine that the problem is hardware related then we must ensure that we have the neccessary replacement parts in stock or else we must aquire them from our vendors. This process can prolong the evaluation time.

During the next step we will determine the actual condition of the data structure and we’ll be able to tell how much and what data can be salvaged.

As soon as we have determined that we will verify if its the data you want recovered and we will call you with the exact cost for the data recovery. From this point on we will require your approval to continue with the task.

How long will it take you to recover my data? How much will it cost?

The standard data recovery time is 3-7 days after we have received your drive. Giving a more exact time frame is not possible until we evaluate the condition of the drive.

After the evaluation process we can determine a more accurate time frame for the salvagable data, and the exact cost to perform the recovery.

As soon as we have made that determination we will notify you and only on your approval will we proceed with the recovery.

Data recovery is a very presise science, but the cost is not. If you’d like a “ball park” figure as to how much a recovery job can cost please check out our Pricing section.

Should I attempt to recover my data by using commercially sold data recovery tools?

There are a lot of very good utilities out there that provide excellent preventive maintenance and they can even fix some minor problems, but at the same time, and in the case of extreme corruption, they can make the data unrecoverable.

If you are set on attempting to recover the data on your own at least make sure that the utility allows you to save an “undo” file. (this is a record of what changes the utility has made to your drive)

Should your attempt fail, and you have decided to let the pros handle your recovery, send us a copy of that file along with your drive.

The best advice we can give you is not to attempt a recovery by yourself. Let the experts at Save My Drive handle it. If your data can be recovered using a software solution then our price will usually be less than the cost of purchasing a good utility.

Please note: If your drive is making unusual sounds, please DO NOT attempt to use any type of utility software. Unusual sounds eminating from the drive usually means a damaged head mechanism. That’s a hardware problem and it requires a hardware solution. Send your drive to us for a professional recovery in our CleanRoom.

Is it possible that you may not be able to recover the data I want?

Although we’d love to say that “No” the truth is that sometimes data on severely damaged drives cannot be recovered. This usually occurs when the hard disk’s read/write heads actually collide with the storage media often scratching and scraping it.

However, and in a limited number of cases, recovery is sometimes possible provided we get the drive at the time the damaged first occured.

Please remember one golden rule about Data Recovery, “if hardware fails it needs hardware to fix it”. No amount of software cures can repair the damage and if tried can ultimately make recovery impossible.

Can I count on you guys to keep my data confidential?

Absolutely! You can rest assured that any and all data or information is kept private. Your data recovery is performed in secure labs and we have Non Disclosure agreements with all of our staff.

If, however you need us to sign your companies Non Disclosure agreement, then please have it faxed to our office for approval.

Is data recovery possible for my damaged laptop?

Of course! A laptop is only a small version of a PC. And although it does require smaller tools, in order to work on it, Save My Drive and its experts have all the required equipment.

Also for that reason it does not cost any more to recover data from a damaged laptop than it does a damaged desktop.

How do I go about sending you my damaged hard drive?

Shipping Procedure :

  • We only require your hard drive, disk or tape. If you send us your entire computer we will charge extra for removal.
  • Make sure you securely wrap your media source in anti-static material. A freezer bag works well. Use plenty of bubble wrap (try to target about 1-3 inches, 2-6 cm of wrap around the drive) or other anti-vibration material.
  • If your drive is water damaged DO NOT DRY IT. Pack it in a freezer bag and add a damp sponge. We need to keep it from drying out. Dried out water leaves behind a chemical residue which can really damage a hard drive and make data recovery impossible.
  • Use which ever shipping company you want but make sure you write the word Fragile on the box. If you want fast service choose overnight delivery.
  • Ship the package to our main office. The address is on our Contact Page.
  • If you live in Bangkok, Thailand and would like us to come and get your drive, we can arrange to do so for a small fee. If we have to remove the drive from the computer case we will need to charge an extra service fee. If you would like to avoid all this you can directly bring your drive into our Office.
  • If you have any other questions about shipping to us, simply call us at the numbers found on our Contact Page.

Is there a way I can prevent data loss from happening?

No, but you can limit the amount of data you will lose. The grim reality is that media fails. It is simply a question of when. Below is a list of services that we can offer you to help reduce the amount of critical data loss.

  • Back up hardware and software. Save My Drive with its partner Safecoms has an amazing combination of both hardware and software solutions in one box. Call us for details.
  • Get a good anti-virus program and keep it updated.
  • Make sure you have a good Firewall. The very best firewalls are hardware based. Safecoms, our partner has just the unit. Call us for details.
  • Finally, no matter what your solution will be the thing to remember is Back Up and back up often. This one thing can limit the amount of down time your business will have in the event of a data loss situation.
  • If you have any other questions about this subject, simply call us at the numbers found on our Contact Page.

What is a virus, worm, trojan?

They are small executable programs that attach or bury themselves to programs or code and they can be used to destroy or manipulate your computer or your data.

  • Virus – a small program that attaches itself to a program or code and activates itself when a user activates the infected program. A virus is designed to infect other programs or codes on the local PC.
  • Worm – is a self replicating program similar to a virus except it does not need to be part of a another program. A virus affects programs on a PC while a worm affects the computer’s network and requires no intervention. A worm can propagate itself often spreading right through an entire network very quickly. A worm can render an entire network to a virtual stand still.
  • Trogan – often referred to as a Trojan Horse is a very harmful program disguised as a legitimate prgram. Trojans cannot hurt you unless you invite them in. Often times unsuspecting users will download a piece of software they think is legitimate only to find out that they have been infected by it. Trojans can do almost anything to a computer’s system or network. Trojan’s are usually much bigger in file size and therefore can contain a pretty big program which can be coded to do almost anything the programmer wants.

What is a CleanRoom ?

A CleanRoom is like the operating room of a hospital. Its an environment where airborn particles, temperature, and humidity are controlled. Using a HEPA (High Effeciency Particulate Air) filtering system, a CleanRoom can maintain less than 100 paticles not larger than .05microns in each cubic foot of air space. This system enables us to control static and magnetic charges which can seriously damage electrical equipment.

What are, Raid, SCSI, Magnetic Tape, SATA?

Actually they all mean different things and are far to complicated to explain here. What we will tell you is that each one of them is a storage media type. Each has its own characteristics and each is prone to failure at some point and time. All are good backup mechanisims.

  • RAID – Redundant Array of Independent Disks – is a way to combine several cheap hard disk drives, in order to obtain reliability, performance, and capacity. The array of drives is read as one logical drive by the computer.
  • SCSI – Small Computer Systems Interface – is an industry standard interface. Basicly the idea behind SCSI is that you can connect many SCSI devices together and the computer will see them all seperately. SCSI devices generally transfer data much faster than IDE devices and for longer distance. The only draw back being that SCSI devices are a little more expensive than regular devices.
  • SATA – Serial Advanced Technology Attachment – was introduced as the next step in ATA technology. SATA provides greater scalability, simpler installation, thinner cabling, and faster performance (up to 3.0 Gb/s). SATA also maintains backward compatibility with Parallel ATA drivers.The entire desktop market has started moving towards a SATA interface from the traditional Parallel ATA interface.
  • Magnectic Tape Drives – With the huge growth in digital content combined with regulatory compliances and email proliferation, the need for an additional and secure digital storage solution was met with the introduction of Magnetic Tape Drives. They come in a variety of formats including SCSI and USB and have high capacity tapes from 35GB to 90GB. They offer an excellent backup solution for your critical data. But just like any other solution Tapes are also prone to failure in the long term. Fortunately recovery of data from a damaged tape is possible and with excellent results.