Thursday, March 15, 2012

How Much Does Data Recovery Cost?

I've often wondered how much it costs to have a hard drive repaired by one of those 'clean room' data recovery companies. I've never had a need for such a service myself, because I keep lots of backups. And this pricing information is hard to come by because these companies tend to keep their pricing quiet.

But a friend was recently unfortunate enough to drop her laptop, and didn't have backups of some critical data, so I got to experience how the process works. I won't name the data recovery company involved, but I imagine this is typical (at least in Australia):

  • They charge $500 upfront just to look at the drive
  • They charge an additional $500 if the hard drive has previously been 'tampered with' (so that's $1,000 upfront)
  • They charge an additional $2,500 if (and only if) the data can be recovered (so that's $3,500 in total)
  • It takes 2-4 weeks
  • They'll need another hard disk to transfer the recovered files onto. The price of this is not included in the $3,500
  • The faulty drive will be destroyed
I hope someone finds this information useful, and a warning not to spare any expense implementing a good backup policy!