Procedures and next steps

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Our standard procedure is:

  • Evaluation: (Free) Upon reception of a device, an engineer will examine and test it and advise you of its current status, failure mechanism and probable level of recoverability and costs. There is no charge for this service. With our wealth of experience, we can normally tell fairly quickly what is the actual underlying problem and give you a basic indication of costs, required parts, time and chances of recovery. This will generally be enough for you to be able to make decisions as to your next steps.
  • Full Assessment: The first step of a data recovery job is always a full device assessment. The aim is to work out the best recovery strategy and therefore, how much it will cost. Sometimes you may have to choose between cost and risk. It will usually involve taking the device apart (in a clean room if required), getting it if possible to the "ready to accept instructions" status and, if possible cloning the raw data onto a good disk drive. This is the only way to authoritatively state what is recoverable and therefore final costs. Unfortunately for us, this often involves a significant amount of work so if you decide to decline our quotation at that point, we charge a nominal $64. You get a full status report. In addition, if at a later date you decide to continue with the job, your $64 payment will be credited towards the full cost.
  • Data Recovery: We attempt very hard to stay within our quoted costs. If something unexpected turns up, we will advise and seek your approval for any changes. Costs vary depending on the complexity of the procedure and are calculated on the basis of either $96 or $128 per hour. (Please check for yourself, you will find our rates particularly low on comparison :-)  Overall, we strive to offer the best value for money in Australia in offering "Data Recovery for the rest of us". This approach has served us over the years and the large amount of "thank you" letters that we receive seem to confirm that.

Searching for parts:
Generally, the biggest source of delays stems from lack of parts (usually head assemblies) for your particular device. The disk drive industry is incredibly competitive, to the point that disk drive models change with nearly every batch. In fact, things are getting even worse with Flash and Solid State storage devices. Unfortunately, to be able to recover your data, we need to find an exact matching device of the same manufacturer/model/version.
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