Data Recovery – Frequently Asked Questions

How much does data recovery cost?
The first stage of the data recovery process is evaluation. For a single-disk system, CDS charges an evaluation of €50 incl VAT. This charge is deductable from your final bill if the recovery is completed. The approval paperwork to complete a recovery is integrated into the failure report, and this need to be signed and returned before any further chargeable work is undertaken.

The cost of recovery is driven by two main factors, primarily, the nature of the failure, and also the total storage capacity of the device. Our engineers will be able to give you an accurate idea of likely cost – please feel free to call for a quotation. The recovery fee for a typical 500Gb hard drive is in the range of €700-€1000 ex VAT.

If replacement parts are required and consumed during the recovery, these are also chargeable at cost (usually around €100). If the recovery is not successful, the parts charge still applies as the consumed parts cannot usually be re-used.

If you already have an external hard drive, you should also supply this to us for return of recovered data. On request, we can supply an external hard drive at near-cost. Finally, if you wish us to ship your data to you by overnight recorded courier service, there is a cost is €20 ex VAT.

How long does it take to recover my data?
Once the data is verified as recoverable, we will turnaround your data in 4 working days typically. If you need a quicker service, please ask us. We will do our utmost to accommodate your needs.

Some important factors affecting turnaround are:

Whether the disk is spinning or not (an indication of electronic failure)

Whether the disk is making ‘clicking’ noises (an indication of mechanical failure)

In both of the above cases, replacement parts will be needed to get the drive into a readable state. Sourcing parts can be difficult and time consuming. Through our global network of parts providers, we can usually source the correct parts within 2-3 working days. Disruption to air travel schedules may delay parts in some cases.

I have a 750Gb Hard Drive with just 50Gb of data, but only need 20Gb of data back. Will this cost less than a full drive recovery?
Unfortunately not. Due to fragmentation of files, the data recovery process involves scanning the entire disk space in order to find all data fragments before specific files and folders can be identified. This means that the recovery process duration (and cost) is directly linked to the total capacity of the drive in all cases.
Will I get all of my files back?
If the drive is recoverable, all uncorrupted files from undamaged sectors of the drive will be retrieved. If there are specific files that you need (and without which the recovery effort is not worthwhile), you should let us know so that we can verify whether they have been uncorrupted and reside in retrievable sectors.

There is no cost advantage in seeking a partial recovery. Our policy at CDS is to return all recoverable data to you.

Will the old file names be intact?
In most cases, filenames and data structure will be intact. In a small proportion of cases, recovered files may have lost their filenames and will be recovered in groups by file type (e.g. all MS Excel files grouped together).
I’ve reformatted and/or reinstalled an operating system on my disk accidentally. Will the original data be recoverable?
This will depend on the free capacity of the drive and the time elapsed or amount of data saved since reformatting took place. In many cases, the answer is ‘YES’, unless the disk is close to full capacity. In all cases, writing new data to the disk reduces the probability of retrieving the original data.
I’ve deleted files from my Recycle Bin. Can these files be recovered?
Similar to the reformatting scenario, this will depend on the free capacity of the drive. In many cases, the answer is ‘YES’. In all cases, writing new data to the disk reduces the probability of retrieving the original data.
How will my data be returned to me?
Your data can be returned on CD, DVD or external hard drive, depending on the volume of data involved.
Will I receive my original hard drive back?
Yes. It is our policy to return a customer’s property, even if non-functional. Even if not readable, there will still be data on the drive, and it’s our responsibility not to hold your data for any longer than necessary under Data Protection legislation.
I know of someone who can offer to recover data cheaper. Will you match their price?
Our price to capability offering is as competitive as you will find. We don’t have any hidden costs or charges (such as advanced diagnosis or re-assembly charges not listed by others on their websites). Our policy is to deliver a high-quality service in Ireland at a fraction of the cost of equally competent services in the UK. Added to that is the convenience of our location in Dublin, resulting in faster turnaround and less costly delivery.

If there is someone offering cheaper file recovery than us, we would be concerned that their attempts to recover data may further reduce the likelihood of successful recovery should they be unsuccessful.

How can we trust Critical Data Services with our information?
Confidentiality is one of the cornerstones of our business. We cannot afford to lose reputation through indiscretion any more than your business can.

CDS is registered with the Data Protection Commissioner of Ireland. Please see to review the onerous responsibility placed on registered bodies to maintain registration. We will also enter into specific Non-Disclosure Agreements when required to do so.

While in our care, your valuable information and devices are stored in a safe in our access-controlled facility where 24/7 security and CCTV are employed.

Do CDS have a clean room?
Yes, we have a fully equipped Class-100 cleanroom lab. The photographs on our website are of our staff working at our facility. You’ll be welcome to come and visit and see for yourself.

Approximately 20% of hard drive failures require cleanroom facilities. The ingression of dust particles into a hard drive can have fatal consequences. Never be tempted to remove the lid from a hard drive outside of the correct environment. From time to time we receive drives that have already been opened, and the resultant damage usually makes them very difficult or impossible to recover.

Does placing a faulty hard drive in a freezer work to facilitate a recovery?
Not in our considerable experience. This is an old myth which if anything, can cause moisture ingression which can compound the problem. Our advice – don’t do it! It might only further damage the chances of a successful recovery.
What brand of hard drive should I buy to avoid needing data recovery service in the future?
This is a very common question! We see all brands of hard drives for recovery, and we observe some shifting quality trends from brand to brand on an ongoing basis. The best answer we can give is to say that it’s not what you buy, rather, how many you buy. We recommend you keep three copies of your valuable data – one on your computer, the second copy on an external hard drive, and a third copy on external hard drive but at a different physical location in case of fire, flooding or burglary.


Contact Critical Data Services today to discuss any Data Recovery needs you have