How to Select a Data Recovery Service Provider?

Are you in a data loss situation? This is not a nice experience but if you are not sure what to do next, you may be in for another nightmare.

Very often, you may not need data recovery services at all as it could turn up to be a simple problem. For instance, if you delete some files, you could get them back easily using some free recovery tool. There are many free data recovery tools offered by various providers on web. However, you need to be careful and know exactly what you are doing as any wrong attempts may cause more damage to your hard drive which can put your data at risk. If you are in doubt, do not even try.

If you are experiencing any of the following, your drive may have already failed or you may have an impending drive failure:

  1. BIOS doesn’t recognize or access your hard drive.
  2. Your hard drive is making odd or abnormal noises.
  3. Your hard drive continually restarts on its own.
  4. You receive a boot failure.
  5. You hear nothing (silence) from your hard drive with the computer powered up.
  6. Your computer warns you that there are problems on the hard drive and wants you to run a disk utility.
  7. Your drive causes the computer to hang in the BIOS or cause the computer to function very slowly.
  8. Some or all of your files, folders or the drive itself can’t be found in explorer.

You should consult a professional and have your drive evaluated.

Before going any further you should also run through following check points

  1. Do I have a backup?
  2. When was it taken?
  3. Is my lost data recreatable?
  4. How much will it cost me if I recreate it?
  5. Is my data worth the recovery fee?
  6. Estimate your budget

Now choosing the right provider can be a deciding factor in whether you will get your lost data back - and if so - how long you will have to wait. Scan the web for data recovery providers, and you’ll find hundreds of companies promoting data recovery capabilities.
You are going to pass your valuable data to someone whom you can trust so you need to perform your qualification process rigorously.
The information below will help you identify misleading sales tactics and select the provider that offers the highest level of professional service and overall best value.

Questions to Ask Data Recovery Service Providers

Step 1: Identify companies that have the technology and resources to solve a wide array of data loss challenges.

  1. How long has the provider been in the data recovery service business?
  2. Does the provider have a clean-room laboratory to safely open, repair and recover data from media storage devices?
  3. Does the provider have a sufficient number of engineers to handle large and complex recovery jobs and handle peak-demand seasons (e.g. hurricane season)?
  4. Does the provider have the technology and resources to develop customized data recovery tools if required?
  5. Does the provider have the expertise to recover data from virtually any type of platform, storage device, database or operating system?
  6. Does the provider have the resources to perform emergency and/or on-site data recoveries?

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Step 2: Identify companies that provide a range of data recovery solutions to fit your specific needs.

  1. Does the provider have service options to fit your budget?
  2. Does the provider offer a fast enough level of recovery service to address the most urgent data loss situations?
  3. Can the provider offer a secure remote data recovery service for data loss situations where no mechanical damage has occurred to the storage device?
  4. What is the standard turnaround-time required for desktop recovery and laptop data recoveries? For more complex systems?
  5. Does the provider retain your recovered data for a period of time after the client’s recovery is complete?

Step 3: Identify providers that will provide you with the information required to make an educated purchase decision.

  1. Will the provider give you a file listing report showing the recoverability of your files before you make any payment? Is this included in their evaluation service?
  2. Will the provider commit to quoted price ranges in writing to ensure the service fits your budget?

Step 4: Identify companies that offer professional customer service whenever and wherever you need it.

  1. Will the provider offer you free, no-obligation consultation and present you with a range of recovery options?
  2. Does the provider have a technical support team on staff to offer pre- and post-recovery support?
  3. Does the provider give proper shipping instructions to avoid any further damage to your crashed hard drive?

Step 5: Identify companies that have well documented and established procedures for maintaining the security and confidentiality of your data.

  1. Does the provider have the expertise to properly document chain of custody if the storage media is likely to be involved in an investigation or court case?
  2. Does the provider have the ability to recover encrypted data?
  3. Does the provider have the ability to return your data in an encrypted form?
  4. Does the provider perform employee background checks for anyone that may come into contact with your data?
  5. What is their Privacy Policy?

Step 6: Avoid the gimmicks! Select a data recovery provider you can trust by eliminating those who use questionable sales tactics.

  1. If the provider offers “free evaluations”, what is included in the free service?
  2. If the provider offers “no data, no charge”, what will they charge you if they recover data but not the data that you need.
  3. If the provider quotes a price range for their recovery service, will they put it in writing?
  4. Does the provider charge you for parts or are there other hidden fees?
  5. Does the provider use outside or third parties to perform the data recovery service?

We are committed to building the value of the Stellar Phoenix brand and we stand behind our service to you. We want to earn your trust and confidence as your "go-to source" when you have data retrieval challenges. Stellar Phoenix Solutions recommends adequate insurance and package tracking.