When you need data recovery on a drive, there are a couple major things to watch out for when looking for a data recovery service.
Free diagnosis or “No data no charge”
You do not want to take your recovery to a business that is going to charge you something just to look at your drive. Data recovery businesses that have a high success rate coupled with reasonable rates will have a “No Data No Charge” policy. We take this a step further and offer a free diagnosis that will help us categorize your drive into one of our 2 flat rates. Both our flat rates have a no data no charge policy.
In shop recovery vs mail-out recovery
There are some recovery “shops” that are just an office for accepting drives and mailing out to a separate lab. That is a perfectly fine business model, as long as you are told that is what is happening. There is no chance for a 1-2 day turnaround if they are mailing out your drive straight away. We offer a mail-out tier 2 option when we are not able to handle the recovery in-house (head swaps and some advanced recoveries like RAID recoveries).
Cheap recovery services
One of the most important things to watch out for are data recovery shops that are charging very little for recovery. These are shops that often just want to get as many drives in as possible, attempt quick data recovery on all of them, and sometimes try quick recovery methods that are not safe for a drive.
Our Data Recovery Service
We have 2 levels of data recovery as highlighted below. Keep in mind we have a no data no charge policy, so if we are not successful there will be no charge.
Tier 1 $399
Tier 1 data recovery normally includes drives that are completely dead, drives with bad sectors in the catalog file causing software recovery to not be possible, and drives that are operating so slowly that data can’t be pulled off. Most Tier 1 recoveries are completed within 3 days of drop-off.
Tier 2 $699
Tier 2 recoveries are those that we need to send out to a lab to complete service. Once again we only charge if the recovery is successful, and it is a flat rate. This means if the recovery is not successful there will be no charge at all. We cover the shipping to the lab both ways regardless of success. Lab recoveries take longer (10-14 days on average).
Symptoms that usually require Data Recovery
While there are too many symptoms to list that could be caused by a failing drive, here are some of the more common ones for when considering Mac computers.
Folder with question mark
If your computer boots to a folder with a question mark flashing on the screen, it means your computer can’t find an operating system to start off of. While this doesn’t always mean your drive is failing, it is one of the problems that can cause the symptom.
White screen at startup
A blank white screen at startup (no Apple logo) means the computer hasn’t been able to complete a check for an operating system to start from. This is more commonly a failing drive that makes the computer seemingly endlessly seek for an operating system.
Constant spinning colored ball
If you are getting the “spinning wheel of death” as some people call it, one potential cause can be a failing hard drive. When a drive develops “bad sectors”, that can cause the computer to seek the data on the drive for a long time causing the spinning wheel to come up a lot.
Mac freezes constantly
While freezing can be caused by many things including bad RAM, software conflicts, and more, one problem that can cause freezing is a failing hard drive.
Mac shuts off during startup
If your Mac begins to turn on, gets about half way through the boot process, then shuts off completely, you likely have a failing hard drive. This behavior is usually caused by the computer not being able to repair the drive (due to the drive being in a state of failure), so the computer shuts down when the repair is unsuccessful. It doesn’t always mean your drive is failing, but it is one of the more common symptoms of a failing drive.
Mac doesn’t complete boot
When your Mac seems to freeze during startup, that symptom can be caused by a failing drive as well.
Is you Mac displaying a different symptom? Bring it by for our free diagnosis by clicking on the red Appointment button on the left.