How much data can be recovered?

Monday, 28 March 2022 by Ontrack Team

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Your data is incredibly important and at Ontrack, our experienced team of engineers will always do what they can to recover the data you need if something does goes wrong. There are a few factors which affect our chances of recovering data from a device, and therefore how much data we’re able to get back for you.

How does the data recovery process work?

Here at Ontrack, we use an easy 4 step process when recovering your data:

  1. Consultation - we will work with you to establish the most cost effective recovery solution and service level based on your needs.
  2. Evaluation – when our experienced engineers receive your device, we’ll inspect it for free before sending you a fixed price quote.
  3. Recovery – as soon as we get approval, our engineers will recover your data, with total recovery time depending on your chosen service level and the complexity of the work.
  4. Return – once your data has been recovered, we’ll return it to you.

Throughout the process, we will be open and honest, with no hidden fees, an agreed timeline for data recovery, and how much data we are able to recover.

What are the key impacts on data recovery?

There are a few things that can impact how much data we can recover from your storage device, but the main one is the extent and type of damage.

Physical damage, such as from floods, fire or even dropping the device, is more likely to cause problems when trying to recover data than hardware issues. Plus, the longer physical damage is left, the harder data is to recover. If fire and water damage are left for a long time, the chances of data recovery will decrease.

Another impact on the data recovery process is whether you, or someone else, has tried to recover the data on their own first. Although this seems like a cost effective solution, if done incorrectly, can have a detrimental effect on the likelihood of data recovery. We always recommend speaking to a professional before attempting any data recovery yourself to give anyone the best chance of recovering the data you need.

Can my data be recovered after a natural disaster?

If you or your business have been affected by a natural disaster and have lost data during this unfortunate event, we will do our best to help. It will depend on the extent of the damage if we’re able to recover the data you need, but if you get in touch, we’ll work with you to see if a solution can be found.

How much data will be recovered?

The amount of data that we can recover will depend on the extent of the damage, and what data is required. Our main concern is recovering the data you require, and any other data that we can get for you is a bonus. Therefore, we ask that you’re specific about what data you need from the beginning so we can prioritize that during recovery.

Will all my data be recovered?

As mentioned, our aim is to recover the data you require, rather than all the data that is on the hard drive. If we are able to recover all the data, then we shall do so.

It may be that we can access the 10MB you urgently need from an almost-destroyed hard drive, or it could be that we can recover 500TB and return your slightly-damaged storage device to working condition – either way, success for us is about what we recover, not how much.

Can I help improve the success rate of data recovery?

The best way to improve the chances of a successful data recovery is to not try and recover the data yourself, and instead to contact a professional. In our experience, when someone who is not trained tries to recover data, it can have a negative impact on the chance of success.

Another way to help ensure successful data recovery, when your device has physical damage, is to get it to a professional as soon as possible. This will help increase the chances of data recovery as, when left, the amount of damage can increase and it make it harder to recover the necessary data.

Will putting my faculty hard drive in the freezer help?

No! It’s important not to listen to myths and do not put your hard drive in the freezer if it’s damaged or malfunctioning (yes we have heard of this quite a lot!). Although it may have worked in the past, putting your modern hard drive in the freezer won’t help, and could actually damage it further making it harder to retrieve your data.

How long does the data recovery process take?

The length of data recovery will depend on the service level you choose. During the consultation, we can talk you through the options and work to a timeline which works best for the situation. We currently offer three options:

  1. Standard – average of 7 to 10 business days
  2. Express – average of 3 business days
  3. Emergency – average of 12-24 hours

It’s important to note these are average turnover times and can depend on the severity of the situation, amount of data, and data transfer speeds.

If you have longer to work to recover my data, will you get back more?

Unfortunately, more time does not always mean more data. The amount of data we can recover from a storage device is impacted by the type of damage rather than the length of time we have to work on it.

We do offer three levels of service; standard, express and emergency. We can go through these options with you during the consultation period to ensure both parties are happy with the timeline, and what can be achieved within that time.

Does the type of device impact how much data you can recover?

No, the type of device will generally not impact the amount of data that can be recovered from it. Here at Ontrack, we can work with a range of different devices, including:

If your device is not listed, don’t worry as we’re able to work across a host of devices. However, if you’re concerned your request is unusual, do get in touch and we can discuss your options.

Can you recover data after a ransomware attack?

Although each ransomware attack is unique and varies in complexity, data recovery is possible. We advise that as soon as you’re aware of the incident, you contain the attack, contact a professional and avoid any do-it-yourself attempts which could jeopardize future data recovery attempts.

Here at Ontrack, we’ve developed a specialist collection of tools to recover your data from ransomware-encrypted systems from a variety of storage media - find out more here.

What is your success rate of data recovery?

We pride ourselves in having a 90% success rate on data recovery. This may not be as high as other data recovery providers, but we only count success as recovering the data you need, not just any data we can find. Therefore, over our 35 years’ experience, 90% of our customers get back the data they need, and sometimes more.

What cost is involved?

The cost of recovering data from a damaged storage device is determined by the time and effort that goes into getting the data you need.

For example, it could take minutes to access 10TB of data from a hard drive that has been affected by a simple virus, but hours or longer to get 5MB of vital data from a severely fire-damaged smartphone. In this case, the latter would still cost more even though the volume of data is much lower.

How will my data be returned?

Once we are able to recover your data, we will return it via a brand new external hard drive which will be shipped to you via courier. For security, the device will also be encrypted to ensure only you have access to your data.

We can also return your failed device to you, or securely dispose of it – which ever works best for you.

I have more questions on your data recovery service, how can I get help?

If you would like more information about Ontrack’s data recovery service, you can: