(You are not required to speak with anyone before dropping off or mailing in your hard drive.)
2. Mail-in or Drop Off your Device.
For drop-off’s, we’ll add all customer contact information and all the device details and symptoms into our ticketing system. Depending on what kind of device is in for data recovery, we will record necessary information. (Serial numbers, model numbers, and other details.) We’ll then label all items, including accessories, with ticket number and customer contact information.
For mailed in devices, our address is 8103 Highway 72 West, Ste. B, Madison, Alabama 35758. Please include details on what happened to the device and the data that you need recovered. Once we receive the device, we will add all details and symptoms into our ticketing system. We will then label all items, including accessories, with a ticket number and the customer contact information.
3. We'll perform our Data Recovery Assessment.
Every hard drive that comes in for data recovery has a Data Recovery Assessment performed on it.
This assessment will tell us critical information pertaining to the physical and logical condition of the hard drive.
We start by inspecting the hard drive and PCB (the circuit board on the bottom of the hard drive.) We’ll check to see if the lid has been opened. (If the hard drive has been opened or tampered with internally, we charge a $50.00 upfront fee. (No exceptions.) If a drive has been previously opened, we’ll then open the drive in our ISO Class 5 clean room.
Once the visual inspection is complete, we’ll connect the hard drive to one of our hardware Data Recovery Tools.
The diagnostics include testing internal components of the hard drive. We will test the hard drive’s heads (the actuator arm inside the hard drive that reads the data from the platter.) Some hard drives only have one or two heads, while others can have many more. We want to make sure each head is working as intended and reading the Surface Area. (Where the data stored on the hard drive.)
We also verify that the problem with the hard drive is not a firmware issue.
Depending on the problem with the hard drive, we may open the hard drive in our ISO Class 5 clean room to assess any internal physical damage.
4. Bring the Hard Drive back to life.
The goal is to gain sector-level access with our hardware Cloning Tools. This could include using suitable donor parts such as “heads” or repairing corrupted firmware. Sometimes the PCB can have a damaged component that needs to be replaced or repaired.
If donor parts are required to complete the Data Recovery we then contact you via email, phone, and text message. We will detail the donor parts needed and if we have found a compatible match. (We have some donor parts in-stock.)
In the event that the donor part will cost more than $50.00, you can either pay upfront for the donor part or provide your own. (If you would like to provide your own, we can tell you exactly what and where to look.) If you do not want to pay for donor parts, we may be able to offer you a “Partial Data Recovery.” For example, if your drive has six heads in it and one head is bad, we can “turn off” that bad head with our tool the PC-3000 and recover a portion of your data.
If the cost of the recover exceeds your budget, you ALWAYS have the option of declining the Data Recovery and paying nothing.
**All donor parts used in the Data Recovery process are not returned with the hard drive. If you purchase the donor parts and they are used to aid your Data Recovery, we (ProTek) will keep both the donor parts and your bad drive. If the Data Recovery is unsuccessful, your hard drive will be returned in the condition in which is was received.
5. Cloning the Hard Drive
What does it mean to clone a hard drive? In short, we want to copy or “image” as much data as possible from your failing hard drive, to one of our drives. This process can take a few hours to a few days. (Some really bad cases have taken a few weeks to finish cloning.) It all depends on the size of the hard drive, the amount of data to be recovered, and bad sectors.
We want to target the most important data first. We would first create whats called a “map” of the important data and clone that with our specialized hard drive cloning hardware and software tools. This is especially important to minimize risk of complete failure. Once the priority files have been cloned, we will then target other user data or important data specified by the customer.
We monitor the cloning process and make adjustments as needed.
6. Logical Data Assessment.
Once we have cloned as much data as possible from the failing hard drive, we will then use our Software Data Recovery Tools.
We will look for file structure on the hard drive. If the file structure is integral and intact, we can then recover the requested user data.
In the event there has been deleted files, corrupted files, or missing file structure, we will use our Software Data Recovery Tools to rebuild the missing and/or corrupted file structures.
7. Data Extraction.
Now that we have access to the user data specified by the customer, we will now recover the data.
We will make sure that the files we recover are integral and not corrupted.
We will email you a file list of all the data that has been recovered. (This is so we do not miss any data.)
All recovered data needs to be transferred to external media. (Examples: External hard drive or flash drive.) This can be either purchased from ProTek, or provided by the customer. We can format the hard drive for PC or Mac. (NTFS or HFS+)
8. You pay our recovery fee once the file list has been approved. (There is no charge if we cannot recover your data.)
Most data recoveries are between $200.00 – $500.00. If the customer does not want the data we recovered, they will pay a $100 labor fee.
There is no fee for data that CANNOT be recovered.
9. You pick-up your data or we ship it back to you.
We will call, email, and text message the customer to inform them that the data recovery has been completed and is ready for pickup at their convenience. If this was a mail-in, we will ship the external media to the customer the next business day. (After payment has been received.)