Previously we talked about why it's so important to backup your computer. In this post, we'll elaborate on another reason why you should keep multiple copies of your files and other data. The cost of recovering lost or deleted files can be high if you haven't backed up your computer.

The Cost Of Recovering Lost Files

If you don't have a backup of your files and your computer crashes, it can be quite expensive to send your hard drive to a lab so you can get your files back. We've seen lab data recoveries cost as much as $2000. Costs have certainly gone down, but it can still be rather expensive work to complete.

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Types of Hard Drive Failures

If your hard drive is not recognized by your computer or making clicking or beeping sounds, you certainly have a hard drive failure. Whether it's a software or hardware issue is best determined by a repair shop.

Hard drives can get damaged by hard impacts or drops. Unless the platters in the drive are cracked or broken, recovering your files is still possible, although recovery will most certainly require a cleanroom lab to rebuild the hard drive.

Software failures like OS (Operating System) corruption or failures are the most common reasons for data recovery. Although these recoveries are more accessible than hardware failures, it can still be costly compared to having a backup.

Hardware failures like a hard drive control board failure, Read/Write arm failure, platter failure, and other internal hardware failures are certainly more expensive. The reason being is your hard drive has to go to a lab and for recovery in a cleanroom.

Other types of drives, like USB drives & SSD (Solid State Drives), can fail as well. Data recovery labs can recover lost files from these types of drives as well, although the cost is high as well.

Ways To Recover Lost Files

Software failures are usually easy to recover and are the majority of issues with drives. Most repair shops are capable of handling this kind of recovery in-house with programs explicitly designed for recovering your lost files.

If you have a hardware failure on your hard drive, a lab would need to reconstruct the drive, so the files are accessible. Rebuilding a drive requires a dust-free environment to avoid getting particles on the platters. Particles can kill a platter rather quickly when the drive is operational.

Another issue with rebuilding a drive is that specific parts need to be employed. You can't simply replace the control board, or the Read/Write arm with one from another drive. Not using the correct parts can cause even more issues and hinder or destroy the chance of getting your files back.


Backing up your files from your hard drive can be one of the best things to protect yourself from a catastrophic issue. But if you don't have things backed up and you need to recover important files, you now know what is involved. Feel free to contact us with questions.