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Should You Use High Street Stores for Data Recovery?

Data recovery is a lucrative business. If you’ve ever suffered from data loss then you’ll know how desperate you feel to get your data back. A lot of people are willing to pay vast sums of money in order to get their data back. As such, it makes sense that high street tech stores offer up data recovery services of their own. The real question, though, is whether or not you should be using them? Are they cost effective and will they do the best job at getting your data back? This article will explore those questions.

As an example, let’s take PC World, a nationwide store in the UK. All of their stores have service clinics that offer data recovery. The turnaround is five days and if they can’t recover data then you don’t get charged. They’re able to recover formats like USB sticks, iPods and standard drives. Hard drive recovery costs £99, but if that doesn’t work then they’ll try to convince you to go for the £699 service. Why there is such a huge cost difference between these two tiers is unknown.

Here’s the problem: depending on the type of data recovery required, you might be able to perform it yourself for much cheaper. Physical hard drive damage could occur if there is water or shock damage, harming the delicate platters within; logical drive damage is when there might be a corrupt file system. The latter can have recovery attempted by downloading programs online.

In the case of PC World, they license out recovery software from Ibas. You can actually go ahead and buy their tools online, or perhaps seek out a competitor. There are even free recovery tools available online, but the results on these may vary.

You could argue that PC World is charging those costs for the manpower. Of course, that’s entirely reasonable, but even so £99 seems steep. It is likely that a local computer shop would be able to do the same job for a much better price.

Then there’s the issue of privacy. Those working at PC World will not have undergone very rigorous data security training or tests. Although the company say that the staff will respect customer’s privacy, that doesn’t really mean much in the scheme of things. There are some data recovery companies out there who will be able to recover your data without ever having to view it. It’s not likely that PC World is quite so strict.

If your damage is physical then you will have to send it off to a professional, which is likely what PC World’s £699 cost covers. However, why use a middle man when you cut straight to the provider? If you search online then you should find many reputable companies who specialise in data recovery. They will have the proper tools and facilities to be able to recover your data.

In summary, don’t pay for something that you can do yourself. If you lack the technical knowhow then it is worth contacting a family member or taking the issue to a more local store, where the costs should be lower.


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