Frequently-Asked Questions

Here we answer various frequently-asked questions about Gillware’s services, from data recovery to forensics and incident response to threat assessment and electronic discovery.

Data Recovery Frequently Asked Questions

What is the average cost of data recovery?

The cost of data recovery varies depending on the work our engineers must do to recover your data. The type of storage device, the severity of the failure, and even the device’s capacity have an effect on data recovery costs.

Most data recovery labs that charge abnormally low or flat-rate prices simply turn up their noses at anything that would cost more to fix than they charge, no matter how valuable your data is. Gillware’s prices may not be the cheapest, but they are always the most sensible when you need your data recovered correctly.

How long does your process take?

The average data recovery case takes from six to ten business days from start to finish as part of our standard level data recovery services. For a certain class of clients, though, who need data back ASAP lest the consequences become severe, six to ten days feels like an eternity. With Priority level service, for an additional surcharge, a client in dire need of data recovery done quick, such as small business and enterprise clients, will have their case put at the top of every queue until it is completed.

Depending on the situation, Priority service can take as little as one business day to complete.

Learn more about emergency data recovery services here

What if I only need a few files recovered?

The amount of data has no bearing on the cost of data recovery. It does not take an appreciably-different amount of an engineer’s time or labor to recover one file or one thousand files because the hard work has already been done by that point. Once we’ve gained access to your failed storage device, it costs next to nothing to pull the data out, whether it’s hundreds of gigabytes or one gigabyte.

I did not drop my hard drive or get it wet, so why did it fail?

Dropping a hard drive or getting it wet are just two of many ways a hard disk drive can fail. Just like people, hard disk drives can simply die of natural causes. Their parts wear out with use over time. Environmental factors, such as temperature and humidity, can also affect a hard drive’s lifespan.

The average hard disk drive has a lifespan of around five to ten years, but can break down sooner or last much longer depending on how much you use it and what kind of environment you keep it in.

We are a government agency. Do you have any confidentiality documentation that I can provide my security department?

These documents can be provided upon request. Gillware is a GSA contract holder with SOC 2 Type II audited data recovery facilities, making us the perfect choice for government agencies in need of data retrieval from failed storage devices.

You can view our service terms and privacy policy here

I removed my external drive from its enclosure. Is this OK?

If you have a failed external hard drive, removing the drive from the enclosure isn’t just OK, it’s necessary. If you do not know how to do it or fear damaging the drive, though, our engineers will once we receive your drive.

However, if you decide to remove the drive from its enclosure on its own, you must be very careful. Many external hard drives feature hardware-level encryption via a dongle connected to the drive inside the enclosure, even if you never set a password for it. Data recovery may be much more difficult, or even impossible, without the dongle included.

When in doubt, send us everything associated with your hard drive, except for power and USB cables. It’s better to be safe than sorry.

Can I see a list of the recovered data prior to paying?

Once we evaluate your data recovery case, we work with you to define clear data recovery goals, and only charge you for our efforts once we’ve successfully met these goals. In cases where we cannot state with complete and utter certainty that we have achieved your data recovery goals, we walk you through the results of our recovery efforts, including showing you a list of recovered data if necessary, so you can judge our work on its own merits and decide whether the data we have recovered is sufficient.

Is the cost based upon how much I want recovered?

How much data you want or need us to recover does not influence the cost of data recovery.

If you were a bank robber and could only choose one of two identical vaults to break into, you’d have to put in the same amount of effort for either one—even if one vault has twice as much gold inside it as the other. Data recovery works the same way.

Why does the total capacity of the hard drive impact the cost?

The larger a hard drive’s capacity, the more complex its inner workings can be. The cost of data recovery must encompass the work required. A larger-capacity hard disk or a newer model may also require greater effort and expenditure from our engineers to acquire replacement parts. Visit our blog to learn more about what influences and drives data recovery prices

How will I receive my recovered data back?

Our engineers only make temporary repairs to your damaged storage device to salvage your data. Gillware returns your recovered data to you on a new, password-protected external hard disk drive. We only share the password with you, keeping all your data safe and secure.

Do I need to send you just the hard drive or do you need the computer as well?

We only need the storage device from your computer itself. No other component, i.e. your CD/DVD drive, RAM, CPU, motherboard, floppy disk drive, etc., permanently contains any of your data.

I already sent my drive to another lab and they said data recovery isn’t possible. I’ve read on your website that you have additional tools and techniques you use. Does this mean there’s a chance?

At Gillware, we do have technology other labs lack, such as our burnishing tools and advanced imaging and analysis software. This can improve our chances of success even when other data recovery labs fail, but not always.

If another data recovery company fails to recover your data, we can still assess your situation with a completely free in-lab evaluation from our engineers. Whether or not we can recover your data, we can still provide you with peace of mind the other labs can’t.