Frequently Asked Questions

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What is data recovery ?

Data recovery is the process of retrieving data (files, documents) from a primary storage media (hard drive, USB drive, Flash memory... etc.) when it cannot be accessed normally. The data is first recovered and then copied on another media. Usually, the files to recover are working documents (Word, Excel, PowerPoint, texte, Acrobat... etc.), favorites, Emails and contacts, photos or pictures, music, databases, compressed files (ZIP, RAR), accounting or taxes files... and so on.

What are the symptoms and causes of data corruption ?

Typical symptoms are unusual noise (clicking, scratching, platters fail to spin up...) or heating. Sometimes, the computer fail to boot (showing or not an error message) or does not recognize the disk, display a "blue screen" or is very slow.
Some common reasons for failure are (1) manufacturing defect (2) mishandling or accidents involving water, fire, dust, shock (3) viruses (4) accidental file deletion or reformatting (5) file system corruption (6) wear and stress from everyday usage.

What are the main types of problem ?

Problems are diverse but they can be divided into two main categories.

Software damage:
Far more common than physical damage is software damage to a file system, firmware, corrupted or deleted files... and so on. Software damage is primarily caused by power outages that prevent file system structures from being completely written to the storage medium. The result is that the file system is left in an inconsistent state.

Physical damage:
Physical damage occur as a consequence of a mechanical failure, such as scrached platters, head crashes, used ball bearings, defective borad and failed motors... etc. Most physical damage cannot be repaired by end users. In any case, DO NOT OPEN THE DISK YOURSELF. Opening a hard disk in a normal environment can allow dust to settle on the surface, causing further damage to the platters and complicating the recovery process.

What should I do first ?

The first thing to do is to power down your system as soon as possible (using the power button and not the shutdown feature of your system). The longer your system is running on a defective drive, the more damage can occur. Do not re-power you system.
Secondly, we highly recommend that you do not run any file recovery or system recovery software on your own because these kind of software should not be used in any situation and can even make the recovery process more diffiult. Never open the disk yourself because doing so can cause further damage.
Finally, consult a data recovery specialist that will help analyze your particular situation in order for you to make an informed decision. MicroExpert offers a professional evaluation of your media. Therefore, we suggest you contact us by phone so that we can guide you through the whole process.

How much does it cost ?

The price is always calculated based on our evaluation of the work to be performed. Experience says that “No two recoveries are the same”. There are many reasons, processes, consequences and circumstances of each failure and it is not possible to provide a standard pricing structure. This is why prices are set case by case.

How long does it take ?

The turn around time depends on each situation. For example, if some parts need to be replaced, we have to take into account the time to get an identical or compatible part. Some other process can require that we let the disk run during several hours. For some additional fees, we also offer an "Express" and "Rush" service in case you need your data more quickly. Once again, we will be able to provide more information on the time required after the initial inspection.

What is your success rate ?

Many factors need to be taken into account and the success rate is greatly influenced by the type of problem that caused data corruption. On average, our success rate is above 80%.

Do you keep a copy of the files ?

We keep the data for a period of 10 days following the delivery, just in case we have to do some additional work. This gives you 10 days to make sure that everything is fine with your data or otherwise contact us.

Do you guarantee the confidentiality of my data ?

Yes, all data are processed with strict confidentiality in order to protect privacy and our policy mentions that all data are deleted after 10 days.

How can I prevent these kind of problems in the future ?

To prevent data lost, make backup copies as often as possible. The easiest way to do so is to copy your data onto an external hard drive. You can find several software to automate this task. Also, some specialized companies offer to make online periodic backup. Their price depends on the quantity and frequency of the backup.
Also, you can power your system via a UPS unit (Uninterruptible Power Supply), that powers your system during a power failure and gives you enough time to shut down safely your computer.