How Much Does It Cost to Recover Data from a Hard Drive?

You can recover data from a hard drive for a reasonable price. With the plethora of online programs available, you can recover lost information for as little as $100. Of course, depending on the amount of data and the complexity of the recovery process, the price can go up from there.

Hello folks! My name is Lavelle and I am a professional photographer and a long-time technology user. I’ve gone through quite a few hard drives throughout my more than 30-year career and I’ve found several good ways to recover lost data.

In this article, I will go over some of the drive failure types and discuss the variables that contribute to the cost of recovering lost data. Additionally, I will talk about some of the free methods you can use to recover data.

Key Takeaways

  • There are several free options to recover lost data. Primarily, logical failures (non-mechanical) may be recovered using free or inexpensive online options.
  • The cost of recovering data depends on variables including the amount of data, the condition of the drive, and expected turnaround time.
  • Protect your data by backing it up regularly and monitoring the hard drive for potential failures.

Drive Failure Types

There are primarily two types of hard drive failures: Non-Mechanical and Mechanical or Damage related issues. Here you will find information on both types of failures.

Non-mechanical Problems

Non-mechanical failures include things such as logical or firmware-related failures. Logical failures are things such as accidental deletions, unintentional formatting, software problems, malware, corruption, etc. These are non-physical failures and can be addressed professionally.

Damage or Mechanical Failure

Physical failures such as damage or mechanical malfunctions are the other type of hard drive failure. Conditions such as excessive heat or electrical power surges can damage hard drives. Other failures may result from dropping a hard drive, water, or other such physical damage. These types of failures may sometimes be addressed by professionals, however, in some cases, they may be fatal to the hard drive.

What the Cost to Recover Data from a Hard Drive Depends on?

When attempting to recover lost data from a hard drive, the cost associated with it depends on several variables.

Type of the Drive

There are hard disk drives (HDD), solid-state drives (SSD), and external hard drives. Each of these drives differs in composition. The HDD and external drives both have moving parts inside while the SSD drive has non-moving components. Also, the HDD and external drives typically store more data than the SSD ones.

Considering the types of hard drives mentioned here, it is important to understand that the cost to recover data from each drive varies depending on the complexity of the data, the condition of the drive, and the time to recover.

Additionally, restoring data from an SSD is typically more expensive than restoring data from an HDD, but again, it ultimately depends on the condition of the drive and the amount of data.

Type of the Damage

Another contributing factor to the cost of recovering data is the type of drive damage. Non-mechanical damages tend to be less expensive than mechanical mainly because they are easier to work on.

Physical or mechanical damages are more difficult to work on since the drive may be difficult to access, depending on the damage. The cost to recover data in this case can start at approximately $300 and go up from there.

Company Equipment and Experience

Well-established companies can generally scale their services and offer more competitive rates. However, that does not mean that a small, locally-owned company cannot provide a competitive rate. At the end of the day, you want to consider the type of equipment the company is using and the company’s experience to determine if the rate that they charge is reasonable.


Depending on the type of components in your hard drive, the price may vary to recover lost data. More complex hard drives may cost more. Additionally, proprietary components may drive the price of recovery up as well.

Time Frame

The last contributing factor is the time frame. It comes down to how quickly you need or want the lost data back in your possession. Of course, faster services typically equals higher costs. You should closely examine the turnaround time that you need for the data you seek to have recovered.

How Can I Recover My Hard Drive Data for Free?

Under certain conditions such as logical or accidental deletion failures, you can try to restore the data lost on the hard drive by using free software applications. Some of the software examples are listed here.

1. Disk Drill

One of the more recognized programs for recovering data is Disk Drill. This program allows you to restore lost, deleted, formatted, and/or corrupt files easily and quickly. It can be used on both Windows and Mac systems.

The free version of this application only allows you to recover up to 100MB. Anything beyond this size must be purchased through a separate plan.

2. EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard

The EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard program also allows you to recover lost data, deleted, formatted, or corrupt files by using a wizard to guide you through the recovery steps. The free version of this program allows you to restore up to 2GB of data for no cost.

3. Recuva (Windows)

Recuva is a good Windows-based recovery program. It allows you to recapture lost or deleted files and offers you three options for recovery. The first option is free to use while the other two are for commercial users that have costs associated with them. The best part is that there is no limit to the amount of data you can recover using the free plan.

4. iBeesoft Data Recovery Free

The iBeesoft Data Recovery offers you the opportunity to recover data for Windows versions 11/10/8.1/8/7. The program offers a free version, as well as a purchase option for a more robust recovery service.

The free plan does not have a recovery limit on data, however, there is a limit to the number of computers it can be used on. You can purchase additional licenses for more devices.

5. Prosoft Data Rescue for Mac

The last choice I recommend is Prosoft Data Rescue for Mac users. This program is well respected in the data recovery industry and offers you several pricing options depending on the number of files you intend to recover. 

The pricing models range from $15 for one file to $79 for full-drive recovery. You can also purchase a one-year professional recovery license for $399.


Here are a few answers to some frequently asked questions.

How Long Does It Take to Recover 1TB of Data?

The amount of time that it takes to recover 1TB of data varies depending on the operating system, hardware condition, amount and type of data, and service type. The recovery process can take as little as a few hours and as long as several days.

Can I Recover Data from a Dead Hard Drive?

Yes, it is possible to recover data from a dead hard drive. However, please note that how the data is recovered, the cost of recovery, and the time it takes to recover the data varies depending on several variables.

Why Data Recovery Is So Expensive?

The cost of data recovery is relative. It can sometimes be a complex process involving mechanical or non-mechanical failures. Depending on the experience of the company and the circumstances surrounding the recovery, the price can sometimes be costly.

Final Thoughts

Whether it’s personal photos or important documents, the loss of data can be devastating. That’s why finding ways to recover lost data is important to many of us. The cost of recovering data can be complicated in some cases, while others may be relatively easy and inexpensive.

Before turning to professionals, you can first try to recover the data using free options, such as one of the programs I suggested above.

Have you successfully recovered data from a hard drive? Share your experience in the comments below.

Until next time, do your best to protect your data, monitor your equipment, and enjoy your technology!

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