Most data recovery service providers perform the work in a clean room. While this is the best approach if there is damage to the head, it is expensive. 60% or more of the problem hard drives can be recovered without taking the drive apart. We do not use a clean room. If we can’t recover your data, then there is no charge, and if you wish to use a more expensive clean room service then you still have that option.
A few years ago, I got a call from a distraught woman who said that her computer was dead and she wanted to at least recover her files. I asked what happened, I could sense the embarrassment in her voice as she recounted how in a fit of rage, her husband slammed the laptop screen shut and inadvertently damaged the hard disk. (I wondered if this was a case for my wife instead, who’s a Marriage Counselor, at that time!)
I'd worked with this couple a few times and I know that they have two young children and there were hundreds of family photographs in this computer. Unfortunately, the disk was unrecoverable. They didn’t have a backup and as you can imagine, this had a tragic ending. But the marriage survived and their first order of business after the reconciliation was to install a backup system.
Should I tell you about another couple who lost their wedding pictures?
In 2013 computer malware called "CryptoLocker" kidnapped computer files by encrypting them for ransom.
It is estimated that the operators of the original CryptoLocker have extorted $3 million dollars.
While this threat is real, there are more boring ways that you can lose some or all of your data. Fire, earthquake, theft, or hard drive crash are all quite likely over your lifetime. Every computer user should be backing up their data, most do not. The best backup should not only save your data from any threat, but should also be automatic, so that you don’t have to remember to do it. Cloud backup services are the best solution.