How long does data recovery take?

Data has, over the last two decades, come to play a vital role in many businesses' day-to-day activities. So, when a business requires data recovery services, they usually need the job done as quickly as possible. It should come as no surprise, then, to hear that stakeholders are nigh-on always extremely keen to know just how quickly we can recover their data.

On average, we complete data recovery jobs within two business days. There are, however, several factors that can affect these timeframes. Here are the most common:

Severely damaged media

The process of recovering data from storage media that has suffered significant physical damage is inevitably more time-consuming. Whereas most media will require minor repairs before we can begin the process of retrieving data from it, media that has been subjected to significant damage will require more extensive work before we can begin the recovery process.

We have, for example, previously recovered data from fire-damaged servers, hard drives that have spent days in salt water and USB sticks that have been, literally, run over. In each case, we needed to utilise atypical techniques in order to get these devices (or pieces of them at the very least) functional for long enough to extract data from them. This requires a greater degree of planning and strategizing which, when combined with the time used to conduct necessary repairs, resulted in the data recovery process taking longer.

Whilst it is rare for media to be as damaged as those in the examples provided, hard drives that have been exposed to excessive heat or that have been dropped will also require some repairs, with the data recovery process taking longer as a result.

When a large amount of data needs to be recovered

Whilst it will usually take us longer to recover larger volumes of data, the difference is generally negligible unless the required procedure involves using metadata to rebuild files.

Rebuilding files from metadata is a laborious process and, as each file needs to be rebuilt individually, the more data there is the longer it’ll take.

Equally problematic when recovering files from media containing large amounts of data is that the drive will invariably need to begin spreading the individual pieces of data that form files across various locations making it harder for engineers to locate. When a piece of storage media is new, it will store data in a linear and logical fashion but, as it reaches its maximum capacity, it can no longer do this. Instead, it writes data to whatever locations are available and these must be found before files can be pieced back together.

Can anything be done if a business urgently needs its data recovered?

Yes, we can prioritise certain recoveries, though this will incur an additional fee and will need to be agreed prior to the data recovery process having started. 

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