Data Recovery Guide for Small Businesses

There is a renowned IT saying: “People don’t care about backups, only the restores.” The importance of backups is much less than that of restores!

The issue is that one is entirely reliant on the other. You cannot have a watertight restore process without a watertight backup schedule.

This guide will answer the most common questions we receive when people are desperate to recover data.

Understanding Data Recovery

What is Data Recovery?

Data recovery involves regaining access to files that have been damaged or accidentally deleted.

How to retrieve Deleted Data  

You can recover deleted files and data, but it will always depend on where the deleted files were lost: on a Laptop or PC, a server in the office, external storage devices, or files stored on the cloud.

We will look at solutions to recover missing data on various storage devices and mobile phones.

Factors that affect how successful the recovery process will be will depend on the following:

  • How long ago was the data deleted?
  • Where was the data deleted from, for example, a PC or a server, cloud storage, USB flash drives, memory cards, or mobile phones?
  • What type of data is it: standard file types such as Word or Excel or an entire database that is updated constantly
  • Supporting various file formats is crucial in data recovery as it ensures the ability to recover different types of files including images, documents, videos, and other formats from diverse storage media.

Free Data Recovery Solutions

How Can I Recover My Data for Free?

Various tools on the market recover lost data, such as Disk Drill, EaseUS, TestDisk, Recuva, and R-Studio. Most Windows devices have built-in file recovery tools, such as the recycle bin and data recovery wizard. Professional organisations also specialise in costly data recovery services, which offer no guarantee.

The recycle bin is a simple file recovery process built into most Windows devices. You can access it to see deleted files and restore them by typing Recycle Bin in the Windows search bar.

Are There Any Truly Free Data Recovery Programs?

Most free data recovery software on the market comes with a small cost, either a one-off payment or a monthly subscription plan that you can cancel after a few days once you have performed the recovery.

There are free data recovery software suppliers online. Still, we would not recommend anyone, as the paid-for versions are much more reliable and effective than free data recovery software.

Choosing the best data recovery software is crucial to ensure successful recovery of your files. Evaluating and testing different options can help you find the most reliable and efficient solution.

Stellarinfo is a leading data recovery software solution. One of its benefits is that it offers free data recovery, in that you can scan your device to see if the data can be recovered first.

There is a small cost of around £100 to buy the premium version of the software to perform the actual recovery, but at least you know before paying for it. Be aware, however, that there are different versions for Mac, Windows, iPhone and Android.

The Easeus data recovery wizard is also one piece of software recommended for recovering files. The process is straightforward, and the wizard that guides you through the restore is easy to navigate. It is also swift to run, and this is something you need to consider when using data recovery software; initial scans of the device can take a long time to complete

Data Recovery for Mobile Devices

Can I Recover Files on My Phone?

Prevention is better than cure when recovering data from a mobile device. Android and Apple have built-in data recovery tools that are out of the box; you need to set them up when first setting up the mobile.

Android mobiles can back up to Google Drive, which is Google’s cloud storage solution, whilst iPhones have iCloud, which is Apple’s cloud storage solution that you can use to back up your iPhone. You can configure Google Drive via the Google One app by installing it on your phone and going into Storage and Backup. Apple iCloud is also setup via Settings -> “Your Name” -> iCloud and iCloud backup

The real benefit of setting up your device to go back to either Google Drive or iCloud is that you can recover data on a phone that has also been stolen and restore it with all your settings and account information to a new device.

It is almost impossible to recover data from a damaged phone if you don’t have a backup; modern phones don’t allow you to remove the storage device from the mobile and then try to connect it to a laptop. However, we discuss advanced data recovery tools from professional organisations later in this article. Although this isn’t cheap

How Can I Recover Data from a Dead Phone for Free?

Anyrecover is excellent software for recovering files and data from Android or iPhones that are continually rebooting, stuck at the Google or Apple logo, or bricked devices that will not boot.

Suppose your iPhone or Android device is damaged from a fall, smashed, or another data loss scenario; you will likely lose its data if you haven’t backed it up, using the data recovery process above and setting up a backup first.

How Can I Recover Data from My Broken Android Phone for Free?

Google Drive and a preconfigured backup schedule are likely the only ways to recover data from a broken Android phone. Professional data recovery experts can offer a fixed price quote to attempt a recovery; however, it does not come with guarantees.

DIY Data Recovery at Home

Can You Do Data Recovery at Home?

Modern mobile phones don’t allow the average DIY home user to remove the storage device to try to recover data. Most storage devices in mobile phones are soldered directly onto the chipboard and cannot be removed. Again, we recommend setting up a backup of your mobile device before you use it. If you have added additional storage to the mobile via SD cards, you can remove this and connect it to a laptop to browse the data and recover lost files.

How to Recover Accidentally Deleted Files?

Most Windows devices have a recycle bin containing recoverable files you accidentally deleted.

Can You Get Data Off a Broken Hard Drive?

If you have a hard drive that you have formatted a new version of Windows onto, it is still possible to recover data from the old version that was on the hard drive before re-installing it, and again, Anyrecover will help you with this. If the drive is physically damaged, your only option is to use a data recovery expert with the correct hardware and tools to try to access a broken hard drive. You can find several organisations that can do this by googling data recovery services.

Professional Data Recovery Services

How Much Does Recovered Data Cost?

Professional data recovery services are expensive; you can expect to pay between £500 and £2,000 for them.

Is It Worth Paying for Data Recovery?

When deciding if a professional data recovery service is worth the cost, you must consider the value of the data you are trying to recover.

If photos are unimportant, it would be hard to justify the costs. If, however, it is data that you need to, for example, prove something in a court of law, then the price is worth it, but remember, there are never any guarantees they can recover the data.

Always ask them to do an initial scan of the device you are trying to recover first; this can be much cheaper than paying for a recovery without any guarantee.

How Much Does Data Recovery Cost Per Hour?

Typically, a professional organisation will charge upwards of £100-£200 per hour to recover data.

Why is Data Recovery So Expensive?

Recovering data is a complex process, especially if the device is damaged, and it often requires specialist tools that the average Company needs to have.

Data Recovery from Specific Devices

SSD Data Recovery Costs in the UK

We always recommend an initial scan to see if any data can be recovered first, as this will be cheaper than a full-on recovery with no guarantee. Again, professional help with professional tools is your only option.

Cost to Wipe a Hard Drive

To perform a complete wipe of data on a hard drive, you need to use the correct software, and in most cases, you will need to boot the device of this software so that it can wipe the drive in the device. Easeus Format Tool is entirely free and will wipe drives.

For businesses that want a drive wiped as well as receiving a WEEE certificate to prove the device has been wiped, there are plenty of organisations that will do this for free; they do, however, keep the drive afterwards.

Some of these free services will also collect the drives for free if you have a minimum number of drives to be destroyed.

Safety and Efficiency in Data Recovery

Is it Safe to Use Data Recovery Software?

Using data recovery software can generally be safe, especially if it’s from a reliable provider. However, it’s essential to ensure you’re not overwriting data on the hard drive you’re trying to recover from, as this could make the lost data unrecoverable.

It’s recommended to install the data recovery software on a separate drive from the one you’re recovering data from.

How Long Does It Take to Recover Data?

Some factors that affect the time it takes data recovery software to work will depend on the type of device you are trying to recover, such as SD cards, USB devices, hard disc drives, or mobile phones. The device’s size will also affect the time data recovery tools take to work. Age is another factor. Faster drives, such as SD cards and SSD drives, are much quicker than a hard disc from a Windows 7 device.

What Does Data Recovery Typically Involve?

Data recovery software typically has first to be able to read the device, then perform a scan where it records all the deleted files and files it can see that it could recover and lastly, the actual recovery process, which can take several hours to complete

Data Recovery Best Practices

How Likely Is Data Recovery?

Success rates depend on the state of the storage devices you are trying to recover. A reasonably new device that is less than three years old will have more success than a device that is ten years old. Damaged devices will take much longer to recover and require advanced data recovery tools and specialists.

How to Recover Data from a Dead Hard Drive?

To recover data from a dead hard drive, you will first need to remove it from the device it is currently in, whether that is a PC, Laptop or Windows server and insert it into some drive caddy that can then be plugged in via a USB connection to a working device. The working device can then try and mount the dead drive and see if it can read the files. We recommend putting it into a caddy because it removes possible hardware failures in the existing device, such as power issues, damaged leads, or a motherboard.


Newer devices are generally more accessible for data recovery compared to those older than ten years. However, recovering data from damaged mobile phones remains challenging unless a backup has been set up on Google Drive for Android or iCloud for iPhone. Utilising professional data recovery software or consulting data recovery specialists is often the most effective approach, although it can cost around £100. To avoid such situations, it is essential to implement a robust backup strategy, regularly test backups, and ensure file restorations work as expected. If the data is critically important, seeking professional assistance is advisable.

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