How to Start a Data Recovery Center

  • Comments: 4
  • Written on: January 6th, 2009

My friend Steve from called me up the other day because he heard that Schrock Innovations was about to launch a data recovery service center.

We did a phone interview about what goes into creating a data recovery center and how data recovery pricing structures work.  You can listen to the 53 minute interview here.

During the podcast we also discussed:

  • How to recover data
  • Different types of data recovery
  • What equipment is needed for data recovery
  • Some of the equipment and programs we have
  • What to charge per job
  • An affiliate program for data recovery services

The last item was literally mentioned in passing and was not a planned part of the interview.  But it turns out that little unplanned snippet is what is getting all of the attention.

We don’t even have a door on our clean room yet and I have received calls and emails from Nebraska, Texas, Missouri, and Pennsylvania asking to enroll in the affiliate program once it is up and running.

What Kind of Affiliate Program?

I have been so wrapped up in getting the new Service Center launched that I have not worked out the details of the affiliate program.

We would like to sign up 50 or more affiliates in February.  To accomplish that we are thinking about paying commissions around 40% of the total recovery charge for every paying referral the affiliate sends us.  To give comparison, other recovery companies with affiliate programs pay between $25 and $100 per referral.

Based on our pricing structure, affiliates can expect to make between $240 and $800 per referral.  Considering that our data recovery center is charging less than 1/2 of what other similarly equipped centers charge, we should get off to a pretty good start.

If you are interested in becomming an affiliate, please send me an email at tschrock AT and I will send you the details when they are hammered out.

What Equipment Does Schrock Have?

We have all of the following hardware as well as more than 20 different logical recovery programs.  Even when dealing with a physical failure, the software recovery programs are a MUST.

  • Dead Drive Cloning System – this allows us to “see” drives that can not be seen in by the computer’s BIOS and clone the data to a stable drive.  After the clone we use logical recovery software to extract the data to the destination drive.
  • Multiple Platter Exchanger – This is a tool that allows us to conduct physical repairs on drives with multiple data platters.  You can’t just open a drive, yank out the platters, and transplant them into a donor drive.  They need to stay in perfect alignment and this tool allows us to do that.
  • Interactive Drive Firmware System – This allows us to individually turn on or off specific components of a sealed drive to determine what the problem is before we open it.  For example, if there is a head crash on platter 1 but platter 2 works fine, we can recover the data from platter 2 safely, then open the drive to replace the heads and recover platter 1.  We get as much as we can before we open a drive.
  • Actuator Removal Tool – This allows us to safely remove the magnetized actuator from the interior of a hard drive.  While they can be removed without this tool, their strong magnetic field tends to make them jump around.  The last thing you need in an open hard drive is a magnetized jumping bean.
  • Every Torx Driver Bit Known to Man – These are for the star head screws that are used on hard drives.  The only local store that carries these is Sears, and they only carry 2 sizes.  This set has more than 20 bits 🙂
  • Hard Drive Assembly Bench – This is another “nice to have” tool.  Its basiclly a wire frame that holds the hard drive up off the table securely.  Removing a spindle from a drive without the drive in a fixed position is FUN.  This bench increases the reliability of our recovery services by keeping everything in place at all times.

Anyone can do a Google search and see the massive assortment of data recovery programs out there.  We bought 20 programs that reviewers found most useful – and they were correct in most cases.

Thanks for the opportunity to be a part of PodNutz again, Steve!  I enjoyed it!

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