Rescue and replace

Seagate is trialling a new protection plan in USA and Canada covering drive replacement and data recovery for most brands of internal and external hard disk (HDD) and solid-state drives (SSD). It will be available in Australia in mid-2014.

It covers all new hard disks form any manufacturer and SSD’s from Fusion IO, HGST, Intel, Micron, OCZ, Samsung, SanDisk, Seagate Technology, SMART Storage Systems, STEC, Toshiba, and Western Digital Corporation.

Equipment is eligible for up to two internet/remote data recovery attempts where data is lost but the drive is functional, and one in-lab data recovery attempt where the drive has failed.

Considering in-lab data recovery typically cost AU$800-1500, Seagate’s plans start from US$39.99/49.99/59.99 for 2/3/4 year’s coverage and appear to be good value.

Seagate claim a nearly 90% recovery success rate.

Opinion 

Seagate make it clear that this is not an insurance-based scheme but directly performed by Seagate or their agents – which is a good thing because there is a very good likelihood that, as one of the major HDD/SSD manufacturers, it will have the expertise to recover data.

What it is doing is essentially gambling on the odds that the drive will last up to four years. With SMART Diagnostics (Self-Monitoring, Analysis, and Reporting Technology) and failure rates between 1-3% depending on age, it is a safe bet that Seagate will be able to bank a substantial portion of the revenue this scheme creates.On the SSD front it has the secret backdoor keys to recover hardware encrypted data.

Australian data recovery firm Kroll Ontrack has a similar HDD recovery service starting from AU$50 that has been popular for protecting critical data and is avaialble now.

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Ray Shaw

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Ray Shaw ray@im.com.au  has a passion for IT ever since building his first computer in 1980. He is a qualified journalist, hosted a consumer IT based radio program on ABC radio for 10 years, has developed world leading software for the events industry and is smart enough to no longer own a retail computer store!