8 April 2016


For your convenience, the most common questions are answered right here.

Not finding what you want? Reach out directly through our contact us form.

Eligible devices

We recover data from internal and external single hard drives up to 5TB in capacity – both traditional hard disk drives and solid state devices – used in or with both Windows and Mac machines.  We accept USB / external drives which have been removed from their plastic cases, but cannot accept drives which have been opened / had their warranty seals invalidated (typically due to a previously unsuccessful data recovery attempt). Due to our low fixed-price policy we regret that we do not accept encrypted, fire- or flood-damaged drives or multi-drive (RAID) systems. We do not extract the content of Apple Time Machine backups.

We can recommend you recovery services for all excluded storage devices via an alternative provider. Not sure whether your device is eligible? Please contact us.

Our service guarantee – The Zest Quality Commitment

Once you have accepted our quote, we will work to recover the maximum amount of data* in the same condition as previous to your data loss.

Should our engineers ascertain that they are unable to recover 85% or more of your data and / or your files have suffered irreparable harm as a result of the data loss damage, then we will ask whether you wish to receive the data that can be recovered. If you do not wish to proceed, we will issue a full refund and return your original drive.

*Data is considered all user files (such as documents, photos, videos and music), but excludes system files such as software programmes and operating systems.

Free data recovery evaluation and quote

Q: How do I request a free evaluation?

A: Please start here and follow the instructions. Fill in the form to the best of your knowledge and ship your drive to us (see ‘Preparing your drive for shipment’ below).

Q: How long does the evaluation take?

A: Once we receive the hard drive, our free evaluation will normally take a maximum of four business days.

Q: What does the free evaluation offer me?

A: Our engineers need to determine whether your case requires Standard or Advanced data recovery techniques.  Your quote will then be sent to you, and will comprise the data recovery service, an external drive for the recovered data, and a small shipping cost.  The external drive will be the same size as the drive you send for recovery (or larger, should the same capacity be unavailable). You will see prices for these items when you place the order for your free evaluation.

Q: What is the difference between Standard and Advanced Recovery?

A: Standard Recoveries overcome less complex data loss cases such as deleted data, simple drive formats and other software-based issues that stop a drive being accessed. An Advanced Recovery is needed when a drive has physically failed, or when logical data structures are badly damaged and require manual repair.

Q: Why do your prices depend on the capacity of the drive to be recovered?

A: Larger drives take our engineers longer to process and are more mechanically complex. This increase in our costs is reflected in slightly higher prices.

Q: How long do I have to accept the quote?

A: The email quote is valid for thirty days. If you choose not to accept and pay the quote, your drive will be securely disposed 90 days after the quote expiry date. You can request the return of your drive at any time during this period by contacting us with your quote reference number, and paying a small return shipping fee.

Q: Are there any costs to me for the free evaluation process?

A: You will need to pay for the shipping of your hard drive so we can inspect it (average price of our recommended courier service is £4.49). If you choose not to accept the quote and want your drive returned, you’ll need to pay on average £6.00 for tracked shipping. Other than those, there are no costs to you. No exceptions.

Preparing your drive for shipment

Q: How do I package my drive?

A: Hard drives are delicate devices, and care must be taken when packaging them. Please ensure you follow the advice on how to ship your hard drive.

Q: Can I send my device via Royal Mail or a different courier to that which you offer?

A: Yes, of course you can. Just bear in mind you will need to arrange this yourself.

Q: Can I drop off my hard drive in person?

A: We operate from a laboratory facility without a customer reception, so we don’t currently offer this option. You can send your drive to us directly or use an extensive number of drop off points. This is explained further in the email we send to you after registering for a free evaluation.

Q: Where do I send my hard drive for a free inspection?

A: Please ensure you first register a request for a free evaluation and receive a quote number by email. You’ll then receive shipping instructions and can choose your shipping method.

Zest Data Recovery
Global House
1 Ashley Avenue
Surrey KT18 5AD

Q: How do I remove my hard drive from my computer?

A: There are several helpful videos that show you how to do this. Alternatively, if you have a laptop and cannot remove the hard drive, you can send us your machine and we will remove the drive upon arrival. Please note that the price of the shipping will be adjusted accordingly, and you will be without your laptop for the duration of the recovery process!

Data recovery

Q: How long will the recovery take?

A: The recovery time will depend on the severity of the data loss. Especially if your recovery falls under the Advanced category, it will require additional work such as opening the drive and replacing the faulty parts. Please allow up to 30 days.

Q: Do you offer express recovery options?

A: If you require expedited recovery services, we can recommend options via a separate provider.

Q: When / how will I hear from you?

A: When we have the final recovery result or need to request some information from you, you will receive an email from us. You can contact us of course, but we will not usually be able to comment on the exact status of your recovery. We do commit to sending you any useful news just as soon as our engineers provide it.

Q: How will I get my data back?

A: We will copy all your recovered data onto an encrypted external drive and ship it to you by tracked courier one business day after the completion of the recovery. The decryption password, instructions, and courier tracking number will be emailed to you to safeguard the security of your data.

Q: Can I send an external drive for the recovered data, instead of purchasing one from you?

A: Yes, provided the drive you send us is a new (boxed) USB 3.0 external hard drive with sufficient capacity for all the data on the drive you send us for recovery. We regret that we cannot accept slower (USB 2.0 or lower) or used drives, or any media with data already written to it. Please note that we do not encrypt (password protect) customer-supplied drives.

Q: Do you also send back my drive?

A: If you do not accept our recovery quote and wish to receive the drive you sent us, you have 90 days to request its return. In other cases your drive will automatically be returned, provided you did not choose the secure disposal option when requesting a quote. The typical return shipping fee is £6.00.

Q: What happens if you can’t get any data back?

A: An inconvenient truth in our industry is that some cases are so severe that data recovery is not possible. It all comes down to drive type, failure type and the severity of the failure. If data cannot be recovered we will make no charge, and even your drive will be returned for free. If you have already paid us, you will be refunded in full.

Other matters

Q: Will you repair my drive?

A: No – hard drives are not designed to be repaired, which is why data recovery is laborious and requires skill and experience. Our goal is to extract all the data from your drive, but if it has suffered any type of physical damage it will remain in this condition.

Q: What’s your success rate?

A: Data recovery is unfortunately not a regulated industry so there are many interpretations of ‘success rate’ and a huge number of varying claims. Some companies define ’success’ as the ability to read any amount of data from your failed drive (which may not contain any useful data), and others omit irrecoverable cases from their statistics!

The most frank response is that every case is unique, and whilst many will enjoy a full recovery, some are inevitably irrecoverable. The outcome will depend on the type and severity of the failure and the experience of the provider’s engineers. We’re exclusive technology partners with Ontrack, the most experienced data recovery company in the world, so you can rest assured that you’re in excellent hands.

Q: What if I have any questions about my case?

A: If you have any questions or comments, please reply to any email you have received from us or email us at info@zestdatarecovery.com (quoting your order number, if you have one).

Q: Can I call you?

A: To ensure costs are kept to a minimum and you don’t overpay for your recovery, we’ve streamlined our process and don’t currently offer phone support. However, we guarantee to keep you informed with all the relevant information, and are always contactable (and responsive!) via email and / or chat.

Your question isn’t here?

Please send us your question via the contact us form.