At the very core, this is a pretty simple question. If any of your files on your computer, suddenly and without warning, were just not there, what would you have to pay to get them back? If, someone was going to run through the thousands of lines of coding to try and find your files, how much are they going to charge to get your data back?
Whilst it might seem simple, it is really a double-edged question.
The first question you have to ask yourself, is not how much they are worth, but are they worth anything at all? Was it just a list of things to do today? Will it take you five minutes to redo the file and then you can forget that you accidently pressed delete? Do you even know what you are missing and if you don’t then did you really need those files anyway?
If any of these questions has the obvious and quick answer of ‘Yes’, then you shouldn’t even think of paying to recover your files. Just crack on with redoing your files and carrying on with your day. It will be quicker, cheaper and probably result in exactly the same solution as if you paid to have your hard-drive analysed and all lost data recovered.
However, when you delete that sales pitch which you have been working on for months. Or when you accidently lose a whole folder full of photos, it doesn’t actually matter what the photos were of, we would all want them back. Sometimes, you know instantly that you would need to send your hard-drive off and have a professional data recovery specialist do the hard work for you.
As soon as you use the term ‘specialist’, it is pretty easy to suddenly see a huge bill and thousands being spent, without any guarantee of success.
But having your hard-drive analysed does not necessarily mean that your bill will even be in the thousands. The best advice is to stop using your computer or drive as soon as you realise you have lost or deleted anything. This stops the file being over-written and makes the job of recovery easier.
Simple jobs start under £200 and most recovery jobs will not exceed £600. Just knowing what you will be in for financially allows you to accurately figure out how much those files are worth.
If you shudder at the thought of paying out to have your files replaced, then you clearly know the value of them instantly. They are not worth any money to you and replacing them is a nice touch, but clearly not a necessity.
However, as soon as you think that the price tag is cheap, you can value your assets and their clear worth to you.
As ever, in our day and age, the value of an item is directly linked to what it means to you and how you will be using it. So you must ask yourself, how much is my data really worth?