Shipping & Packaging
The first step to recovering your data is sending the damaged drive or media to us for a diagnostic evaluation. To ensure that your data arrives safely, it’s best to ship it to us using a reputable shipping company. It’s also important to securely package your damaged drive or media. Follow these steps to prepare your media for shipment.
Instructions for any type of media shipped from your home or place of business:
- Tightly pack it: Your media should be packed tightly and securely so that it does not shift. The impact of movement during shipment can further damage your drive. Use materials like solid foam cushioning that do not move, and/or bubble wrap, to secure your media. We’ve included media specific packaging instructions below.
- Protect against electrostatic discharge: Any media that you send to us with exposed circuit boards or internal hard drives should be packed in anti-static bags. This prevents a static discharge from further damaging your device. You can find these bags online or at your local electronics store. Also, avoid using packing peanuts. Not only can they cause your device to shift, they may also trigger a static charge. If you are unable to locate or use an anti-static bag, please use a plastic sealable bag.
- Ship it in a cardboard box: It is best to use a new, sturdy cardboard box that doesn’t show signs of previous wear and tear to pack your media. If the box is compromised it could result in damage.
- Insert forms and securely tape your box: Print your Drive Data Recovery order forms and include them in the box so that we can contact you once we’ve received your package. Once you’ve packed your media, along with the forms, securely tape the outside of the box.
- Attach a prepaid label: From your home or office computer, you can log into the website of a reputable shipping company such as FedEx or UPS and enter your shipping information. Print the prepaid label and securely attach it to your box. Keep your shipping confirmation number handy so that you can track your package.
- Drop your package off or schedule a pickup: After your media is packaged and a shipping label attached, it is time to send it to us. You can either drop it off at a FedEx, UPS, or other shipping location. Or, you can schedule a pickup. Check that your shipment arrives at our facility using the tracking number you receive from the shipping company.
Our Procedures once your package arrives at Drive Data Recovery Lab:
When we receive your package, we will notify you that it has arrived at our recovery lab and begin the no-cost diagnostic evaluation. This process can take up to 72 hours after we have received your media. Once the diagnostic process is complete, we will send you a full report including a detailed diagnosis, the cost to recover your data, and the amount of time it will take for us to complete the recovery process.
Media Specific Packing Instructions
Hard drives should be firmly packed in bubble wrap. Tape the bubble wrap to prevent the hard drive from sliding out of it during shipment. Do not tape over the factory label. If any circuitry is exposed, make sure to wrap the drive in an electrostatic bag.
Solid-state and desktop hard drives: When packing these drives, it is critical that they do not move during shipping. Solid shipping foam and bubble wrap work best. Your drive should be wrapped with a minimum of 3 inches of bubble wrap.
External hard drives: Keep your external hard drive in its enclosure and send the power cord and interface cables that go along with it. You do not have to wrap an external hard drive in an anti-static bag. Its enclosure keeps it protected. As with other types of drives, external hard drives should be securely wrapped in at least 3 inches of bubble wrap.
Laptop hard drive: Bubble wrap also works best for laptop hard drives. You can use foam, but only the kind specifically designed for these types of hard drives.
Multiple hard drives: If you are sending us multiple drives, wrap them according to the instructions for each type of drive you are sending. Also, be sure to label each drive so we can easily identify them.
RAID Arrays & Servers
The instructions for packing RAID arrays and servers are similar to those for packing hard drives. Make sure to include the controller card when shipping your RAID array. And label your drives according to their position in the array (starting with 0 for most RAID drives).
When shipping a laptop computer, pack it according to our general media packing instructions. Wrap accessories, such as the power cord, separately from the laptop. Both can be placed in the same box. You can also find shipping boxes specifically designed for laptops. FedEx, for example, has laptop shipping boxes.
With desktop computers, it is imperative that the computer does not shift during shipping. Wrap the desktop with at least 3 inches of bubble wrap. Wrap accessories separately, but include them in the same box. Place the computer and peripherals securely in a box that does not allow for any movement. Place foam corner cushions on this box and set it inside of a larger box. The inner box should not be able to shift in the outer box. Wrap each box with pressure sensitive tape at least 2 inches wide.
Mobile Devices: Phones & Tablets
If you are shipping your smartphone or tablet, pack it in its original container if possible and remember to include a charger. Wrap a layer of foam padding around the LCD screen, or use a screen protector to protect it during shipping. You can find boxes specifically designed for shipping mobile devices through shipping companies like UPS and FedEx.
Data Tapes and Cartridges
Data tapes and cartridges should be labeled and sent in their storage cases. Wrap each case in bubble wrap and place it in the box with each tape reel axis horizontal to the shipping container. As with other devices, pack tapes and cartridges so that they cannot shift during shipment. Also, label the box as “magnetically sensitive” and “fragile”.
USB Flash Memory and Other Media Cards
USB flash memory and other media such as SD cards and compact flash drives should be placed in anti-static bags and wrapped with bubble wrap to prevent them from shifting in the box.
Preventing further damage to your device is important to the recovery process. If you have any questions about how to package and ship your media, do not hesitate to contact us. Our account representatives are available to help you through the shipment process.
Please note: We are not responsible for the condition of your drive when we receive it in the mail.