What is rescue services with Seagate?

Rescue services offered by Seagate allow users to attempt to recover data from failed or failing hard drives. Seagate is one of the largest manufacturers of hard disk drives in the world, so they offer rescue services to help customers recover important data when a Seagate hard drive fails.

What types of rescue services does Seagate offer?

Seagate offers three levels of rescue services to attempt to recover data from a failed hard drive:

  • Basic Service: Remote diagnosis to determine failure cause, evaluate recoverability, and provide firmware repair if applicable. No data recovery is performed.
  • Advanced Service: Attempt to recover data remotely using proprietary tools. Up to 3TB maximum.
  • Premium Service: Full diagnostic and data recovery service. Drive is shipped to a Seagate Rescue Service Center and disassembled in a sterile room. Recommended for drives with critical data.

The service type needed depends on the failure type and importance of recovering the data on the drive. Basic Service involves no data recovery while Premium Service is the most comprehensive hands-on recovery method for critical data.

Why would you need Seagate rescue services?

There are a few common situations where Seagate rescue services would be utilized:

  • Hard drive failure – Any mechanical, electronic, or logical failure of a Seagate hard drive resulting in inaccessible data. Common failure types include not spinning up, not recognized by system, bad sectors, clicking noises, etc.
  • Accidental data deletion or overwrite – Important files or partitions accidentally deleted or overwritten.
  • Ransomware attack – Hard drive encrypted by malicious software, preventing access to files.
  • Corrupted drive – File system or partition table corruption making data inaccessible.
  • Natural disaster – Drive damaged by flood, fire, or other event.

The key point is any situation where a Seagate hard drive fails or data is unintentionally lost and a user needs professional help to recover their important data from the drive.

What types of drives are eligible for Seagate rescue services?

Seagate will accept most models of Seagate branded hard drives for rescue services. This includes internal and external hard drives for desktops and laptops. Specific eligible drive types include:

  • Desktop HDDs – Barracuda, SkyHawk, IronWolf, etc.
  • Laptop HDDs – Momentus, Laptop SSHD, etc.
  • External Portable HDDs – Backup Plus, Slim, Expansion, etc.
  • External Desktop HDDs – Backup Plus Hub, Expansion Desktop, etc.
  • SSDs – Barracuda SSD, Nytro SSD, etc.

In most cases, the drive must have a Seagate model number and firmware to be accepted. Seagate rescue services are not offered for hard drives from other manufacturers.

What are the steps to using Seagate rescue services?

Using Seagate rescue services involves a few key steps:

  1. Diagnose the hard drive failure using Seagate SeaTools – Determine that the drive has failed and data is inaccessible using Seagate’s free diagnostic software.
  2. Research service options – Choose Basic, Advanced, or Premium service depending on failure type and data value.
  3. Contact Seagate Rescue Services – Open a case online or call a technician to discuss service options.
  4. Obtain quote – Seagate will provide a quote for services based on the drive capacity, failure type, and service level.
  5. Approve service – Accept the quote to authorize Seagate to perform service.
  6. Send in drive – Ship the failed hard drive to a Seagate Rescue Service facility using provided packaging.
  7. Attempt recovery – Technicians will work to recover data using proprietary tools, clean room disassembly, replacement parts, etc.
  8. Return drive – Any recovered data will be copied to media or an external drive and returned to the customer.

This process allows trained Seagate technicians to properly diagnose issues and safely handle the failed drive to maximize chances of data recovery.

What types of data can be recovered by Seagate rescue services?

Seagate rescue services can recover most common file types from a failed hard drive, including:

  • Documents – Word, Excel, PowerPoint files, PDFs, etc.
  • Media – Photos, videos, music files, graphics, etc.
  • Emails – Outlook .PST files or other email storage formats.
  • Database files – SQL database files, Quicken files, etc.
  • Archives – Zip, Rar, 7z, etc.
  • Other – Software installation files, text files, etc.

In general, rescue services attempt to recover all readable file systems and data types. Unique proprietary file types may present challenges if documentation is not available. Heavily encrypted or secured data may also be unrecoverable in some cases.

What factors determine the chances of successful data recovery?

There are a few key factors that influence the likelihood of successfully recovering lost data using Seagate rescue services:

  • Cause of failure – Logical recoverable issues like accidental deletion provide higher success rates than mechanical failures.
  • Drive handling – Continued use of a failing drive reduces success compared to immediate power-down and service request.
  • Drive disassembly – Opening a hard drive in non-cleanroom conditions makes data recovery much less likely.
  • Age of drive – Much higher success rates are seen with newer drives compared to older models.
  • Service level – Premium Services have access to specialized tools and clean room conditions to improve recovery odds.

Seagate still provides best-effort attempts at data recovery even in difficult situations, but the factors above weigh heavily on ultimate outcome.

How long does Seagate data recovery service take?

The total turnaround time for Seagate rescue services varies depending on several factors:

  • Service level – Basic is fastest while Premium takes more time.
  • Recovery complexity – Simple logical recoveries are much faster than mechanical repairs.
  • Parts ordering – Some drive repairs require ordering replacement components.
  • Data transfer – Copying tens or hundreds of GBs adds significant time.
  • Queue depth – Turnaround times increase during periods of high service demand.

Here are rough estimates for turnaround time once a drive is received by the rescue center:

Service Level Estimate Turnaround Time
Basic Service 1-2 business days
Advanced Service 3-5 business days
Premium Service 5-10 business days

Seagate provides expedited services for urgent cases. Turnaround estimates are also provided upfront during service quotation.

How much does Seagate data recovery cost?

Costs for Seagate rescue services vary based on the service level chosen, drive capacity, and overall recovery complexity. Here are typical costs ranges:

  • Basic Service – $50 to $300
  • Advanced Service – $300 to $1500
  • Premium Service – $700 to $2500

Seagate provides written quotes upfront based on the specific drive, so there are no hidden fees or surprise charges. In some cases where drives require extraordinary repair efforts, additional costs may be required and customers notified to approve.

How do Seagate’s data recovery services compare to other options?

Seagate rescue services offer some benefits compared to other recovery options:

  • OEM experts – Direct manufacturer expertise with Seagate drives.
  • First-party tools – Access to proprietary internal data recovery software and tools.
  • Trusted handling – Trained technicians handle drives safely in certified cleanrooms.
  • Reasonable pricing – Costs are very competitive compared to many data recovery firms.
  • Quick turnaround – Relative fast turnaround times, often under 1 week.

The main downside is Seagate only services Seagate brand hard drives. Also, independent data recovery firms may utilize a wider range of specialized tools and forensic techniques in some cases.

What mistakes should be avoided when trying to recover data yourself?

It’s tempting to try to recover data yourself from a failed hard drive, but some common mistakes should be avoided:

  • Don’t continually power on a failing drive – This can degrade the drive and lower recovery odds.
  • Don’t open the drive housing – This exposes the platters and heads and makes professional recovery unlikely.
  • Don’t run intensive drive scanning tools – These stress and wear out a marginal drive.
  • Don’t re-write data to the drive – Overwriting deleted files makes them unrecoverable.
  • Don’t ship a drive without proper packaging – Damage during shipping can destroy any remaining usability.

Safely packaging and shipping a failed drive to a professional recovery service like Seagate Rescue Services improves the chances of getting data back.


Seagate rescue services offer a range of professional data recovery options to help retrieve important files and data from failed Seagate brand hard drives. While outcomes are not guaranteed, utilizing Seagate’s internal tools, expertise, and proper drive handling gives the highest chances for success compared to self-recovery attempts. With services ranging from simple firmware repairs to intricate clean room disassembly and data extraction, Seagate can find an appropriate recovery solution for most situations where invaluable data is trapped on a dead drive.