Read_Write Heads Failure

Magnetic heads read information from the hard disk drive’s magnetic platters. Damage to the hard disk’s reading elements is a reasonably common malfunction.

During disk operation, the heads are supported on rotating disks by the oncoming airflow. Therefore, even a small impact or a fall during reading is very dangerous due to the contact of the reading elements with the disk surface.

In some HDDs, reading/writing malfunctions are caused by time, namely aging and loss of the original properties of the crystals. All elements in the block of magnetic heads are structurally interconnected. Therefore, if even one reading head fails, the entire assembly is changed to access the information thoroughly.

Data recovery requires a laminar flow hood to create conditions to prevent dust from entering the HDA. A failed MHA is replaced with a new one from a donor drive. Sometimes several such disks are required to read the data completely.

How Do Experts Evaluate Head Failure on Hard Drive?

Opening and Inspection

Given that a damaged block of magnetic heads moves relative to the surface at great speed, even minor and invisible damage makes data recovery impossible. To determine mechanical damage and data recovery capabilities, a hard drive with a damaged block of magnetic heads is opened and examined using various light sources and a microscope. 

When inspecting in our laboratory, we place the hard drive in a laminar flow cabinet. The specialist conducting the diagnostics must use latex powder-free gloves. And, if necessary, they remove other people’s fingerprints who opened the disk and left them.

Deciding on the Practicality of the Process

It is produced based on whether there are scratches on the visible surface and dust on the containment area, head sliders, and the filter. 

Even the complete absence of dust and visible scratches does not guarantee total data recovery. In this case, it is possible to assess the state only for the uppermost surface visually. 

Read-Write Heads Failure on HDD

Dismantling a package of magnetic disks located in the hermetic zone of the drive has the risk of the impossibility of further work on the device. It is due to the loss of the plates’ coaxial, centering, and rotation angle. 

Selection of a Donor for Hard Disk Drive Head Replacement

It is one of the most difficult and unpredictable stages of data recovery. Firstly, replacing a block of magnetic heads is a temporary and ineffective measure since a hard drive is an absolutely non-repairable device. After opening the containment area of a hard drive, it should not continue to work. The design of a hard drive does not provide for the replacement of its components. 

Even the complete coincidence of all letters of the model, batch, release date, and other information from the disc label does not guarantee the compatibility of components. When selecting components for replacing a block of magnetic heads, the experience of a specialist plays a vital role, who must know all the nuances of selecting heads for each model of disks.

Hard Disk Drive Magnetic Head Replacement

Replacing the hard drive’s bad heads requires maximum concentration from a specialist. Typically, in the lab, this work is done by an experienced technician who has received additional training and is skilled enough to work with customer disks. 

To perform work on replacing the block of magnetic heads, magnetic head pulleys are required. When removing the heads from the disk, they must not come into contact with each other and the surface. Without a puller, the chance of the magnetic disk crash is very high.

An essential role in this process is played by the skills of a specialist in replacing the head stack assembly. Since all actions must be verified at the level of reflexes like a surgeon, any uncertain, unnecessary, or incorrect movement will leave a mark in the form of circular scratches. 

Almost all actions in the hard disk containment area are irreversible.

The procedure for replacing the block of magnetic heads is carried out only in cleanrooms. After successfully replacing the donor’s heads, a sector-by-sector copy is taken from the faulty disk. This minimizes the disk’s load because the disk with the replaced head unit can no longer work as a working drive.

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What To Do When Facing Data Loss Due to a Damaged Hard Drive Head?

The first step in dealing with data loss is immediately powering down the device. The sooner you contact a data recovery company, the more likely your information will be recovered. 

Independent attempts to restore files with all the reconstruction programs available can lead to even more destruction of the system’s logical structure, making it impossible to restore files.

Read Write Heads Failure

Do not run the CHKDSK or SCANDISK file system repair utilities, which may start automatically after you restart your computer. These utilities will no longer be able to help. Instead, it is essential to perform hard drive head crash repair only with the assistance of professionals.

It is better to avoid using data recovery software, as most of it is capable of destroying the internal structure of the file system, making data recovery nearly impossible. Instead, entrust hard drive head repair and restoration to professionals.

Instead, contact PITS Global Data Recovery Services by filling out the form below for professional data recovery solutions. Our dedicated data retrieval technicians will restore all your crucial data and confidentially transfer them to you.

Frequently Asked Questions

Read-write heads are small electromechanical components that read and write data on the magnetic disks inside a hard drive.

Read-write head failure can be caused by physical shock, wear and tear, overheating, and manufacturing defects.

Signs of read-write head failure can include clicking or grinding noises, slow or intermittent access to data, frequent crashes or freezes, and read or write errors.

Yes, read-write heads can be replaced on a hard drive. However, it’s a delicate and complex process that requires specialized tools and expertise.

No, read write head replacement can only fix problems related to read write head failure. If the hard drive has other issues, such as platter damage or firmware corruption, read-write head replacement may not be sufficient.

No, read-write head replacement should not be attempted at home. It requires specialized tools and expertise, and any mistakes can cause further damage to the hard drive and result in permanent data loss.

It’s possible to recover data after read-write head replacement if the damage was limited to the read-write heads. However, for severe damage or other issues, data recovery may be more complicated and require professional assistance.