Water Damaged Hard Drive Data Repair

Hard disk and solid-state drives are great for storing sensitive business information and personal data. With these devices, you can keep your vital photos, videos, and other files with, seemingly, zero problems. However, HDDs and SSDs are not bulletproof and are susceptible to failures.

Moving parts make hard disk drives more vulnerable to physical damage than SSDs. The spindle motor can wear off due to prolonged use. A head crash may damage the magnetic head’s block and the magnetic platters’ surface.

If the hard disk drive fails, restoring data from the device is necessary to replace harmed parts. Then, read the content of the surface of the magnetic platters with a hardware programmer device and decrypt them with unique codes, turning the data into readable files and documents. 

Water Damaged HDD Recovery

Over the past week, an external hard disk drive damaged by water was brought to our lab for data recovery. The client tried to turn the drive on himself, but the magnetic heads bent, and the parking place was also damaged.

He contacted our dedicated customer service team and entrusted his device to PITS engineers. The data recovery team received the hard disk drive and started diagnostics. 

We work in an ISO-certified Class 10 Cleanroom to diagnose media storage with sensitive parts. A clean room is where dust, microorganisms, aerosol particles, and chemical vapours are maintained in the air within a predetermined range. Other criterions such as humidity, pressure, and temperature are also controlled in such a specialized facility.

The data recovery specialist found out the client’s HDD had moisture in the controller area. It made the microcontroller and other service circuit boards burn out.

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Hard Disk Drive Controller Recovery

Problems with the controller of hard drives occur quite often. They can result from a PC power failure, overheating, moisture ingress, or happen for no apparent reason. 

In the client’s case, as mentioned above, it was damaged due to moisture ingress. To recover the data, firstly, our engineer had to replace the magnetics heads and parking rack.

Read Write Heads after Water Damage

A large number of hard drives in stock allows us not to waste time searching for and ordering spare parts. The data recovery expert immediately started replacing the block of magnetic heads. Luckily the BMH did not touch the surface of the magnetic platters. Otherwise, complete data recovery would be impossible, as the data stored on scratched parts of the platters is lost irreversibly.

After successfully replacing the magnetic heads, the next step was to fix the controller. It is easy to confuse a bad board with other problems. Without hearing the disc spin, it can easily be misdiagnosed as a drive with sticky magnetic heads or a jammed motor. However, having high technical skills and experience, our data recovery engineer successfully recovered the data and transferred all the files to a new hard drive.

Then the client approved the results via a remote file verification session, and we shipped his data back to him.

Contact PITS Global Data Recovery Services to request our evaluation of your device. Our highly trained technicians will securely and confidentially recover files. With years of experience, cutting-edge laboratories, and advanced data recovery tools, we maintain a 99% success rate.

What to Do When Facing Damaged Hard Drive

If you are concerned that your hard drive may fail, you can check its SMART status. SMART is a technology for diagnosing a hard drive with the ability to determine the predicted end of drive’s life. And there is technology on your hard drive that tries to identify potential problems and let you know.

Water Damaged Hard Drive Recovery

However, it is necessary to remember that some unpleasant moments may occur. First of all, SMART disk management does not always work perfectly. 

Even if the hard drive is no longer working, SMART may still report that the drive is healthy. Or, if the hard drive is about to fail, then SMART technology may not alert you before the drive fails. If you can identify that the hard drive is faulty, then back up your data as soon as possible to secure your files.

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If the SMART diagnosis does not help and the hard drive fails, the first step is to stop working with the drive. Writing new files on a hard drive may overwrite lost files, making data recovery nearly impossible.

You should also not use online and free recovery tools as they may damage your data and file system. Data recovery software can also overwrite your valuable files, causing you to lose them completely.

Contacting a reliable data retrieval company to restore your vital documents is always safer. The company must have laboratories and relevant certifications to prove its competence.

PITS Global Dat Recovery Services offers professional data recovery solutions for individuals and enterprises. Our highly skilled data recovery experts have years of industry experience and can successfully deal with the most complex cases.

Frequently Asked Questions

Yes, data recovery from a water-damaged hard drive is possible, but success depends on several factors, including the extent of the damage, the type of water involved (clean, contaminated, saltwater), and the timeliness of response. Prompt professional assistance improves the chances of successful recovery.

If your hard drive comes into contact with water, immediately disconnect it from power. Do not attempt to power it on or dry it using heat sources like hairdryers. Place the drive in an airtight bag to prevent further exposure to moisture, and contact a professional data recovery service as soon as possible.

Data recovery professionals use specialized equipment and work in cleanroom environments to safely disassemble the damaged drive. They assess the extent of the damage, clean and dry the components, and transfer the platters (where data is stored) to a functioning drive to retrieve the data.

The time required for recovery varies depending on the extent of the damage and the complexity of the case. It can range from a few days to several weeks. Data recovery specialists will provide a more accurate estimate after evaluating the drive.

DIY recovery attempts on water-damaged hard drives can worsen the damage and reduce the chances of successful recovery. Water damage often requires professional expertise, specialized equipment, and a controlled environment to ensure the best possible outcome.

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