Hard Drive Repair

Repairing hard drives is a mix of art and science, combining talented recovery engineers along with proprietary software and a few other high-tech utilities and utilizing them to recovery data from most any device.

Read/Write Heads

Read/write heads are tiny sensors that read and write data to and from the platters. The higher the capacity of the hard drive, the more read/write heads the hard drive will have.

read write heads

Visit the following pages for more information on hard drive read/write heads:

Data Recovery 101: Read/Write Head Assembly

Hard Disk Head Repair

Printed Circuit Board (PCB)

The PCB (Printed Circuit Board) allows electricity to pass between various components that allow the hard drive to operate normally. You will find the PCB when you flip a hard drive over, usually green or blue in color.

Visit the following pages for more information on PCBs:

Why Control Board Swaps Don’t Work on Most Drives

Hard Drive Causes Smoking Computer

Spindle Motor

The high rotational speed of a hard disk’s platters generates the thin cushion of air that keeps your hard drive’s read/write heads afloat. All of this happens because the hard drive spindle motor dutifully does its job.

Visit the following pages for more information on spindle motors:

Hard Drive Motor Failure

Spindle Motor


Platters are thin, circular discs made of glass or aluminum inside the sealed hard drive enclosure. Each platter surface is coated with an extremely thin magnetic substrate that stores the user’s binary data in the form of a magnetic field.

Visit the following pages for more information on hard drive platters:

Data Recovery 101: Burnishing Platters

Data Recovery 101: Platters

A hard disk platter in Gillware's burnishing machine


Firmware is the storage device’s operating system and can become corrupted and require repair.

Visit the following pages for more information on hard drive firmware:

Data Recovery 101: Firmware

Hard Drive Firmware Repair


Hard drive failure are not always mechanical. Logical corruption can render a hard drive as useless as one with a dead spindle motor.

Visit the following pages for more information on logical data recovery:

Logical Hard Drive Recovery

A Look at Logical Data Recovery


“Flash” media stores data quite differently from the way your hard drive does. There are no spinning disks or moving parts that store data magnetically; instead, the data is stored electronically on nonmoving chips of non-volatile RAM.

When you plug a USB flash drive into your computer or boot up a PC that runs on a solid state drive (SSD), what you see on your computer looks the same as what you’d see on a hard disk drive. However, the way NAND flash memory devices store data is very, very different on a fundamental level.

Click on the case study names below to learn more about common problems hard drives have and how Gillware is able to repair hard drives in order to recover data from them: