Hard Drive Failure Recovery

Hard disk drives are really incredible inventions when you think about how much data they cram into such a small space (although that alone doesn’t seem too impressive now that we have solid state drives). The fact that a bunch of ones and zeroes on a stack of spinning disks can turn into a Word document, or a video game, or an entire operating system, seems nothing short of miraculous. But it’s not miraculous—just incredibly complex. When those complex processes break down, it takes hard drive failure recovery experts to clean up the mess.

Hard drive failure hurts, not in the least because the way HDDs work is just so incredible that it’s hard to imagine them failing. When they do fail, they often take a good chunk of the data we’ve stored on them with them. Only a select few data recovery companies have the hard drive failure recovery specialists and equipment needed to retrieve the lost data from a failed hard drive.

At Gillware Data Recovery, our goal is to provide both professional and affordable hard drive failure recovery services. Our hard drive repair specialists work to provide the services of a world-class data recovery lab at, on average, 40-50% of the costs of other professional labs.

To recover data from broken and dying hard disk drives, hard drive failure recovery specialists need to devote significant knowledge, resources, and time into righting what went wrong with the drive.

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What Kind of Work Goes Into Hard Drive Failure Recovery?

Hard drives have a plethora of sensitive components. Their disk platters, which hold all of the data, can easily sustain damage and permanent data loss if portions of their magnetic coating gets stripped off. Physical trauma can severely damage the delicate read/write heads that hover over the platters. The spindle motor responsible for setting the platters spinning can become jammed and burn out. The control board on the bottom of the drive can short out. And the firmware regulating how the drive communicates with your computer can become corrupt.

All of these problems can only be reliably dealt with in a professional clean room data recovery lab. Almost all of them require the hard drive to be opened up and have its problematic components replaced. Hard drives’ internals are extremely sensitive to airborne contaminants. In order to safely do hard drive repair work, hard drive failure recovery specialists must work in special clean room workstations.

Even replacing a shorted hard drive PCB requires careful electrical engineering work. In days of yore, this was one of the simplest hard drive failure recovery scenarios to address. But as hard drives became more complex and more unique calibrations had to be stored on the control board, replacing a burned-out PCB to repair a hard drive became more difficult.

When hard drive firmware breaks down, few have the know-how to repair it. You can only find the tools used to access the firmware portions of the drive in two places. One is inside a hard drive manufacturer’s factory; the other, inside a professional data recovery lab.

After repairing a failed hard drive, our engineers use fault-tolerant imaging tools to salvage the data from its platters. Some hard drives may require multiple repairs before we can successfully recover data from them.

Will Ascenzo
Will Ascenzo

Will is the lead blogger, copywriter, and copy editor for Gillware Data Recovery and Digital Forensics, and a staunch advocate against the abuse of innocent semicolons.

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