Be Wary Of Quick Fixes

There is a vast array of articles on the internet about little quick fixes which may resolve an issue with your hard disk drive after it has suffered a failure. These will however, at best only provide a temporary solution, but in many cases could make the situation a lot worse.

These quick fix solutions range from tapping the drive, giving it a sharp twist through to more extreme methods discussed in another article, such as freezing the drive. If the data contained on the drives holds no value, and could be restored from another source, there is little to lose other than time. However, if it is critical that you recover the data from the failed hard drive, you should under no circumstances risk causing further damage by relying on a quick fix that could result in a total loss of data. Sending your hard drive for data recovery is always the best option, allowing the experts the best opportunity to recover your lost files.

Tapping the Drive

This idea probably goes back to a time when it was commonplace to give any errant item of electrical equipment a thump when it didn’t work properly. The electronics and components used in modern equipment are more sensitive than they were, and a tap or thump in the wrong place could produce the same results seem with a dropped hard disk drive.

There is plenty of anecdotal evidence available to suggest that such an approach might work, but it is almost certain that if this does fix an issue, it was not a problem with any of the components in the hard disk drive itself. Such an approach is more likely to cause any damage which has occurred in the drive to become worse, which can only result in further data loss.

Twisting the Drive Sharply

There is a school of thought that if your drive fails to spin up, that sharply twisting it anti-clockwise and back the other way will free it up. The origins of this go back to when a phenomenon known as stiction was a common problem, whereby the heads stuck to the surface of the platter, and could be freed up by sharply twisting the drive.

With stiction being less of an issue, and drive tolerances being much finer, such an action could cause severe damage, in much the same way as tapping the drive, as the movement will put a shock through the components of the drive. Should the heads have suffered stiction, freeing them using this method will result in a lot of damage, probably destroying large areas of data, due to the high density of the magnetic recording. It will also cause a lot of small particles to float free inside the drive, which will cause further damage. The heads if not already destroyed by the stiction will come into contact with debris, damaging them and also other areas of the drive platters.

Swapping the Circuit Board

This does sound like a sensible solution, especially as the controller board is often the cause of the failure but there are however some issues with attempting this. The firmware on the replacement circuit must match the original, but even more important is that modern controller boards often store important drive information on a ROM chip.

This ROM chip needs to be swapped from the faulty board to the replacement, which is no simple task. This is a job best left to data recovery specialists with the experience and expertise required because any mistake could damage the ROM chip causing a total loss of data.

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