Failure of the power supply or a power cut can result in damage to electronic components in a computer. When the power fails there is a small chance of a power surge occurring and also when power is restored.
If a failure occurs it is usually just a matter of inconvenience waiting for the damaged component to be easily replaced. However, if the hard disk drive has failed, it is not a simple case of replacing the drive and being back up and running. If the hard disk contains important data, it should be sent for data recovery, as it requires professional expertise to gain access to the files.
Power Surge Damage
Electronic components are only capable of surviving voltage and current levels within certain tolerances. A power surge can lead to a situation where these levels are exceeded, which can cause damage resulting in a failure of the component.
Any single power surge may not necessarily result in an instant failure, but as with damage caused by excessive temperatures, it is cumulative. The most common component to fail is the power regulator, but any other can be damaged. A failure of the firmware chip or maintenance area would make the process of data recovery much more complicated.
Controller Board Rebuild
In some cases it is possible to repair the damaged component or components, which allows the data recovery engineers to secure a sector-by-sector image of the hard disk drive. If the damage is severe, it will require a donor drive to be used, the controller board from which allows an image to be secured.
This is a process which should only be undertaken by a qualified data recovery engineer using specialist knowledge and equipment. Any attempt by a home user at replacing components or using a donor board risk causing further damage which was not present when the drive failed.
Power Surge Data Recovery and Protection
Our success for recovering files from hard disks which have failed due a power surge are very high, providing no risks have been taken which may have caused damage through do-it-yourself data recovery attempts. If the drive was operational at the time the power surge occurred it is possible for there to be some data which was not committed to disk, any such damage is usually very small, often only causing damage to temporary files.
Surge protectors typically are cheap to buy, but not all are good at eliminating the issue from affecting your computer. A more expensive option, but one which should provide fullest protection is to install an uninterruptible power supply (UPS) which will also allow the computer to undertake a controlled shutdown in the event of a power outage. It is important that any UPS is regularly tested, as a non-working UPS may be as bad as having no protection at all.