There are many reasons your computer may suffer water or fluid damage. This can range from flooding, burst pipes, overflowing water tanks, or even the accidental spillage of liquid from a container knocked over the computer, to suggest a few scenarios.
If the hard disk drive gets wet, it is important that you take the correct steps, to avoid doing irreparable damage to the data stored on the drive. By following the steps below, you enhance the chances of a successful data recovery from a water damaged hard drive.
Do NOT Power the Computer Up
If water has infiltrated your hard disk drive, it is important not to power your computer up, even if you have dried all the components. Water will remain inside the drive, and affect the operation of all the components inside, and if it does start to spin up and move the read/write heads, it may lead to damage to the surface of the platters. The read/write heads can become stuck to the platters, with the water and any contaminants acting like glue.
Water is also a conductor, and even if you believe you’ve dried it all up, it may still cause a short circuit, which can lead to components being damaged, and in serious cases, even blowing up, sometimes with a violent explosion. The water can also leave contaminants behind, which may also cause problems to the electronics.
Do NOT Dry Out Your Hard Disk Drive
This may seem counter-intuitive, but once a hard disk drive has become wet, it is advisable not to allow it to dry out. The water that has entered the drive will almost certainly contain contaminants which, if allowed to dry will form a residue on the platters, which can have a corrosive effect caused by oxidation.
If any residue is allowed to dry in situ, even if it does not cause corrosion, may be very difficult to remove later without causing damage to the surface of the platters. Any debris must be removed before any data recovery can be attempted, as it would otherwise impact with the read/write heads leading to severe crash damage.
Keep Your Hard Disk Drive Wet
Ideally the hard disk drive should be placed into a sealed container to keep it wet. This stops the components of the hard disk drive corroding, and once received at the data recovery laboratory, the correct cleaning procedures can be undertaken, to minimise the damage to the surface of the platters.
Water Damage Data Recovery
By following the steps above, you give us the best chance of a successful data recovery from your hard disk drive. Our data recovery specialists have been trained to follow the best procedures for cleaning you hard drive, prior to attempting to read the data from it.
These guidelines still hold true for any SSD, unless they are explicitly designed to be rugged and waterproof. Even for a waterproof SSD, it is important that the connectors and the computer it is connected to are properly cleaned and dried. Failure to do so could result in damage to the SSD drive.