We have seen a recent increase in data recovery requirements from Seagate Backup Plus portable USB hard disk drives. These external USB enclosures, which contain a Samsung hard disk drive, are appearing with increased frequency, having suffered a failure of the read/write heads. Our data recovery specialists recommend that you do not attempt to power the drive once a failure has occurred.
In many cases the read/write heads have failed to return to the designated safe parking zone after the power has been turned off, or the cable disconnected from the host computer. If the read/write heads fail to return to the parking zone, and remain over the hard disk drive platters, they will collapse and stick to the surface, a phenomenon known as stiction.
The read/write heads are maintained at a constant flying height above the disk platters, on a cushion of air which is created by the spinning action of the drive. When the drive is powered up again and attempts to spin up, it may be that the drive will not operate at all. It may however be possible in rare instances, that the read/write heads are not stuck solid, which will lead to debris being scattered across the platters. In either case the read/write heads will be destroyed, but in the case of the platters spinning again, further damage may occur to the platters.