Hard Drive Failure

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Hard Drive Failure.

The hard drive in your computer stores digital data vital to its operation and the user. A hard drive failure means that its stored information cannot be accessed and this can have serious and catastrophic consequences for your work or your business interests. By rectifying fault conditions Datlabs technicians can in most circumstances recover your inaccessible  data and transfer it to a new and more reliable data storage device, typically a portable hard drive or USB memory stick.

Hard Drive Types.

There are two general categories of hard drive data storage device:-

Hard Disk Drives with magnetic storage media on rotating platters.

Solid State Hard Drives with electronic component storage in the form of chipsets.

There are also hybrid hard drives with a combination of the two technologies called SSHD’s.

Hard Disk Drive Failure.

Hard Disk Drive devices contain moving parts such as motors, read/write heads and magnetic actuators. These moving parts render the device susceptible to failure as a consequence of misuse and also normal wear and tear.

  • Logical Failure (corrupt file system data),
  • Electronic Failure (PCB + connector damage)
  • Firmware Failure (corrupt drive operating code)
  • Media Degradation (magnetic platter surface damage)
  • Mechanical Failure (moving part component failure ).

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Data Recovery from a Failed Hard Drive

“Hard Drive Data Recovery” is a term used for the process of retrieving data from a failed hard drive. The faulty hard drive operational functionality is re-established, the raw data structures are extracted and transferred to a reliable environment. The retrieved  data is then tested before being transferred to a another hard drive and returned to its owner. The fault type determines how to proceed with the recovery of your data.  Datlabs technicians firstly  inspect the hard drive in order  to evaluate the fault condition/s affecting your hard drive. Once the diagnosis procedure is complete, an evaluation report will be prepared detailing the hard drive failure condition, the remedial  work necessary to attempt the rebuild of your hard drive and also the possible retrieval of your data. The report will where practicable also indicate the timescales necessary to complete the work and any extraneous charge. For more information relating to faults and symptoms please read below.

Hard Drive Logical Corruption

If your PC gives you the “Blue Screen Of Death” or if your Mac just shows you a grey folder Icon and there are no unusual noises from your hard drive then you may be suffering from what is termed a logical corruption. A logical corruption occurs when one or more of the required system files has become unreadable. This can typically be a consequence of the system not being shut down gracefully or due to a sudden power loss whilst the computer is writing information to these areas.

Hard Disk Drive Bad Sectors

If your hard disk drive has bad sectors then the symptoms to look out for include; a gradual slowing of the system (takes longer to open programs than usual), difficulty in saving/transferring data from one device to another, occasional computer crashes when attempting to complete a task. If you are experiencing any of these symptoms then your hard disk may be suffering from bad sectors and at some point access to your data may be lost. If you are able then make a copy of your critical data to another storage device as soon as possible. Should the worst happen and you loose access to your data before this can be complete then be aware that this is not a fault recoverable by software alone, we implement a hardware based recovery process which allows us to recover most if not all of your precious data.

Hard Drive Electronic Failure

Hard drive electronic failures are usually a consequence of a power surge, use of an incorrect voltage power cable or overheating. The symptoms that accompany a hard drive with an electronic failure include, no noise or attempt from the hard disk to power on, burning smell emanating from the device. If the hard disk does absolutely nothing at all then there is usually a fault with the printed circuit board which means the power is not reaching the required components. If you have a burning smell coming from the hard disk then it is likely that one or more of the protective components have blown. Both of these failures are situations where data is usually fully recoverable but specialist work is required on the printed circuit boards and in some cases a transplant of circuit board is required.

Hard Drive Firmware Failure

Firmware can be thought of as the hard disk Drives own operating system and controls how the hard disk behaves, if your device will not boot or is not recognised by the BIOS, the hard disk drive isn’t making any unusual noises,  then it potentially has a firmware fault. A hard disk drive suffering from a firmware fault remains in a busy state. A computer device will only recognise a hard disk drive when it is in a ready state. Recovering data from hard a drive with a firmware failure can be achieved with the necessary remedial equipment, tools and knowledge.

Hard Disk Drive Stiction

The term stiction refers to a condition whereby the read write head ceramic has become welded to the surface of the hard disk platters. This can be caused by the equilibrium of the heads being disturbed and then contacting the platter surface, overheating and literally sticking to platter. A drive suffering from stiction will commonly emit a faint beeping sound caused by the motor failing to rotate when the power is applied at start up. Recovering data from a hard disk suffering from stiction generally means releasing the heads cleaning the debris from the platters and replacing the  read write heads. Results are however sometimes inconclusive and further advanced techniques need to be attempted to affect a recovery.

Hard Disk Drive Mechanical Failure

A hard disk drive suffering from a mechanical failure will be either dead due to motor failure or will be making a distinctive clicking or ticking sound. This clicking sound is due to the hard disk drive head actuator moving the assembly to the co-ordinates of the first recording track, the read heads failing to read any control data and then returning sharply to the park position.  A number of re-tries generally follow which results in the ticking sound. this failure to read is symptomatic of a hard drive faulty read write head assembly.

The process required to recover data from a failure of this type involves dismantling the hard disk in our clean room environment, extracting the faulty components and replacing them with working donor components. Once these processes are complete we then need to place the device on specialist data recovery hardware in order to generate an image of the faulty device onto a stable drive.

SSD Failure and Data Recovery.

Solid state digital data storage products are now standard fit for slim line computer products.  SSD’s  are inherently less prone to misuse than hard disk drives as used in similar circumstances.   SSD failure is generally confined to discrete component failure, storage cell and service area corruption.

Recovering data from faulty SSDs is  more of a feast or famine process exacerbated by a lack of standards. With poor standards definitions Datlabs technicians must treat each recovery as a unique case needing specialist techniques and knowledge  involving the specific model they are working on. These specialist requirements add time and complexity to our procedures which unfortunately add to costs.

Datlabs Data Recovery Services

Hard Drive Failure can be a traumatic experience, Datlabs have the solutions to most problems and will successfully recover your data. Click here: data recovery service  to discover more about our recovery services.

Faulty Laptop Drive

Sam knocked Davids laptop off the bedside table and the hard drive was faulty. Datlabs recovered all our pics and emails. It was a close call but all’s well that ends well.

RuthCheshunt

Faulty Hard Drive

“I am more than satisfied with the service, I found DATLABS to be the cheapest and most professional data recovery company on the market.”

Sarah StanmoreSheffield

Clicking Hard Drive

“I was delighted with the service, DATLABS recovered all of my pictures, music and files.”

Nathalie LefevreNice (France)