Hard Drive Repair

Hard Drive Repair

Technical Information Page

Technical Information Page

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Hard Drive Repair to Recover Data

To recover data from a faulty or damaged hard disk drive we must implement temporary repairs that restore functionality to the device. Once we have satisfactorily made repairs to the drive sufficient to read the data stored on the hard disk platter surfaces or  NAND chips we can then transfer this data to a more reliable data storage device.

“There is no such thing as a magic hard disk drive platter reader”

The Hard Disk Drive repairs we implement fall into two categories:

• Electronic
• Mechanical.

In undertaking remedial work we have accredited trained technicians using specialist tools and instrumentation working in a certified electronic and clean air laboratory environment.

Datlabs main data recovery service centre and workshops are based in Manchesterand we have satellite data recovery service facilities in London,  We also have data recovery offices in Bristol and Portsmouth.

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Accredited Technical Staff

The rate of change in the technology that serves the computer industry is phenomenal. We as a respected organisation deal with your valuable and important data. In doing so have quality processes undertaken by dedicated, professional and committed technical staff. Employing the right people in the right jobs is essential to us and to you the customer it means that you are using a professional and recognised industry leading organisation. All Datlabs technicians are university graduates or studying towards a degree. They have undertaken formal apprenticeship training schemes and are specialists in the field of recovering data from the many and varied computer, communications and data storage devices. When you engage Datlabs data recovery services you are using a long established industry leading organisation that takes care and attention in recovering your data. We are also a no nonsense organisation. We say what we do and we do what we say. We urge customers to respect and take care of their data when handing it to any third party.

Hard Disk Drive Electronic Repair

The electronic components that control the operation of a Hard Disk Drive, SSHD or SSD are surface mounted on multi-layer printed circuit boards (PCB. )Due to the large scale production and increasing data transfer speeds, functionality is integrated on to the minimum and most cost efficient number of components. These you will recognise in the term surface mount Integrated Circuit (IC). The interconnecting tracks between components and the edge of the PCB carry low voltage, low current signals and are made of micron thin strands of high quality copper. Connection and test access is made by what are called lands or tags. Short circuits between tags during manufacture and repair is prevented by the use of a highly polished solder resistant coating clearly recognisable as a bright green material evident on most common electronic PCB’s. Physical repair and component substitution involving the PCB requires specialist precision temperature controlled hot air or infra-red solder workstations, operators must use visual aids and lighting and work in an anti-static, Electro Static Discharge (ESD) compliant environment.

Hard Drive PCB Cleaning before Repair

Repairs to hard disk drives can involve the removal of liquid and other contaminates from the PCB’s and the Hard Disk Assembly (HDA.) This work involves using ultrasonic baths, specialist solvents, desiccation chambers, solder removal and dispersal equipment.

Hard Disk Drive Printed Circuit Board Diagnosis and Repair

Diagnosing hard drive electronic faults is a challenging task and involves a detailed knowledge of the operation of the various manufacturer products, the signal interchange and the operational compatibility settings that make the device function within a system environment. Our technicians access the device via the interface connectors in the same manner as the manufacturer who created the device. We exchange commands, signal protocols and data using capital intensive industry specific test equipment s and digital analysers. We do not use the operating system that you the customer used.

Hard Disk Drive PCB and Component Substitution

When we have diagnosed a faulty PCB we will either substitute a compatible circuit board and reprogram it or transpose IC’s from one board to another and then reprogram. (All PCBs require firmware updates that match the devices current operational status).

Hard Disk Drive Mechanical Repair

The large majority of hard disk drive mechanical repairs involve our technicians in the diagnosis and substitution of faulty read write head assemblies. Read write heads will generally present as faulty when the light tensions that are present at manufacture are disturbed or they are damaged due to excessive contact with the rotating platters. (In either case you will normally hear a clicking sound from the hard disk drive). Introducing a new hard disk head assembly has to be accomplished in a clean room or with the use of a clean air cabinet. Use of clean air during the process of replacement is absolutely essential. Read write heads have a fly height of nanometres above platter surfaces and any particulates introduced into the enclosure will damage or prevent correct read write head operation. The magnetic patterns on the platters produce signals in the milliamp/millivolt range from the read head so ESD precautions such as grounding, wrist straps, hair nets, coveralls and facemasks have to be imposed to ensure a successful outcome.