It can happen to everyone. A hard drive fails and you desperately need data on this drive. Even if you make regular backups of all essential data you probably don’t have a copy of everything you have done on the day the drive crashed. If this is a small personal project then it is probably better to simply replace the hard drive, restore last backup and recreate what you have lost. But if the value of lost files since the last backup is high then you should start looking for data recovery service. They have all the tools and knowledge needed to save your precious files even from dead hard drives.
What Can Go Wrong With The Hard Drive?
Everything that moves can break and everything that needs electricity to operate can fail. Classical hard drives store data on rotating disks. The speeds at which these disks rotate can be 5 400, 7 200, 10 000 or even 15 000 rotations per minute! In addition to this rotation there are heads that can move from the center of the disk to its edge to cover all tracks where the data can be read or written. The gap between the read/write head and the rotating disk is measured in micrometers, that is a millionth of a meter.
In addition to the mechanical part of hard drive there is also some electronics that controls motors, reading, writing and provides standard ATA, SATA or SCSI interface to the computer. If electronics fails then the data will still be present on the disks but you will not be able to access it. If, for example, the head crashes on the disk surface it will damage itself, the disk platter and consequently also the data that is written on it.
But not only electrical or mechanical failures contribute to lost data. Problems with power supply, malicious software or bugs in applications can contribute to lost data.
Can I Recovery Data From A Hard Drive At Home?
Yes and no. Do-it-yourself data recovery is possible if the problem is not in the hardware. If the hard drive still functions normally then with some appropriate data recovery software you will be able to analyze and recover deleted files. But if the hard drive has crashed or it is not recognized by the computer then you have very little options to recover data at home. And if you hear strange unusual sounds from your hard drive then this is a clear sign that the drive needs to be opened. Theoretically you can open the hard drive or try to fix the electronics board, but unless you know what you are doing you will only destroy the drive. If you really need that data it is best to find a suitable data recovery company that will do the job.
What Do Hard Drive Data Recovery Services Offer?
Hard drive data recovery companies are specialized in data recovery from all types of hard drives. They can open any drive in a dust free environment, fix any mechanical problems, replace electronics, and recover data from the disks. Most companies can recover data from PC and Mac systems regardless of file system used: FAT, FAT32, NTFS, ext3, reiserfs, HFS, HFS+, etc. They use professional data recovery software tools which are not cheap. They can also recover data from damaged hard drives. Water or fire can seriously damage any electronic device, but for data recovery experts this is not a problem. Even RAID data recovery or sql database repair represents no big deal for hard drive recovery experts.
To be able to do this they need to have data recovery experts that know how to handle hard drives, how to open them without damaging disk plates, how to make a dead drive working again, etc. They will perform exhaustive scans and tests to determine the nature of the problem. When it is known what is the problem with the hard drive it is easy, at least in principle, to fix it and recover individual files and even formated partitions.
If the problem is in the electronics then the easiest solution is to replace the whole board. But not with any board. Each hard drive type has unique electronic board that control drive operations. And even the same models of a hard drive can have different versions of firmware. A good hard drive data recovery company has all the resources to find a suitable electronic board for any broken hard drive they get to repair.
And if the drive needs to be opened they can do it in a clean environment. Even very small dust particles can damage sensitive disk plates. Because of the small gap between the head and the disk the hard drive mechanics must operate in a clean environment to prevent any physical contact between the drive head and the rotating disks.
In general, hard drive data recovery service is not cheap but when you have no other alternative it is well worth the money. You will get all the valuable data from broken drives.
Choosing Data Recovery Service
This is not an easy task since there are many companies that offer data recovery services. You should look at the company’s location, prices and years of experience. Some companies are ISO certified which proves their commitment to provide excellent service. Some companies also meet manufacturer’s requirements. This means that their repair or recovery procedures will not void the hard drive warranty.
In any case you should first estimate the value of the lost data. This will define the budget for data recovery. Once you will know how much you are willing to spend you can contact few companies that offer data recovery services and choose one that meets your budget and expectations.