Through our experience saving data from dropped hard drives, we have found the very first thing everyone does after dropping their hard drive or laptop, is the worst thing anyone can do.
IF YOUR DATA IS VALUABLE TO YOU, DON’T BE TEMPTED TO MAKE THIS CRUCIAL MISTAKE…
Usually when we get to tell people this very valuable fact, it’s too late … (please help us share it with your friends on Facebook and Twitter)
If you are reading this, there is a 95% chance that you or someone you know has an external hard drive that hit the floor, and now it doesn’t work correctly. It’s probably, clicking, scraping, spinning without access to your data, or beeping.
The most natural thing to do after dropping a hard drive or laptop, is to turn it on to see if it still works.
SERT has proven the chance of full recovery is 100% higher if you have a professional recovery service open your drive in a certified clean room and check inside. It’s important to confirm the condition of the internal moving parts, before turning it on to check if it still works.
The pictures below show what can happen to the read write heads in a dropped drive. (Click the image to enlarge)
A full explanation of how we arrived our conclusion is below.
From our dropped hard drive quote request form:
- “Picked up computer forgetting that the drive was attached and it fell to the carpeted floor. Now it won’t show up on desktop and shows flashing white light and sounds like it’s not spinning up. Some kind of faint beeping and humming sounds.”
- “I have a hard drive not showing up, I think it was dropped now what?”
- “External drive fell from a desk. After that didn’t show on My computer”
- “My laptop fell off the table, and it won’t boot. I need dropped laptop hard drive recovery”
- “External hard drive fell off computer desk and when plugged back in makes a beeping noise”
- “I had my laptop on my bed and my external Hard Drive on the floor. The height from the drop was 27 inches away in measurement. While I was sleeping the laptop slide down and fell off the floor and hit the Hard Drive. Now I’m hearing clicking noises when i plug it in my computer”
- “It fell from the top of my desktop computer, and will power on, but is not recognized by the computer, and makes the sound that it’s trying to load, but you soon hear a clicking type sound.”
- “The external hdd fell down accidentally and started making the beeping noise. Need dropped hard drive data recovery”
- “I dropped my WD External Harddrive from about waist high. It fell to a hard surface and the entire plastic cover came off.”
This is one of the most frustrating data recovery quote requests for us.
WHY? Because almost 100% of the time, the client has already taken that drive, and plugged it in to see if it still works. They usually get a “Not recognized error“.
This is the worst thing anyone can do to see if the drive is damaged, or conversely to see if it still works. In the picture below you can see the heads stuck, and bent on the parking ramp.
If this happened to your drive, and you turn it on, those arms will drag the bent metal across the platters scratching them. This will cause your data to be unrecoverable.
- Records (platters)
- Arm (actuator arm)
- Needle (read/write head)
These components must be in good working order, not damaged in any way, and a professional with the right equipment can determine what state these parts are in and ultimately save your data.
DO NOT OPEN THE DRIVE YOURSELF AND CHECK OR DO ANYTHING TO THESE PARTS OF THE DRIVE
This is the second worse event we hear about when clients report a dropped drive. They have opened the drive, potentially moved the arm and heads off the platter. Some drives parking place are in the center of the platter, and the arm actually belongs there. On others, they park on a ramp. Moving any of these parts unnecessarily or incorrectly will cause damage to the platter, the head slider, and make your data unrecoverable.
If your dropped hard drive is clicking or making other noises:
It’s worth it to pay a professional service to open your drive to confirm the status it’s internal parts. If you hear clicking or other noises, there is a really good chance the internal components have been damaged by the force of the impact in the following ways:
- The actuator arm has come off the parking ramp and hit the platters
- The heads are damaged in some way (lightly or catastrophically)
- The heads have hit the platter and become stuck
- The actuator arm has become out of alignment
- The spindle has been damaged from impact
- Read/write head sliders have come off
The PROBLEM occurs as power is applied to the drive. When the drive gets the signal to start, all of these components begin to work, the platter spins, the actuator arm moves, and the read/write heads begin to index.
After impact, the result can be likened to sticking your finger in a moving fan. OUCH!
Once the head touches the surface of your platters it will scratch them and your chances of successful data recovery decrease by 95%.
Call for a consultation BEFORE you power on your drive after a fall. It can save you your data, and thousands of dollars.