Understanding Hard Drive Physical Failure
A physical recovery is necessary when the storage media device has experienced physical damage to its internal parts. In order to achieve a successful recovery, those damaged internal parts would need to be replaced inside of a clean room in order to temporarily repair the hard drive and extract the data.
The most common cause of data loss is physical media damage, whereby the hard disk drive receives a physical shock causing the head to hit the platter or damage one of the moving parts. This condition will not always cause a failure straight away but the condition of the platter and internal parts will probably deteriorate and eventually, the failure will occur. This can potentially cause the most damage if a laptop or mobile device is dropped at the same time the HDD is reading or writing data.
How Did This Happen?
Physical failure – the most severe type, involves mechanical or electronic failure of the drive itself. Most physical problems are the result of damaged disk due to abuse, wear, and excessive write operations. Other damage occurs to the electronic controller card attached to the drive.
Hard drive physical failure can be a result of a manufacturer’s defect, a physical impact such as a device being dropped or bumped while it is running, or fire and water damage. It is important to know that all electronic devices are made to fail eventually, so it’s not always something that can be prevented. The damaged chips or components manifest problems such as bad track, scratches on platters, motor seizure, head crash, burnt PCBA and other malfunctioning components.
How do I know if my Hard Drive has Physical Damage?
Common symptoms Include: