Sometimes our clients, both technicians and end users, question our reasoning of why data recovery professionals never run data recovery software against an original hard drive. This is especially true of drives that have obvious signs and/or reasons for physical failure.

We just recently assessed a drive that was in a laptop that was dropped. The client removed the drive from their system and proceeded to run an open source data recovery program against the drive, showing only minor damage to start. But, after they got to 70% of scanning the drive, it stopped responding with anything more than I/O errors.

When we received the drive and inspected it within our clean room, we discovered that the heads had completely crashed, scraping pretty much all of the platter surface off, rendering the data unrecoverable. The longer it was powered on, the more damage it caused, until there was absolutely no point of return.

Surface scraped from platters after fatal head crash.

Surface scraped from platters after fatal head crash.

Had they physically stabilized the drive (when possible), resolving any physical issues with the crashing read/write heads and cloned every sector on the drive that they could read, they likely would have cloned about 70% of the hard drive and recovered some, if not all their critial files.

This is a tough lesson to learn. If you and or your technician are dealing with a failing hard drive, contact Recovery Force for advice on how to safely recover the data before any risky attempts are made.