Data Recovery Case Study: Toshiba Head Crash

Our hard drive recovery team recently completed work on a Toshiba hard drive that had suffered from a head crash – here’s how they got on.

The hard drive in question – a 250GB 3.5” Toshiba model – arrived into our office along with a short explanation of the problem that had arisen. The client’s hard drive had begun to make a low clicking noise, and as a precaution, the computer was powered off and the hard drive removed. A low clicking noise can be a sign that a head crash is pending, so in this situation, you should power down your machine immediately. A hard drive’s platters, powered by the motor, spin at incredibly fast speeds; the read/write heads are positioned a fraction of a millimetre above the spinning platters. The contact between the magnetic platter and the read/write heads is what’s known as a head crash. A head crash can be caused by a hard drive being dropped or knocked, but also general wear and tear – hard drives don’t last forever. As the client reported no sudden knock, drop or bump, and the hard drive being more than five years old, our team were confident that the hard drive had indeed suffered from a head crash.

The hard drive was catalogued with a unique job reference number, and passed to our hard drive recovery team for a full, free analysis in our class 100 clean room. We will provide a free analysis of any media in order to diagnose the problem, and you won’t pay a penny until we can be certain your data is recoverable. This particular hard drive had, as suspected, suffered from a head crash, likely from general wear and tear. From our library of spare parts in excess of 16,000, donor parts were sourced, and head stack replacement tools were used to limit any damage to the hard drive’s platters. When the drive was imaged, we were able to send a full file listing to the client, along with a quote to complete the final stage of the recovery. The client accepted the quote, and our team returned the data on a blank external hard disk drive, and destroyed the old, damaged hard drive. While it is possible to recover data from damaged hard drives, they will not be usable, so we provide a free, complimentary disposal service for all of our clients.

Data Recovery