Data Recovery Case Study: WD Blue Head Crash

A head crash is one of the more common physical hard drive faults out data recovery team see – here’s how they got on with a WD hard drive earlier this month.

The hard drive in question – a WD Blue 1TB – arrived into our office and was immediately catalogued and sent to the data recovery lab. In a discussion with one of the team, the client explained that the computer tower the hard drive was housed in had fallen from a height of around three feet. While the computer powered up just fine, the client started to hear a ticking noise, and immediately powered the machine down. This is the correct course of action – a new noise coming from a hard drive is never good news.

Our data recovery team got to work the same morning in our class 100 data recovery clean room. A clean room environment is vital when undertaking physical data recovery work, as it ensures the room is free of any contaminants like dust that could cause further damage. The environment in our data recovery clean room is similar to the one in which hard drives are assembled in. As suspected, the cause of the ticking noise was a head crash, caused when the computer tower fell. A new set of read/write heads were sourced from our library of over 16,000 parts, and the heads were installed using specialist head stack replacement tools. The drive was then imaged byte by byte, and we were able to successfully recover 100% of the client’s data, around 350GB. The data was returned to the client on a new, blank external hard drive.

Getting to the bottom of a new, strange noise coming from your computer is vital, and ignoring it or hoping it will go away could make the problem worse. In this instance, if the hard drive had not been removed and sent to our data recovery team, the client’s data would likely have been unrecoverable.

Data Recovery