Hard Drive Data Recovery: Hitachi Motor Failure

Dropped hard disk drives are one of the most common things our data recovery team see – here’s how they got on with a damaged 500GB Hitachi TravelStar Z5K500 2.5" SATA drive.

Earlier this month, a client got in touch after their laptop, while powered up, had fallen from a table from about three feet. The laptop was operational for several hours afterwards, with a slight grinding noise, but when the client tried powering it up the following day, there was no luck. The data stored on the laptop was invaluable – a combination of wedding and baby photos, so the client was keen to recover the data from the drive. The hard drive was removed from the laptop and brought in to our hard drive data recovery team for analysis. Upon arrival, the hard drive was catalogued with its unique job number, which one of our sales team gave the client when they telephoned. This job number ensures that information relating to the job can be accessed quickly, and that data is stored on our server confidentially. Our logistic department then sent the drive to our hard drive data recovery team for a free analysis.

Because the drive had been powered up after the fall, the chance of all the client’s data being recoverable was slim. Even a small knock or bump can lead to one of the read/write heads moving out of place, leading to a head crash, where the heads crash onto the magnetic platters below. A hard disk drive’s read/write heads, situated on the end of the actuator arm, hover mere nanometres above the platters where the data is stored. A small particle of dust could even knock the heads out of position, which is why all of our hard drive data recovery work is done in our Class 100 Clean Room. A clean room environment ensures that the hard drive is disassembled in the same conditions it was assembled in; a Class 100 clean room contains no more than 100 particles of dust per cubic foot.

It wasn’t long before the problem was ascertained – the drive’s motor had failed. Data is written to and read from magnetic platters, which spin at incredibly fast speeds of up to 15,000 RPM, all powered by the drive’s motor. It was clear that there was no damage to the magnetic platters or the read/write heads, but the drive’s spindle motor was damaged. Once our hard drive data recovery team had sourced a suitable donor drive, the platters and PCB board were swapped over to the donor drive. We were able to recover 100% of the client’s data.

Before you commit, we’ll provide you with a transparent, no-obligation quote, alongside a file listing, so you’ll know exactly what we can and can’t recover. If you accept, we’ll proceed with the recovery, and return your data to you on a blank hard drive or via FTP. If you don’t wish to proceed any further, we’ll return your hard drive to you free of charge.

Hard Drive Data Recovery