Hard Drive Recovery from a Hitachi HDD

Being portable, laptop hard drives can sometimes sustain damage due to knocks and bumps, as a client of ours recently found out.

The client presented us with a Hitachi 2.5-inch 5400 RPM hard disk drive, with a capacity of 320GB, removed from a laptop. Upon powering up the laptop, the client heard a repetitive clicking noise, and so they immediately powered it down, removed the hard drive, and sent it into our office with its unique job reference number provided by our team. Upon receipt of the hard drive, our operations team catalogued the drive and sent it to our hard drive recovery team for a diagnosis. The repeated clicking sound could have been caused by a couple of issues. If the read/write heads are damaged, the platters will begin to spin, and the heads will move into place. When they fail to read, they will reset to their original position, before resuming from the beginning until the drive is powered down, causing the repeated clicking noise. Alternatively, a firmware issue could cause the heads to move into place and then back again when they fail to read from the platters.

The first port of call for our hard drive recovery team was to eliminate the possibility of a firmware issue; in this instance, there was nothing wrong with the drive’s firmware. Upon inspection in our class 100 clean room, there was some minor damage to the platter surface, which along with the clicking noises observed by the client, was indicative of a head crash. Our hard drive recovery team then sourced a donor hard drive before carrying out a read/write head swap and imaging the drive. The client accepted their no-obligation quote, and their data was returned to them on a blank external hard drive. Due to the damage sustained from the heads crashing onto the magnetic platter, only around 80% of the client’s data was recoverable – this is why powering down a drive that is emitting a clicking noise as soon as possible is paramount.

Our hard drive recovery team have years of experience and are trained in the latest data recovery techniques, and work in our class 100 clean room at all times. It is not recommended that you attempt to fix a physically damaged hard drive at home for these reasons. If in doubt, power it down and give a professional data recovery specialist a call.

Hard Drive Recovery