Why you Should Avoid Physical Data Recovery at Home

When faced with a data loss incident, it’s natural that your first thought would be to try and sort it out yourself – but this may make the situation worse.

With the sheer amount of data we store, it’s inevitable that at some point, some of it will get lost, and that data recovery will be required. Due to the amount of skill, time and resources it takes to undertake data recovery in a professional setting, it can be costly to get your data back, and many people take matters into their own hands and undertake DIY data recovery at home. Their justification will often be that if it doesn’t work, they can always take it to a data recovery professional; however, this is deeply misguided. Attempting physical data recovery at home (we’ll get on to using data recovery software later) is extremely dangerous. A quick search online will bring up dozens of tutorials claiming to offer advice on how to undertake physical data recovery at home.

Among the common pieces of misinformation out there is that you can fix a broken hard drive by freezing it – this is not true. This data recovery myth comes from the earlier days of hard drives, where platters could become stuck due to lack of lubrication, something which was known as stiction. Freezing a hard drive would constrict the metal and free the platters, allowing the hard drive to be powered up again. However, stiction does not affect modern hard drives, so freezing one won’t bring it back to life. Our data recovery team still occasionally see hard drives in the lab where the owner has attempted to get their hard drive up and running by freezing it, only to cause further damage to the platters and rendering a successful recovery impossible. If your hard drive is physically damaged – get in touch with Data Recovery Specialists.

With regards to data recovery software, there are many out there, and they can be useful, but you should exercise caution. The main thing to note is that data recovery software will not fix a physical fault, such as a head crash or motor failure. If you suspect your hard drive is broken physically, do not run data recovery software.

Data Recovery