Data Recovery – Physical Damage

Hard Drive – Replacing Parts

Although opening a hard drive should be avoided if at all possible sometimes there is no alternative. The chance of causing further damage is always a risk. Probably the most common reason for physically opening the drive will be because the read/write head assembly is damaged. Replacing internals is a delicate procedure and involves sourcing a near identical “donor” hard drive for the necessary parts. If the repair is successful the drive can then be imaged and copied to other storage media. This is where professional tools like the MRT Ultra and Deepspar Imager are used. The old hard drive should never be used again as the chances of further failure is high.

Price Guide

Prices for this sort of recovery are in the £400 – £500 range. Obviously, only you can decide if your data is worth spending this type of money.

We don’t charge for looking at the drive or for providing an estimate. If you have posted the drive to us then there is a small charge for returning the drive to you.

Head Stack Assembly

Above is a picture of the various components of the head stack assembly. This is the device thats moves back and forwards over the platters to read and write data to and from the hard drive. The heads on the right hand side float just above the surface of the platters and are easily damaged. If the heads are damaged then the whole head stack assembly must be replaced to recover data from the drice. It is also fairly common for the damaged head assembly to scrape the surface of the disk and ruin any data. This is why should not keep using a disk if it’s making a scratching noise as it is just digging into the disk and turning your valuable data into dust.

Hard Drive Workbench

This is a hard drive workbench that holds the damaged and donor hard drive securely while any parts are swapped over. In this picture you can see the large aluminium device that holds the heads in place so they can be slid from the platters without them touching each other as this causes more damage. Both the stand and head stack tool are provided by HDD Surgery.

Other Physical Hard Drive Issues

There are other physical faults that affect hard drives such as stuck platters, failed motor, etc but these tend to be less common. Prices are in the same range as head problems.

Call us on 01923 549001 or contact us for more information about this type of data recovery.