Dropped hard disk

I dropped my hard disk! What should I do?

First of all do not panic and do not power up the disk. Mechanical hard disks are very delicate devices, they are not tolerant to physical impacts and can fail even with the slightest of knocks (in particular when powered on). Consider the importance of the data held on the disk, do you have a backup elsewhere? If the data is critical and you don't have a backup you need to consider data recovery.

Data recovery is a very specialist area of IT and has to be carried out by experienced individuals and companies with a proven track record. Data recovery is unique in that is isn't possible to pickup a book and learn as one would with say a new programming language, specialist training and experience is what will provide what is necessary to become a competent recovery specialist. Some recoveries can be performed by individuals with IT experience using software developed by others perfectly well but it should always be carried out by those in the know. TRC Data Recovery are in the know.

Should I open the disk?

Under no circumstances should a disk ever be opened by anyone who is not qualified and does not have access to a clean room. TRC often see cases where disks have been opened by curious owners or even IT professionals in the hope that they will perhaps see a physical abnormality they can remove to make the disk better.
First of all opening the disk outside of a clean environment is an absolute no! Removing the cover will expose the disk to contaminants which could render the data lost for ever, hard disks are created in a hermetically sealed environment, opening them in anything but an suitable environment is simply asking for more trouble.

What has happened to my disk?

When dropped the disk will typically fail in 2 ways, either the read/write heads will fail or the platter spindle will be affected. In either instance what is certain is that continually applying power to the disk will eventually render all data held on the disk lost forever due to the physical damage which will happen by trying to regain access to the data in that manner. If a disk fails, continued use under normal conditions will only make the issue worse! Speak to a recovery specialist! Your data is important, ensure the person/company you are speaking to knows what they are talking about to ensure you have the best chance of being reunited with your lost data.

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