How Did This Happen?

Although the symptoms of logical hard drive failure are very similar to the ones associated with physical hard drive damage, the causes are very different.
In fact, the source of logical hard drive issues can usually be found in one of the following:

  • Computer Viruses and Malware
  • Accidental File Deletion
  • Formatting or Partial Formatting of the Drive
  • System Crashes
  • Hardware and Firmware Conflicts
  • Power Surges and Brownouts
  • Accidental Drive Cloning
  • Software and Operating System Corruption
  • How do I know if my Hard Drive is experiencing a Logical Failure?
  • Symptoms of logical failure can be similar to those of a physically damaged hard drive, including the failure of a computer to boot from the affected hard drive, problems reading the disk or particular files and folders, and having the drive disappear from your operating system.
  • In each case, the underlying issue can corrupt the data or file structure of the affected hard drive. The good news about logical hard drive failure is that, if it is properly recognized and diagnosed by a trained team of data recovery experts, these types of repairs tend to be the quickest and least expensive.

Understanding Hard Drive Physical Failure?

A physical recovery is necessary when the storage media device has experienced physical damage to its internal parts. In order to achieve a successful recovery, those damaged internal parts would need to be replaced inside of a clean room in order to temporarily repair the hard drive and extract the data.
The most common cause of data loss is physical media damage, whereby the hard disk drive receives a physical shock causing the head to hit the platter or damage one of the moving parts. This condition will not always cause a failure straight away but the condition of the platter and internal parts will probably deteriorate and eventually, the failure will occur. This can potentially cause the most damage if a laptop or mobile device is dropped at the same time the HDD is reading or writing data.

What does Physical Failure mean?

Physical failure – the most severe type, involves mechanical or electronic failure of the drive itself. Most physical problems are the result of damaged disk due to abuse, wear, and excessive write operations. Other damage occurs to the electronic controller card attached to the drive.
Hard drive physical failure can be a result of a manufacturer’s defect, a physical impact such as a device being dropped or bumped while it is running, or fire and water damage. It is important to know that all electronic devices are made to fail eventually, so it’s not always something that can be prevented. The damaged chips or components manifest problems such as bad track, scratches on platters, motor seizure, head crash, burnt PCBA and other malfunctioning components.

How do I know if my Hard Drive has Physical/Data Damage?

Common symptoms Include:

    • Disk is recognized by system but cannot be read normally
    • Disk cannot be detected via operating system
    • Disk cannot respond to system commands
    • Disk freezes due to bad sectors
    • Hard drive makes a “clicking” sound like “tick tack”
    • Hard drive makes a buzzing sound when trying to start up
    • Hard drive motor fails to spin up or has trouble spinning
    • What Should I do if I think my Hard Drive is Physically Damaged?
    • First, you should STOP using your media immediately if you sense any internal damage to your hard drive. The more you use the hard drive, the more damage you can inflict. The chances of recovery become slimmer the more damaged the hard drive is. Next, you should call UNIQUE DATA RECOVERY for a free consultation and price quote. We will eagerly answer any questions you may have about the failure of your device and also about our process for dealing with physically damaged hard drives. It is extremely vital that you choose a data recovery company with a clean room on site. A hard drive can only be opened inside of a clean room to ensure complete protection from outside contamination. If a hard drive is opened outside of a clean room, then the drive will become unrecoverable and there is nothing that can be done after that.

Understanding Hard Drive Firmware Failure?

Did you know that inside your computer’s hard drive is a tiny operating system (similar to Windows or Mac OS) that tells the drive to act? Most computer users don’t, because it runs in the background and there’s no reason to ever worry about this little piece of software… that is, until it stops doing its job.
As with any bit of code, your hard drive’s operating system, aka the firmware, can become corrupted or damaged as a result of viruses, incompatibility, or even manufacture failure. If a firmware failure incurs, you may lose access to your data instantly. Even worse, it could stop your hard drive from spinning or cooling correctly, which can lead to more significant damage.

How Do I know if I have a Firmware Failure?

Some signs of a firmware failure include freezing a startup, inability to recognize the drive by any reader, or partial or complete mechanical failure of the drive. A firmware failure can cause complete failure of the drive, even if there is not physical damage to it.

Where is the Firmware located?

The firmware is a set of codes positioned on the service area of the platters and also in the ROM of the PCB. It’s not something that is visible because it is not a physical part of the hard drive.

What Does Firmware Do?

When the hard drive is powered on, a small part of firmware on the PCB is starting the whole process of booting the drive. It sends the command to power on the motor and tells the heads to move over the spinning surface to catch the synchronizing marks of the platter in order to stabilize the speed. Then the microcode on the service zone starts loading into the drive’s memory.
Then the microcode on the service zone starts loading into the drive’s memory. Then the microcode on the service zone starts loading into the drive’s memory. That piece of loaded code from the disk platter must be matched to the firmware code from the circuit board. Otherwise, the integrity of the whole drive’s software system is violated.