For Successful Data Recovery Accurate Diagnosis is Essential

by PlatterSwapper

When it comes to recovering vital data from a hard drive there is no substitute for access to specialist equipment and detailed experience in data recovery techniques. Without these it is not possible to make an accurate diagnosis of why access to the hard drive has been lost and therefore of course it is not possible to take the appropriate remedial action to regain access to the vital data.
Of course if the missing data simply been accidentally deleted or similarly if the hard drive on which the data was held was subjected to an unintended reformat then, assuming that the appropriate safety measures are observed, it is possible for the recovery work to be carried out by the end user. If this situation applies to you then it is always worthwhile making a clone of the hard drive before you take any further action, in this way if the results are not all that you had hoped for you will still have the option of going to a professional data recovery expert afterwards.

A Commonly Encountered Example of Incorrect Faulty Hard Drive Diagnosis in Data Recovery

One of the more common symptoms exhibited by any failed hard drive is that it makes a clicking sound when power is applied to it. Many people make the assumption that this automatically means that the read/write head assembly has failed and must be replaced; unfortunately this assumption is often made by some of the less experienced data recovery companies.
The truth is that there are a number of possible causes of a clicking hard drive. For example if a hard drive’s firmware has become corrupted this can result in it clicking when it powers-up. Firmware is information stored partly on the hard drive’s printed circuit board and partly on its data platters. It uses this information in order to get itself up and running and to present itself to your computer as a coherent storage device. When this information becomes corrupted the hard drive will commonly spin up and heads will attempt to read the corrupted firmware on the data platters, when it fails to do so the read/write heads return to their starting position (the clicking sound heard is caused by the heads hitting their mechanical stop). In this situation the read/write head assembly is fully operational and so of course replacing it is going to achieve nothing at all (other than an expensive bill).

Incorrect diagnosis of faulty heads can lead to a missed data recovery

A read /write head assembly. Incorrect diagnosis of faulty heads can lead to a missed data recovery.

The difficulty is that in order to access a hard drive’s firmware and subsequently to be able to manipulate it requires both specialist equipment and experienced personnel. These are not always readily available and it is often the case that less experienced data recovery personnel will simply make the assumption that the heads are at fault.
The clicking sound at power up can be caused by a range of other problems as well and so these other possibilities must be eliminated before a failed heads diagnosis can be reached. Going straight for a head-swap would be like going to the doctor with a chest pain and finding yourself immediately rushed though to an operating theatre for a heart transplant.
Thorough inspection and testing are required for an accurate faulty hard drive diagnosis and the best chance of a full data recovery.

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