Understanding how a damaged platter can affect the ability to recover data, requires understanding of how a hard drive works. Inside the hard drive is a disk of glass or metal called the platter. This disk has a magnetized coating, which is what enables it to store data. To be able to read and write to the platter, there is an arm that holds a read/write head. For each platter in a disk, there are two arms and two read/write heads – one on each side of the platter.
During a hard drive’s operation the drive’s motor spins very fast, creating a very small cushion of air that allows the head(s) to hover over the platter surface(s). The heads travel back and forth across the platter(s) reading, storing and locating your data without touching the platter surface. These read/write heads hover above the platter at a distance so small that an unaided human eye wouldn’t be able to see the gap. This gap is nearly 7 times thinner than a standard piece of paper.
If a physical shock happens it may cause these heads to make contact or crash with the surface of the platter and causing damage to it, it could be a ding or a severe scratch. Platter damage usually represents a significant challenge to recover data from.
Damaged Platter by heads Read/Write Head
Head crashes can be caused by shock or vibration to the drive while it is running. This can often occur to a laptop computer that is hit or dropped. An external drive is commonly prone to this type of failures due to the fact that it’s a mobile device. Head crashes can also be caused by dust or dirt inside the drive.
Once a head or heads are damaged, as soon as the drive is turned on the damaged heads act like little knives scraping data off and lessening the chances of a successful Data Recovery Philadelphia process.
Even if the drive still seems to be operable, to ensure that the largest percentage of your data can be recovered, it is best to immediately stop the use of your damaged drive and take it to a data recovery professional. Continuing to operate a damaged drive, even for the purposes of copying your data to a new drive, can cause data on the drive to be damaged beyond repair.
In most cases 100% recovery is not possible and several donor drives must be used along with several different techniques to achieve compatibility and data access. It is an extremely time consuming process and surgical hands are key to achieve success.
So in the end, the best course of action any time data loss is noticed, even if you don’t believe that the drive has had any physical damage, is to immediately power down the drive and bring it to a data recovery professional or seek on out at a data recovery forum. If you are suffering from data loss, contact a professional. to see how we can help you.