Can you recover data from a water-damaged drive?

Hard drives and water, like cats and dogs, do not mix well. Sadly, whether due to an accidental spillage, a burst pipe or flood, they regularly come into contact with one another.

In many cases, this will be of little concern to those affected. We almost all have some type of data that is important to us, but when data loss has been caused by something which has resulted in more pronounced and widespread damage, its loss will pale in comparison to the importance of repairing damaged properties, vehicles and other items. To those whose livelihoods are invariably linked to their data, however, losing it is understandable a pressing concern. Good news: lost data can be recovered… but there are a few things you’ll need to know.

Speed, though, is of the essence. Should the drive be allowed to dry naturally, then deposits can be left on the drive’s platter rendering the data unreadable. Should the waters have originated from the sea, then corrosive salt water will cause more acute damage more quickly. If you live in a hard water area, it’s possible limescale could form on its platters. Whilst the need to act decisively is slightly more important under certain circumstances, though, it’s ultimately essential whenever any liquid and any type of storage media come into contact with another.

Equally important is that you do not, under any circumstances, attempt to power up the drive. Doing so will almost certainly destroy the drive and the data along with it.

Finally, do not under any circumstances open the drive and attempt to dry it out yourself. You may think that removing water and moisture from the drive will prevent deposits from forming on the platter but the air around you is literally filled with contaminates which, should they land on the drive’s platter (which is highly likely) will cause nigh-on irreparable damage. Anyway, that’s enough of what you shouldn’t do – here’s what Fields Data Recovery can do if you’ve lost vital data through water damage.

Firstly, we will dry the drive out. Not in the way described above, but by placing in it in a special solution that will remove the chemicals that will create deposits on the platter. The drive will sit in this solution for several days before being removed and allowed to dry out safely.

Following this, we will replace all damaged components (generally the head and circuit board) thus ensuring that the data held on the still intact platters can be read, accessed and viewed.

If you’ve suffered vital data loss because of spillage, flood or anything else, get in touch with the UK’s leading data recovery provider today.