Dropped your hard drive? Here’s why it’s stopped working

There is not a single person on this planet that has not, at some point in their lives, accidentally damaged a household electronic item. Televisions get knocked off stands, metal objects find their way in to washing machines, phones get stood on – these are just a few common examples and, here at Fields Data Recovery, we’re well accustomed to helping people who’ve dropped their laptops or external drives. It’s more common than you’d think and, sadly, the first thing that 99.9% of people do after such an accident is the worst thing they could possibly do under such circumstances.

Never power up a dropped hard drive

We know from first-hand experience that the first thing you’ll want to do after dropping your laptop or drive is turn it on to see if it still works. It’s understandable: your anxious and want to find out if your expensive gadget and valuable data are still fully-functional and intact. The second you press the ‘on’ button, though, you run the risk of losing all your data.

When a hard drive (or a device housing one) is dropped, various components can move or suffer damage. In either case, it’s a serious problem that will only worsen should you attempt to operate the drive.

One typical outcome is a head crash wherein the drive’s head (used to both store and retrieve data) comes into contact with its platters (discs coated in a magnetic material). All of the data a hard drive holds is stored within the surface of its platters. The surface is also extremely sensitive and is literally stripped away when anything touches it.

As we’ve said previously, a head crash is a common following a drive having been dropped. We’ve also said that this results in the read/write head coming into direct contact with the drive’s platters. So, if you were to then power up the drive and the motor began spinning the platters, the delicate surface – the part that holds your important data – suffers more and more damage.

This motor seizing is another common symptom of a dropped hard drive. This is problematic as a seized motor cannot turn but, power up your drive and it’ll try persistently, to do so, generating lots of residual heat in the process. Hard drives don’t like heat and trying to boot up your drive under these circumstances is also a sure-fire way of losing your data forever.

What you should do if you’ve dropped your hard drive

Firstly, don’t power up your hard drive. Secondly, get in touch with hard drive recovery experts Fields Data Recovery and book a free data recovery diagnostic.

We’ll be able to check your drive and determine what needs to be done to repair it without risking permanent data loss. The best part: we’ll then provide a no-obligation quote and, if you don’t like the price, we’ll simply return your drive to you without needing to spend a penny. You literally have nothing to lose. 

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