Don’t Do This # 3

Things You Shouldn’t Do With A Broken Hard Drive… #3

Take The Top Off…

Top Off Hard Drive.

This is what a hard drive looks like without the lid.
Now you know, don’t be tempted to remove it if your hard drive breaks and you want to recover the data !

Life is full of mysteries… UFO’s, the Loch Ness Monster, how Spurs managed to get £85m for Gareth Bale… but one of the questions I ask myself every week is why do people take the tops off their hard drives ??

Ok, so I work at a data recovery company. I see lot’s of faulty hard drives every day… These drives belong to people who want us to recover their data. Sometimes it’s quite a straightforward job, others it’s more complex. But the #1 thing that makes us all sigh and curse under our breath is seeing a hard drive that’s been opened before it gets to us.

A hard drive might look like a boring rectangular piece of metal (ok, it is a boring piece of metal), but it’s also a very complicated piece of equipment. When you think that these days a hard disk can store the entire contents of a small library or family photos and videos going back generations, you realise that what goes on inside a hard disk is actually very clever.

stxcp415ast137_n43908w09Hard disks are assembled in giant clean rooms. These are rooms where the atmospheric environment is controlled and dust and other particles are removed from the air. Underneath the lid of your hard disk, that clean air environment has been preserved – it’s free of contaminants and it’s this that has allowed your hard disk to function perfectly. Taking the lid off your hard disk destroys this clean environment and introduces specks of dust and other airborne particles into the disk.

Now that’s bad enough already, but then people often start poking around inside the hard drive… touching the disk platters and leaving greasy fingerprints over formerly clean surfaces… Why?… I guess it’s curiosity, and people are curious by nature… Just remember though that this type of action harms the chances of a successful data recovery being performed on your hard drive significantly. So please, don’t take the lid off.