Friday May 20, 2022

Data Recovery : A Hard Drive After A Fire

A fire-damaged hard drive arrived from sunny Tajikistan. The case was badly burned, it is not possible to identify the Data Recovery drive exactly, we can only say that this is a Seagate Barracuda.

This is far from the first of the burnt HDDs that are brought to our laboratory. Each time, work related to the recovery of information from a hard drive damaged in a fire is associated with certain difficulties. The main one is also cleaning the surface of the discs from combustion products, transferring the plate pack to a clean HDA with a serviceable spindle motor, and selecting a compatible electronics board to replace the burnt one.

In most cases, a system unit or a laptop in which the media is installed comes under fire, and the computer or laptop case takes the first temperature shock. Next – the case directly to the HDD. As a result, most often the insides of the hard drive do not get so much. In extreme cases, the plastic parts will partially melt and a little smoke and soot will enter through the burned-out compensatory holes or the window for the servowriter bar.

Data Recovery

No less damage to the disk, by the way, can be cause by the consequences of fighting a fire in the form of extinguishing bit it in the person of brave firefighters, who generously flood the surroundings with streams of water and foam.

One important point should be note Wikipedia data from a hard drive damaged by fire as a result of a fire is possible only if the temperature of the HDD platters does not exceed the so-call “Curie point”. At this point, a phase jump-like transition of the state of matter occurs, associate with a change in its magnetic properties, express in an irreversible violation of the initial magnetization of the components, including those storing information on the hard drive plates.

In this particular case, the disk also was heated to such a state that even the neodymium magnets on the hard drive actuator turn into ordinary pieces of iron. I record a demonstration of this process on a video available for viewing by everyone.

Katie Boyd

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