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Physical Corruption

Physical Corruption for platter based hard drivesPhysical corruption is when any hard drive or storage media like a flash drive has any type of electronic problem, mechanical failure or physical damage. Often times when this occurs media damage is present, especially on traditional mechanical platter based hard drives. In most cases it possible to recover all your data but some additional steps are needed past just running recovery software.

Let’s dive into what causes data loss, why these types of recoveries are difficult, and why you need professional help.

What causes Physical Corruption?

These failures causing data loss  can be because of  manufacturing defects, electrical components failing, age, or normal use. Physical damage happens fairly often due to dropping a drive like an external hard drive, breaking the USB connector on a flash drive, water damage or liquid damage, or platter damage. Media damage is often the most severe recovery and occurs on a hard disk when the platters has become damaged or corrupted.

Why is this more difficultly of a recovery?

Many recoveries can not be done with software or with software only. Physical recoveries or media that have physical problems do not work correctly. Mechanical or physical repairs are required first in order to retrieve data. This requires matching specific items such as models of drives, firmware, motors and fixing items like seized motors, PCB swaps, head crash, scratches on platters, and other parts. This is why an expert help is needed for data recovery.

How Do I know if I Need a Physical Recovery?

Your drive or media will need a data recovery diagnostic to be able to tell for certain, but some common symptoms include:

  • Hard drive makes a “clicking” sound
  • Hard drive or media that appears when plugged in but shows as needed to be formated
  • USB or Hard drive stops responding, freezes or cannot be detected by the operating system;
  • You are given an error about bad sectors; I/O error, S.M.A.R.T. error or bad blocks
  • External hard drive or hard drive that has been dropped
  • USB flash drive that has been broken on the circuit board
  • Media is very slow to write or read data

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