“Yes. In most cases, dropping a hard drive can significantly damage it. No matter if you drop it from a short height or long, it will most likely get damaged. Even when you cannot detect any physical damage to your hard drive after a drop, the internal construction of the device can become compromised by the impact.”
Therefore, the panic one feels after dropping their hard drive, loaded with valuable data, is no joke and absolutely justifiable. Moreover, a dropped hard drive can show erratic and deceptive behavior. You may still be able to turn a damaged hard drive on, but it will probably not work and eventually fail on you, taking your collection of data to its demise.
That’s why you should not let the panic set in after dropping your hard drive. Just keep calm, gently pick it up, put it aside, and keep reading this article.
What to Do If You Drop Your Hard Drive?
You may feel the urge to check if your hard drive works right after dropping it. Now, if you do not have any essential data on your hard drive, go ahead and try powering it up. However, if the driver contains valuable data, keep it powered off at all costs.
If your hard drive suffers internal damage, pressing the “on” button can potentially corrupt all your data. One common damage that happens is a head crash.
The part of a hard drive that is used to store and retrieve data is called the “drive’s head.” A drop can cause the drive’s head to come in contact with its platters that are coated with magnetic materials. These platters’ surfaces hold all your data, and it is very sensitive to touch. In this circumstance, if you power the hard drive up, the motor will start spinning the platters. As a result, the platter surfaces will lose all your data.
Another form of damage that can occur after dropping your hard drive is motor seizing. When this happens, the seized motor cannot power up your damaged hard drive and keeps trying to do it. Consequently, a substantial amount of residual heat is generated inside the drive, which may fry the internal components and destroy all your files.
So what do you do to keep your valuable data safe after dropping a hard drive? Unless you are an expert, wrap it up carefully and take it to hard drive recovery experts.
How to Repair a Dropped Hard Drive?
It is never recommended to attempt repairing a dropped hard drive by yourself. You will find some DIY hard drive repair tips and software online, but trying to utilize them can cause further damage to your hard drive if you have no idea how to use them correctly. To repair your hard drive, the safest option is to take it to the professionals.
However, by evaluating the sound your hard drive makes after being dropped, you can identify what sort of damage it has obtained.
If your damaged hard drive makes a beeping sound, it usually means the power supply to the spindle motor is compromised. It may also mean that the USB cable or port is affected. This is an easy fix and can be handled by any trained technician.
If your hard drive makes a clicking sound, it’s not good news. Repeated clicking noise indicate that something physical is blocking it from functioning. Such damage can be permanent. It also indicates that the spindle has left its place and is parked somewhere is, or worse, hovering over the magnetic field. However, data recovery is possible with the help of a certified professional.
If your dropped hard drive makes a grinding or whirring noise, it is worrisome as well. There is a high chance that you will permanently lose all your data because this sound means the spindle is scratching the surfaces of the platters. Immediately contact a data recovery service and try to salvage whatever is left to retrieve.
How to Recover Data from a Damaged Hard Drive?
If you damaged your hard drive, then it is better to seek professional data recovery services. Upon incurring physical damage, it is almost impossible to recover data from a hard drive by yourself, unless you have extensive experience in doing so.
But if the professionals declare your damaged hard drive to be unusable, there are still a few ways to recover data from a dead hard drive if the files are not corrupted. Follow the steps below.
- Connect the hard drive to a computer.
- Check if your computer can detect the connected hard drive. If it can’t detect or read your hard drive properly, try connecting it directly to the motherboard’s USB port. Alternatively, you can update it. But if nothing works, go to professionals.
- If the computer can detect and read your hard drive, you can create a disk image to retrieve your data. There is a plethora of recovery software you will find on the internet. Do your research, get a good one and install it.
- Launch the software and select the corrupt hard drive. Then proceed as directed.
- Your hard drive will be scanned thoroughly. Wait until the scanning is complete.
- After the scan, the software will show a list of files it found on your hard drive. Select the ones you want to retrieve and proceed as directed.
Dropping a hard drive is most likely to cause permanent damage to the device and your data. Therefore, a proper data backup tool is essential to prevent inevitable data loss that may occur from dropping, system failure, malware attack, etc. Using cloud-based data storage is another good alternative to using physical hard drives. Whether your data gets saved this time or not, these suggestions can prevent such data loss incidents in the future.