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Data recovery is a highly specialized and complicated procedure. Care must be taken
to prevent the disturbance of the fragile components that reside in a hard drive or other media. For this reason, data recovery can be expensive. Many people receive a price quote from a data recovery company and in an effort to save costs, they decide to take matters into their own hands. This can be a fatal mistake for your data. By taking
matters into your own hands, you could cause damage that can make the data irretrievable even by a data recovery company. Listed below are some common techniques that can cause permanent data loss:

Do Not Run Partitioning Software on the Failed Media

Using disk repair software can cause irreversible data loss. Most of these utilities write
to the disk which can cause your data to be overwritten. The steps taken by most of
these utilities are very complex. It only takes one incorrect option chosen, and you
could damage the file structure of your disk beyond repair. By using these utilities,
you are taking a significant risk with your data.

Do Not Reformat the Failed Media

This is crucial as reformatted disks make data recovery very difficult. A reformat allows
the master boot record to be overwritten. It is important not change partition information
or initialize the disk if prompted.

Do Not Open a Failed Hard Drive to Attempt Recovery

Many people do not understand the delicacy of the internal components of a hard drive.
A hard drive should never be opened unless in a clean room environment. Inside the
drive, there are platters which hold the data. These platters are made of either light aluminum alloy, glass or ceramic and are coated with a magnetic substance. There
can be one or multiple platters depending on the disk capacity. The disk platters are
very fragile and sensitive to dust, debris and fingerprints.

It is also easy to scratch the surface of the platters, which could permanently damage them. The platters are attached to a spindle that turns the platters simultaneously. A motor also exists to ensure the platters are spun at a set speed. The actuator arm
houses the read-write heads which are present to access the data on the platters. These heads never actually touch the platters. The spinning of the platters creates air pressure which lifts the read-write heads off the platters, enabling them to access the data. It only takes 0.5 micron of dust on the platter surface to disturb the functionality of the drive.
This is why a hard drive should never be opened unless done in a clean room by a data recovery company.

Do Not Freeze or Heat the Failed Hard Drive

Many people have read about freezing a failed hard drive in order to recover the data. Beware of doing this as condensation can cause the drive to be ruined thus causing permanent data loss. On the flip side, you should also not attempt to heat a hard drive using the oven or microwave oven. This will also cause the drive to be ruined causing
your data to be permanently gone. Once again, the internal components of a hard drive are extremely fragile. An extreme change in temperature can cause problems.

Do Not Physically Abuse the Drive

Some people have read about tips others claimed have worked including hitting a hard drive or dropping it on the floor in order to cause the parts to begin functioning properly again. This is not advised as it can break the internal components or scratch the surface of the platters which can destroy the data residing on those platters.

Data recovery is more successful when trusted in the hands of a data recovery company. It is important that you do not take chances with the data you are trying to recover.


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