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Physical damage

Physical hard drive damage

We’ll start talking about Physical faults. They make reference to the functioning of the physical components of our devices, either mechanic or electronic. They are usually the most severe and the data recovery is more complicated. In most cases, the device has to enter the clean chamber.

Generally, this type of faults can be identified with a characteristic sound. In some cases, they are preceded by a system alert. An initial fault may cause other types of faults. Therefore, there are devices which present multiple faults, in many cases due to the repeated starting and shutting off by the user trying to restart the operating system.

  • The most common are:
    • Headcrash: this term is used to designate the fault which happens when the writing/reading heads actually touch the surface of the hard disk’s plates. This fact provokes a detaching of the magnetic layer making it impossible to read or write data in that point.
    • Heads: here we talk about the group of faults located in the writing/reading heads or of any of the parts that make them: (CABEZALES, amplifier, FLEXTORES, spools…). Their causes vary depending of the fault location: the accumulation of impurities in the writing CABEZAL causes a loss of it’s effectiveness, hits may cause the detaching of the CABEZALES, maladjustments in the spools make impossible reading the data…
    • Motor: as other parts of the hard disk, it is made of several components (spools, ball-bearings, axes…) and may present faults in any of them. The high temperatures to which the devices are exposed when functioning may damage the ball-bearings provoking noises and vibrations that prevent a stable position in the writing/reading CABEZAL. Also, in the same case as with the CABEZALES, maladjustments in the spools make impossible the reading of the data
    • Electronics: The fluctuations in the electric current that feeds the devices may provoke faults in the electronic circuits present in the disk controller. An excessive temperature may also be a cause for faults in the hard disk’s electronic components.
    • Surface degradation: It’s a fault that may affect any disk component. It is caused by the temperature variations endured by the hard disks. It causes a physical deformation of the device or any of its components, preventing their correct functioning.

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