Head crashes occur when the friction between actuator head and the hard disk platters damages the storage areas completely or partially. The extent of damages depends on the intensity of friction. Normally the actuator head performs the I/O operations on the disk platters from a distance of 51-microns. This is called the flying height. It is associated with an air-bearing-slider of hydrodynamic type. When the write operations need to be performed, the actuator head comes to a distance of 6.11 micrometers from the platters. HDD platters rotate at a speed of about 7,200RPM in case of standard platters. High end HDD can have a platter speed of 15,000RPM also. Data access speed also varies based on the RPM, ranging from 100MBPS in case of 57,200RPM disks to about 180MBPS in case of 15,00RPM.
Causes of Disk Head Crash
Wear out of parts can result in hard disk head crash. But when you buy branded HDD this type of problem could be rarely experienced even after 15 years of successful run. Excessive variation in internal disk temperature when the computer cabinet is placed close to a heat generating unit can cause such problems. Other known causes are misaligned dives during run time. You need to ensure that the drive is perfectly in horizontal position when it is running. You also need to keep the computer cabinet away from sources of dust and pollution. Even they can cause accumulation of dust particles on the read write actuator head and cause a crash with the fast rotating platter surface.
Intensity of Drive Damage
Intensity of the crash may vary, starting from development of surface scratches to severely damaged tracks and sectors. If the intensity of damage is low on intermediate, it is possible to sue software tools for recovering the data from such tracks and sector. But in cases where the intensity is critical you need to replace the read write head and perform a platter exchange operation with the help of hardware tool.
Software solution for head damages
Software solutions are limited to data recovery from affected tracks and sectors after head crash. You can’t make software to undo the physical damages caused during the accident. One of the key factors you need to remember while using the software is to connect the failed disk as a salve to another master when the recovery is in progress. Once that is completed you can CLONE your HDD with the help of a tool and then carry on with your data recovery operations. This is in effect a disk mirroring operation that you perform. AOMEI is a system that can help you in cloning your HDD in easy steps.
Once you have connected the failed disk as a slave drive, install AOMEI onto the main disk and run the software application. The system takes you to a main menu with option for CLONE. Clock on it and you get to see a list disk volume drives. You need to select DISK-1 (Source Disk) from which data has to be cloned. Now click on NEXT and select Disk-2 (Target Disk). Make sure that the target disk is completely empty and formatted. Otherwise the operation will erase all the existing data in the target disk before mirroring the image of source disk and click on NEXT. You will be displayed a confirmation screen showing the current settings. Click on CLONE button to start the process.
By default the system clones only those tracks and sectors which contain data. It is also possible to clone all the tracks and sectors from the source disk onto the target disk even if they are empty. You need to carefully select the options from Cloning wizard. Now the clone disk needs to be scanned with the help of recovery software for fixing up all the file systems, NTFS metadata and other files & folders. This may take from a few minutes to many hours, depending on the nature and intensity of data and file system corruption that has occurred.
Hardware Tool for Data Recovery
While cloning can help in recovery of data when the intensity of damages is low, you need to depend on hardware tools when the intensity is critical. First step is to replace the actuator head portion. Second step is to restore data from platters with the help of “platter exchange tool”. Remember that it is a highly delicate process which needs to be performed by an expert professional only. It is better that you don’t attempt this operation if you have no knowledge about the technical details about the working mechanism of platters.
The process starts with the removal of hard disk cover and the actuator head. Then the platters are taken out and placed into the tool. HDRC is one company that is said to manufacture highly reliable platter exchange tools. With is device you can recover data from Samsung, Western Digital, Seagate, MAXTOR, and HITACHI hard disks.
The tool works with a set of source platters which are the failed ones and a set of donor platters which are the platters in working condition. Once the platters are set in place, the technician turns on the tool. It may take about 4 to 5 hours or more for the complete operation to be complete. Once it is done you will be able to use the donor disk for the data recovered from the failed platters.
Logical Data Salvage
At this stage you need to run the software tool for fixing the logical errors in the donor platter. You need a system which can fix NTFS tables, lost links to folders, recover deleted frills and salvage all the corrupt files from the system. Once this is complete, the process of data recovery is over.
We have a team of data recovery experts with professional experience in hardware and software tools for repairing and replacing head crash components. You can be sure of keeping the integrity of your data after recovery. You can checkup with our online services contact page to know more about us.