5 Different Types of Physical Hard Drive Damage

Hard drive failure can be a major headache for anyone whether because of physical damage, malware, bugs, or human error. The hard drive is the most vital parts of any computer because it is responsible for storing all the computer information and is the source of the instructions that make the machine functional. There are several different types of physical hard drive damage, and they include:

Mechanical Damage

A hard drive is a mechanical component and like any other mechanical object, it is susceptible to the wear and tear. In addition, mechanical damage can originate from shock due to dropping or hitting the hard drive. The older generation hard drives are more prone to this type of damage. Mechanical damage can cause the following; frequent computer freezes and crashes, and failure of functions like the R/W head motors. In severe cases, mechanical damage can cause a head crash. A head crash happens when the hard drive fails entirely after the R/W drive head falls on the rotating platter.

Bad Sector Damage

The rotating platter contains magnetic data, which the hard drive reads. However, the magnetic alignment on the rotating platter may be out of place. Any misalignment in this region can render a sector of the rotating inaccessible. As a result, the hard drive cannot read the data. The problem of bad sectors is common and is quite difficult to repair. The best way of handling the issue is to contain the bad sectors within the drive service area. Despite these efforts, more bad sectors will develop as the hard drive ages. The result will be a head crash.

Water Damage

Water is one of the most notorious agents of causing damage to a hard drive. This component of the computer comes with a filtered breathing hole meant to balance the pressure outside and inside the hard drive. For this reason, a hard drive can survive in water for a few seconds. However, if the hard drive remains submerged for longer periods, water will get enough time to filter through into the hard drive. The water can cause electrical problems, which can result in loss of data.

Fire Damage

Exposing a hard drive to high temperatures is harmful. Longer exposure may lead to corruption of the data in the hard drive. Extremely high temperatures can cause physical damage by de-soldering the electronic connections in the hard drive. Since platters and hard drives contain aluminum, they are likely to warp under high temperatures. Instantly cooling a heated up hard drive using cold water, can cause further warping due to the sudden change in temperature.

Printed Circuit Board (PCB) Fault

The PCB houses the electronic components of a hard drive. Wear and tear, high temperatures, or a power surge can damage the Printed Circuit Board. The damage may only affect the PCB but in some cases; it extends to the other hard drive internals. Parts of the hard drive that get this damage include the preamp, which is on the head assembly. Both the PCB and head assembly would need replacement or repair when the hard drive fails to function.