Water Soaked Hard Drive After A Hurricane or Flooding:
Not sure what to do…THEN DON'T DO ANYTHING Yet!
Don't Let Your Wet Hard Drive to Dry!
Don't Power On Your Wet Hard Drive.
Traces of salt or foreign matter in your hard drive is all that is needed to permanently scratch or corrode your platters and DESTROY your DATA.
We have had many calls with regard to the East Coast Flooding. Therefore, RMD thought we should share some of our knowledge on what TO DO and what NOT TO DO if your hard drive gets wet, soaked or contaminated after a hurricane or major flood.
What Happens When Hard Drives Get Flooded or Wet?
Here are the major challenges that a user will experience when a hard drive is damaged by water, dirt or any foreign matter.
Firstly, a main issue is that water has many dissolved salts present in it: Salts dissolved in water will vary from state to state, and also by locality. For example, water form New Jersey, New York, Connecticut, Virginia or any other state will vary in salt composition. The location where your hard drive got wet or flooeded dictates what type of salts will crystallize on your hard drive when your wet hard drive is left to dry. This means the data recovery process on hard drives will vary based on the type of salts found on your flooded or wet hard drive.
Salt Deposits on Hard Drives after Flooding:
Depending on your location, as the water evaporates from your flooded hard drive, the dissolved salts begin to concentrate and leave crystalline deposits or films on the surfaces of the wet hard drive platters, motor, hard drive heads and the head assembly. If you turn the wet hard drive on after the hard drives has been left to dry, then the salts will make contact with the heads/magnets and most likely scratch or damage the platters permanently, thus making your hard drive non recoverable.
If dirt or any foreign matter is mixed with the water and contaminates your hard drive, and you proceed to dry your hard drive and turn your hard drive on, then you are essentially left with no alternatives. You data will NOT be recoverable.
Salts on a Hard Drives Printed Circuit Board – (PCB).
Distilled or deionized water are not good electrical conductors. Many dissolved salts in water tend to be good to moderate electrical conductors. Salt water (Na Cl – Sodium Chloride) is an excellent electrical conductor. Therefore, we must always remember that when your hard drive gets wet from a flood it can potentially short out your hard drives' PCB. This means a once simple wet PCB can essentially result in a damaged hard drive heads.
Cleaning Flooded Hard Drives:
Once this process is completed, RMD evaluates the condition of the hard drive surface and the internal hard drive components with a high powered microscope to determine if the wet contaminated hard drive needs additional cleaning or if it is ready to be repaired, powered on to run diagnostics and prepare to initiate the data recovery imaging process.
Our advice is as follows:
If your hard drive got wet or flooded, then you should leave it wet. Place your wet hard drive in a sealed baggie or plastic bag and send it to RMD in water ASAP. The reason for this is the hard drive will not dry out, therefore the salts can not crystallize out and deposit onto the hard drive platters or the other internal hard drive components. RMD can then apply their propriety hard drive data recovery process to remove crystallized salts and foreign matter from the hard drive heads, magnets, motor and platters.
Not sure what to do…THEN DON'T DO ANYTHING!
Call RMD FIRST, we will at least make sure you don't risk or further damage your wet or flooded hard drive.
RMD can be reached @ 1-877-888-9990.