By Ben Metz, Associate Technician
Data storage is one of the biggest evolving components in the IT industry. Today, one hard drive can hold more information than a modest network of computers could twenty years ago. As the level of data storage changes, the type of security is altered as well. Data security and forensics plays a big role in recovering corrupted data and repairing components that have been damaged by some type of physical action.
One of the major problems with electronics is liquid damage. Liquid damage can wreak havoc on a computer especially on the hard drive. Natural disasters such as a flood can make recovering data a nightmare. Flood water contains contaminated water that might have debris, sediment and other materials that will attach to the platters and parts of the hard drive. The parts in the hard drive will seize up just like an engine will with sludge in it. If you have any type of water or liquid damage to a hard drive, immediately call data recovery experts with experience in this type of damage. They will give you important steps to follow. One such step may be keeping the wet drive immersed. This completely defies logic, but in certain types of recoveries, it is critical. Drying out the hard drive will most likely render the drive unrecoverable, but it is the natural thing that victims of flood damage want to do. Again, call experts so that you can do the right things as a first responder to increase the chances of a successful recovery.
When dealing with this type of problem, forensic companies will try to recover the data on the hard drive. In some cases, certain components of the hard drive such as the head, cylinder, motor or platters need to be replaced. Depending on the extent of the damage, it can be extremely difficult and even impossible to retrieve data from the platters.
There are several ways to prevent data loss even if a natural disaster or freak accident occurs. One of the best ways to prevent this is by always backing up your data to a secondary source. Whether it is with a flash drive, external hard drive, a networked drive, or to online backup services in the cloud, always make a backup of your data. If you decide to use a flash drive or external hard drive, make sure it is in a secured location when not in use.
Hard drives eventually fail over time. If you find yourself facing data loss, find a professional who can help. Under no circumstances should you try to fix the problem yourself. You could make the problem worse than it already is. Do not attempt to dry the hard drive. Instead, do the opposite and keep it in a bag with a damp sponge. This will keep the contaminants in the hard drive from drying up and leaving a residue on the hard drive platter. Contact a data forensics specialist immediately to see what the next step is.