What do you do when your external hard drive gets flooded with water and all your valuable pictures, documents and files are damaged? You might think this will never happen to you, but it’s more common than you might imagine. Outside floods, hurricanes, fire hoses from fires and accidental spills can all lead to water damaging the hard drive.
Regardless of how it happens, here are some tips on how to save an external hard drive that got wet:
The Clock is Ticking with a Flooded Hard Drive
When your hard drive gets wet, you must act quickly or risk losing your data forever. Leaving the hard drive wet for even a couple days can damage it beyond repair. Additionally, you need to be careful about handling the hard drive, because it can easily be damaged from a mild bump or dropping it on the floor. Before you remove the hard drive from your device, double check to make sure you’ve unplugged all the electrical outlets, and take extra caution when you remove it.
Don't Leave the Hard Drive Outside to Dry
When removing the hard drive, resist the urge to dry it off immediately. For example, using a hair dryer or leaving it in the sun can expose the hard drive platters to potential damage, making data recovery virtually impossible. In addition, almost all water - whether storm water or drinking water - will have minerals and/or particles that stick to the platters of the hard drive. This makes data recovery much harder than if you had platters that were already wet.
We also do not recommend rinsing or cleaning the hard drive if dirty. Again, the problem relates to the sensitivity of the hard drive. Unprofessional and improper tools can pose a greater risk to your data. In this scenario, your best path for recovering your data is to wrap the hard drive in a towel, put it into an air-tight bag to dry.
Never Open the Water Damaged Hard Drive
For the love of your data, please do not remove the cover from your water damaged hard drive! You might expose the hard drive platters to dirty airborne particles, and it makes recovery more difficult and costly. Secure Data Recovery uses a specialized enclosed environment called a Class 100 Cleanroom. The room filters out the airborne particles while experts use specialized equipment to return your data.
Wrap the hard drive in a paper towel and gently place it in a non-static plastic bag. Contact Secure Data Recovery in the event of flooding for a step-by-step walk-through on handling your water damaged hard drive.
Remember, having a backup on another hard drive or USB drive could save you from losing precious data. A proactive approach like backups mitigates the dangers of flooding to the hard drive.
If you have more questions about data recovery or hard drive repair, contact Secure Data Recovery or submit a help request today!