How to Recover Data from Overheated Hard Drives

When a hard drive overheats, its components can sustain serious damage in a matter of seconds. Most drives have a maximum temperature threshold of around 140 degrees Fahrenheit / 60 degrees Celsius, and electrical components begin to degrade past this point. The drive's actuator heads may experience tracking issues, and depending on your computer settings, the drive may immediately power off to prevent extensive media damage.

How to Recover Data from Overheated Hard Drives

Hard drives can sustain serious damage when overheating, so turn off your computer if you notice excessive heat.

If a hard drive has temporarily overheated, you may be able to read data after allowing it to cool off. Make sure that the hard drive has adequate ventilation and check that your computer has functional cooling mechanisms. Never attempt to boot a hard drive that is warm to the touch.

You should not attempt to boot an overheated hard drive if it presents any of the following symptoms:

  • Clicking, Whirring or Other Unusual Noises
  • Hard Drive Fails to Boot or Mount
  • Hard Drive Unrecognized in BIOS
  • Bad Sector Error Messages
  • Extensive File Corruption Error Messages

If any of these symptoms occur, keep your drive powered off. Do not attempt to repair or replace any hard drive components and do not run data recovery software. Booting the drive could cause extensive media damage, especially if the actuator heads are malfunctioning or in direct contact with the drive's platters.

Secure Data Recovery Services offers hard drive repair and data recovery through an expansive network of offices. Each year, we receive hundreds of overheated hard drives, flash drives and other digital storage devices, and we offer high recovery rates for heat-damaged media.

All physical media issues require treatment in a carefully controlled environment, and if you need access to files on an overheated drive, you cannot afford to take any chances with your data. Secure Data Recovery Services offers free diagnostics and price quotes for all hard drive brands and models, and we provide several turnaround options for data recovery including a 24/7/365 option with a 48-hour average turnaround. Contact us today to schedule an evaluation.

How Overheating Affects Hard Drives

Hard drives have a number of sensitive electronic and mechanical components, and high heat can cause serious damage almost instantaneously.

The drive's controller board is especially sensitive to heat-related issues. If contacts between printed circuit board components degrade, the hard drive may be unable to communicate with your computer. Occasionally, overheating will damage the controller board's firmware chip, which immediately prevents the drive from functioning correctly.

To treat heat-related hard drive issues, our engineers repair or replace damaged parts in a Certified Class 10 ISO 4 Cleanroom. Our Cleanroom technology protects your media by filtering out airborne contaminants and preventing electrostatic buildups, allowing our engineers to safely work with actuator heads, platters and other sensitive components. Visit our Cleanroom page for an overview of our technology or to view certification documents.

Our engineers often need to work directly with hard drive firmware in order to restore read/write access. Secure Data Recovery Services is one of the only data recovery companies with advanced firmware microcode equipment, and we keep a large inventory of printed circuit boards, actuator heads and other parts onsite to allow for fast, reliable recoveries.

Most overheated hard drives are completely recoverable. We always treat logical and physical media issues safely, and Secure Data Recovery Services holds certifications from all major hard drive manufacturers.

Secure Data Recovery Services for Overheated Media

Security is an important factor to consider when choosing an IT service provider. At Secure Data Recovery Services, we have built a reputation for our excellent protocols and state-of-the-art network security systems.

Our security certifications include:

  • FERPA Certification
  • PCI Security Certification
  • SSAE 18 Type II Certification
  • SAS 70 Certification
  • Information Systems Security Association Member
  • General Services Administration Contractor Certification

Visit our certifications page to view attestation reports, auditor's comments and other documents related to any of these credentials.

No-Risk Diagnostics for Heat-Damaged Hard Drives

Secure Data Recovery Services offers free diagnostics for overheated hard drives. Our engineers assess media damage to create an accurate, risk-free evaluation report with a price quote and turnaround estimate. You are under no obligation to proceed with data recovery services after receiving our evaluation report.

Reasons to choose Secure Data Recovery Services include:

  • Certified Class 10 ISO 4 Cleanroom
  • Online Case Monitoring Tools
  • 24/7/365 Emergency Services
  • Experienced Data Recovery Engineers
  • High Success Rates and Fast Turnaround Times

To guarantee the best possible chances of recovery, keep your hard drive powered off until you can speak with a professional engineer. Call Secure Data Recovery Services today to set up a new case or for more information.