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Mechanical Failure

Mechanical hard drive failures occur when an HDD's moving components stop functioning due to stress or wear. The read/write heads, actuator arm and spindles of a hard drive move constantly during normal operation. Due to the extremely precise nature of HDD design, a slight mechanical issue can prevent a drive from accessing user data.

Mechanical Failure

Every mechanical component in a hard drive can fail, causing serious data loss in a matter of seconds.

Common symptoms of mechanical hard drive failures include:

  • Unusual Operating Noises Including Clicking, Whirring or Whining Sounds
  • Hard Drive Does Not Mount or Recognize
  • Missing or Corrupted Files
  • Excessively Slow Operation

Failure symptoms will vary depending on the extent of the hard drive's component issues. For example, if a hard drive's read/write heads are slightly off track, the drive may not be able to read certain files. A full read/write head crash will prevent computer users from accessing any data on the disk and may cause permanent data loss if the heads come into contact with the magnetic platters that store data.

If your hard drive experiences a mechanical failure, you need fast help from a professional data recovery company. Secure Data Recovery Services provides hard drive repair and data recovery through dozens of offices across the United States. Our engineers have years of experience treating mechanical hard drive issues, and we offer fast turnarounds and reliable data recovery rates for all common HDD failure scenarios.

What Causes a Mechanical Hard Drive Failure?

Mechanical failures are relatively common and can occur for a number of reasons. In many cases, excessive heat or other poor operating conditions gradually cause damage to a hard drive's actuator arm or spindle over time, accelerating component wear and eventually causing a mechanical failure.

Excessive vibration can also affect read/write head tracking and contribute to actuator failures, especially if the hard drive is not properly secured to the computer's chassis. A sudden physical jolt can certainly offset the sensitive read/write heads, and electronic failures can cause tracking issues that prevent the HDD from accessing data.

Some hard drives experience mechanical failures due to normal component wear. Most manufacturers estimate the average hard drive lifespan at around 3-7 years, but some drives fail earlier due to manufacturing defects, inconsistent power supplies or heavy usage.

Treating Damaged Hard Drive Components Safely

To access files on a damaged hard drive, data recovery engineers need to repair or replace mechanical components. Hard drive actuator heads and platters are extremely sensitive to contaminant damage, and engineers need to complete all repairs in a safe, sterile environment to prevent serious media damage.

Secure Data Recovery Services' engineers work in a Certified Class 10 ISO 4 Cleanroom, which allows fewer than 10 contaminants per cubic foot of laboratory air. We regularly audit our Class 10 ISO 4 Cleanroom and post our certification documents online.

After repairing physically damaged components, engineers can make a clone of the damaged disk and transfer recovered data to return media. Secure Data Recovery Services offers high success rates of over 80 percent for mechanically damaged hard disk drives.

Selecting a Secure Data Recovery Provider

Data recovery providers need to use appropriately secure tools to protect sensitive files, but few providers use up-to-date laboratory protocols and network technologies when handling client data. Secure Data Recovery Services takes information security seriously, and our facilities are regularly audited to ensure compliance with IT industry standards and federal regulations.

Secure Data Recovery Services is:

  • SSAE 18 Type II Certified
  • SAS 70 Certified
  • PCI Security Certified
  • A General Services Administration (GSA) Contractor

Secure Data Recovery Services is one of the only data recovery companies certified by the General Services Administration, and we offer reliable hard drive data recovery for our government and military clients through the GSA program. Visit our certifications section for more information or to view our audit reports.

Free Media Diagnostics for Mechanically Damaged Hard Drives

If you cannot access data due to failing hard drive components, keep your HDD powered off until you can get advice from a professional data recovery provider. Make a list of any symptoms that preceded the hard drive failure and contact Secure Data Recovery Services to set up a free media evaluation.

Secure Data Recovery Services' engineers can quickly determine the cause of your media failure and provide an estimated turnaround time and price quote for data recovery. We offer evaluations through more than two dozen offices across the United States, and we can generate a full diagnostics report in less than 24 hours after receiving your hard drive.

Reasons to choose Secure Data Recovery Services include:

  • 24/7/365 Emergency Data Recovery Services
  • Free Hard Drive Diagnostics
  • Experienced Engineering Teams
  • Certified by All Major HDD Manufacturers
  • SSAE 18 Type II Security Certification
  • Safe Treatment in Certified Class 10 ISO 4 Cleanroom

To get started, contact out customer services team today to speak with a certified data recovery professional and receive a free price quote.