How Much Abuse Can Your Hard Disk Actually Take?

Ever wonder if you can salvage your data when you drown it in coffee, throw it down a flight of stairs, or even drive a 1.7 ton automobile over it!
By: BEAM Consultants
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* Computers

* Singapore

Sept. 2, 2008 - PRLog -- August 8, 2008

We have all heard of horror stories of colleagues who lose months of hard-work from dropping their portable external hard disks from their tables. How much abuses can a hard disk take before it croaks and dies? Is it the truly the end when you hear that agonized beeping sound from your external hard disk?

The journalists from Digital Life (a Singapore-based IT supplementary) were most interested to find out – and they went ahead with four radical tests that subjected both external hard disks and thumb drives (both staples of mobile warriors) to some hardcore abuse that will send any seasoned mobile warrior crying for mercy.

The first test involved dunking a USB thumb drive into a glass of water for one minute. The second test involved dunking too – but in a more realistic cubicle setting. The USB thumb drive was soaked a cup of coffee for a full minute – definitely the worst nightmare for any caffeine addict.

The third test was a shocker. A 2.5” external hard disk was thrown down a flight of stairs. Not once, not twice, but four times (the journalist threw in a hard kick on the fourth time for good measure).

The final test was serious. The team @ digital life ran a 2.4 litre (1.7 ton) Toyota Estima Multi-Purpose Vehicle (MPV) over a 2.5” external hard disk – once forward and once backwards.

After that, they got out of their car and hammered the disk seven times on an uneven granite floor. (Do not try this at home!) The damage to the hard drive was apparent: the external drive that had been rolled over by the vehicle reported read-write damage while the spindle motor was squashed. The actuator arm and reading head was twisted and very much misaligned.

The damaged thumb-drives and hard disks were hand delivered to two professional data recovery service firms – Adroit Data Recovery Centre (ADRC) and Kroll Ontrack for rescue work and our journalists awaited with abated breaths.

Could any data be possibly recovered after such extreme abuse?

Not letting our hopes down, both Adroit Data Recovery Centre (ADRC) and Kroll Ontrack were able to rescue 100% of the files stored in both dunked thumb drives. ADRC fared much better in terms of speed – they were able to recover the data within 2 hours, compared to Kroll Ontrack’s laborious effort which took over 3 days.

It was results of the two smashed hard disks that was really interesting

Adroit Data Recovery Centre brought life back to the dead. They were able to recover 100% of the data in both 2.5” external hard disks in less than two hours, which was nothing short of miraculous.

Kroll Ontrack only managed to partially recover the data from one hard disk (66 out of 87 files) and raised the white flag for the other. “The damage was simply too great”, explained Kroll Ontrack.  

Even after proving that you can STILL recover your data after drowning your thumb drive in coffee, or even after running your Toyota over your hard disk - we will still advise all readers not to push their luck too far.

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Adroit Data Recovery Centre (ADRC) Pte Ltd is the data recovery expert established since 1998. Headquartered in Singapore and Malaysia, we recover data for customers from Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand, Hong Kong, Taiwan, China, Philippines, Brunei and Vietnam. We provide full data recovery solution for any damaged data media. Commonly we provide data recovery for hard disk drive, RAID disk array and server (any raid level such as raid 0, raid 1, raid 0+1, raid 5), CD or DVD , Exchange and Outlook PST mail, SQL database, Iomega Zip cartridge, flash drive, just to name a few. It is suffice to say that we are able to recover data from all kinds of failed data media and under all situations, regardless of operating system. Besides data recovery services, we also provide computer forensic investigation service that help in your investigation and establishment of facts suitable for legal proceedings via a series of proven and approved methodology.
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