A hard drive should be able to handle an unexpected power failure, but things don't always go as they should. A combination of factors prevented the Seagate drive from shutting down correctly, leaving the magnetic heads "stuck" on the data platters in an area they shouldn't be. This situation can be dangerous for user data because the drive's motor might have enough power on startup to "tear off" the magnetic heads, which could have catastrophic consequences for the recording layer on the data platters. Especially in 3.5" drives (used more in desktop computers or large external drives), the motor has enough power to do this. Therefore, if a drive fails and you only hear a faint clicking sound, do not try to power it on repeatedly. The cause might not be the same as here, but it is likely.

After freeing the magnetic heads and visually inspecting both the heads and the data platters, damage was found that would probably mean the end for more modern drives. The situation here wasn't very hopeful either, but there was a chance. The magnetic heads and other drive components needed to be replaced, the drive's service data had to be modified, and then the drive could be initialized. It worked. Surprisingly, without significant further issues, we were able to create a backup of the service data and start a binary copy of the drive's contents - the user data. The process went better than expected, and in the end, only a few files in the user folder were damaged.

Medium: Seagate Hard Drive ST500DM002
Capacity: 500 GB
Problem: Read head failure after power outage
Solution: Invasive hardware intervention on the hard drive, read head replacement
Result: 99% of data successfully recovered

This data recovery from the Seagate drive was successful. Modern hard drives are more sensitive to similar defects, have higher data density, and use different recording and reading technologies, making data recovery significantly more complicated. Don't underestimate the importance of regular backups, and if you encounter a problem with your hard drive, take advantage of our free diagnostics or consultation.