Electrical equipment and water do not mix well, and computers in particular are liable to failure even when they only suffer a small fluid in-flux. There are many ways that a computer can suffer water damage, from simply knocking over a glass or coffee mug, flood damage or even as the result of putting out a fire.
Once a computer gets wet, in particularly if the hard disk drive should suffer fluid inundation, it is important that you do not panic and take the correct remedial action to avoid exacerbating the problem. These steps are simple and a failure to following them, could increase the risk of data loss, and reduce the chances of a successful outcome from data recovery.
Power Down the Computer
Once water has entered the workings of a hard disk drive, it is of the utmost importance that it should not be powered up under any circumstances, even if you think all the components are dry. It is highly likely that water will have infiltrated the housing which contains the disk platters and the read/write heads, the operation of which will be affected by this fluid. Any contaminants in the fluid may act as an adhesive, sticking to the platters, and may glue the read/write heads into position.
The conductive properties of water are well known, and any moisture remaining could result in a short circuit on the hard disk controller board. Even some contaminants may contain metallic elements which could also cause a short circuit, the result of which could lead to components on the controller board exploding which a violent pop.
DON’T Dry Your Hard Disk Drive
Once contaminated fluids have entered the drive, they may have a corrosive effect, particularly if they are allowed to dry out. Once they dry out they are more likely to oxidise, which is when the most damage can occur particularly to the surface of the disk platters.
Even if the residue after drying does not cause corrosion, it may adhere to the platter surfaces and be extremely difficult to remove later without causing damage. This debris must be completely removed before a data recovery can be attempted, as it would result in damage to the read/write heads, and lead to them also impacting with the surface of the disk platters.
This advice may sound counter-intuitive, but drying out a hard disk drive will make the data recovery process more complex, and in severe cases make a successful outcome almost impossible.
Place Hard Disk Drive in Sealed Container
In order to keep stop the hard disk drive from dying out, you should place it into a sealed container. Once the hard disk drive has arrived at our data recovery laboratory, it will be disassembled and the correctly cleaning and drying procedures undertaken, to ensure the least possible damage will occur.
Water Damaged Computer Recovery
If you adhere to the above steps, we will have the greatest chances of completing a successful data recovery from your water damaged hard disk drive. Through extensive training, in-depth knowledge and experience, our data recovery specialists follow strict guidelines when it comes to cleaning a contaminated hard disk drive.
These guidelines should also be adhered to when it comes to any water damage, whether it’s from USB sticks, SSD hard drives, magnetic tape data cartridges and any other mass storage devices or media.