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Fire Damaged Hard Drives

June 24, 2014

firedamage2Recovering data from fire damaged drives can be a difficult and time consuming process, but when critical data is on the line, has the full capabilities to do whatever is necessary to get it back.

Each fire damaged drive must be carefully cleaned to prevent contamination of the platters by soot and to repair smoke damage that the drive may have incurred. In extreme cases, hard drive electronics can become so damaged that it’s necessary to completely rebuild them, which requires delicate and precise microcode repair.

When a drive has been damaged by fire, it’s critical to get it to a data recovery company as quickly as possible. We recommend following these steps:

  1. Contact for an estimate. Pricing for fire damaged drives is arranged on a case by case basis, and our customer support team will be able to inform you of probable costs while answering any questions that you have.
  2. Do not try to operate the drive. Running a damaged drive will cause internal components to break down and may permanently damage the delicate platters that store your information.
  3. Do not attempt to clean the drive. Data recovery specialists will be able to carefully and securely clean your drive, maximizing your chances of recovery. Home cleaning chemicals and water will cause further damage.
  4. Ground yourself before removing the drive from the computer. Fire damaged drives still have delicate electronics, so touch the metal back of a desktop computer or a grounding screw to avoid causing any static shock. Try to avoid touching the electronics board (PCB) of your hard drive.
  5. Carefully package the drive. Extreme heat weakens the internal components of a hard drive, so safe packaging is especially important. Pack the drive in an anti-static bag and about 5 inches of bubble wrap, taking care to ensure that the hard drive is firmly placed in the box and unable to move during transit.
  6. Ship the drive as quickly as possible. Fire damaged drives must be treated very quickly to avoid further damage. Choose a shipping company that can provide you with a tracking number and keep a record of the tracking number until your case is delivered.

Contact our Customer Support department at 1.800.237.4200 to set up an evaluation.