Recently, Datarecovery.com offered free data recovery services to personal computer users affected by recent hurricanes, including Hurricane Harvey and Hurricane Irma (and later Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico). Personal computer users only pay for the costs of shipping and, where applicable, replacement parts. Additionally, business users receive a 35 percent discount.
We’re hoping that these offers help to make the recovery process somewhat easier for the people affected by these devastating events. We’ve received a number of drives with hurricane-related damage over the past several days, so we’re posting a few of the check-in pictures to show what typical hurricane damage looks like.
Here is some recent feedback from a Puerto Rico resident affected by flooding from Hurricane Maria that we were really happy to see:
“I have no words of how happy I am with you guys, you recover all my photos from a wet hard drive something I will appreciate for the rest of my life, if something happen again and counting on you guys thanks so much.”
While every case is different, most flood-damaged drives have issues with platter contamination, PCB damage, and corrosion. Platter contamination is the most pressing issue since any water is bad and flood water isn’t exactly clean. When we receive these drives, our immediate goal is to clean all components and prevent additional corrosion and damage. As soon as we’ve checked in each case, we perform a thorough decontamination in an ISO 5 cleanroom environment.
What To Do if Your Computer Is Damaged in a Hurricane
If you have a flood-damaged hard drive, it’s vital that you don’t attempt to clean it yourself, since you may accidentally cause additional damage—plus, for the time being, we’re not charging for the cleaning, so you might as well leave the task to the professionals.
Instead, package it securely in a plastic bag. Don’t try to use hair dryers or other devices to dry the electronics, and don’t add water to the bag (we’ve seen customers try both of these techniques, and the results aren’t great).
Here’s the good news: Most flood-damaged hard drives are recoverable. Time is a factor, so get your media to a qualified data recovery company with real laboratories.
That’s especially important; if you bring your media to a company that just forwards your case on without cleaning its components, your drive might incur additional corrosion damage while it’s waiting for an evaluation. If the data’s important, you definitely don’t want to take chances.
Check out a few pictures of our recent Hurricane Harvey cases below via Imgur. You can also check out our Reddit post on this subject here, or for more information about flood-damaged hard drive data recovery or to set up a free case, call 1-800-237-4200.