Burnt hard drive data recovery

October 18th, 2011


This fire damaged hard drive was completely recovered

Recently a forensic investigation company contacted our labs regarding a burnt hard drive, the disk was damaged in the riots back in the summer.

As you can see from the photo, it is very badly damaged, further to the fire damage there was ingress from the substances used to put the fire out, all in all this was a very complex case to deal with.

The hard drive label as you can see was completely destroyed, this further complicated the issue as these details are very important when attempting to recover any possible data, the label contains such information as the manufacture, the model number, serial number and details pertaining to the head stack assembly, these details were barely visible.

Following very close examination the the disk, it was discovered that it was a Seagate hard drive.

The clean room engineers opened the drive to further examine the disk surface, which appeared to be in reasonable condition, considering the amount of heat this device must have been subjected to.

In our experience if the disk surface becomes tarnished and changes colour this will render this surface completely destroyed and totally unrecoverable.

After many hours of work and many resources a suiatble donor head stack assembly was located and installed in a new chassis along with a platter translpalnt.

Further tests showed that the disk also had firmware issues, not surprising really considering the damages the unit had suffered from.

After all the work had been undertaken a complete clone of the data was accomplished and the file system which was NTFS MHT$ data which was then  rebuilt.

If you have suffered from a fire damaged hard drive and require data recovery services do not attempt data recovery, please get in touch with our labs for a solution.



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