7 Signs You Have Hard Drive PCB Failure

Raid Rebuild - TTRDATA
By Linda J

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Hard Drive PCB Failure

When a server motherboard or case fan dies, it’s painfully obvious which component has a problem. When your hard drives fail, life grows exponentially tougher. Each storage device contains its own ecosystem of firmware, discrete components, and the printed circuit boards, or PCBs, that tie them all together. As a result, it isn’t always possible to eyeball a dead hard drive and instantly know what went awry.

“Hard drive PCB failures are among the most notorious tech problems calling for data recovery. Fortunately, certified extraction experts can handle these issues effectively.”

Hard Drive Anatomy and PCB

Hard drives contain spinning disks whose surfaces have millions of tiny magnetic areas, or cells. A moving arm inside the drive uses an electromagnet to change the orientation of the fields associated with each cell. Since the fields persist after being set, you can read them later to recover what you stored.

PCBs make all of this decoding, encoding, reading and writing action possible. Sort of like the nervous system of the drive, PCBs contain microcontrollers and other electronics that control the moving arm, the spinning disk motors and the data processing activity.

 

Hard Drive PCB Failure

Many hard drives include bottom-mounted PCBs, so flipping your faulty device over and performing a visual check for physical damage or burn scars may be a good start. While some designs feature a single-board layout, others include multiple or split PCBs.

Understanding a Potential PCB Problem

PCBs control everything that your drives do. This means that PCB failures come in a lot of different varieties and bring distinctive symptoms along with them. At TTR Data Recovery, we make it our job to make an accurate diagnosis, but you can help the process along by asking yourself some basic questions:

  1. Is the drive completely unresponsive?
  2. Does powering on the computer produce a burning or smoky smell
  3. Does the drive overheat faster than normal?
  4. If the computer recognizes the drive, is it reporting incorrect status information, such as device sizes, storage volume capacities or partitioning schemes?
  5. Is the computer complaining that the drive needs to be formatted?
  6. Is it taking forever to open files or run applications that write lots of data to disk?
  7. Are strange errors cropping up in files?
Lost Your Data? We Can Help!

How can you draw the distinction between a PCB problem and other types of drive failures? The surest solution is to talk to an expert. Many circuit issues and component failures don’t present any obvious signs, so testing the PCB itself may be the most effective fix. To complete this kind of work, you need safety equipment like ESD protection, years of training and professional connections with the manufacturers who produced the hardware in the first place.

 

Looking on the Bright Side

If there’s a “nice” aspect of hard drive PCB failures, it’s the fact that they’re often limited in scope. For instance, a failure that stops a PCB from activating the magnetic read/write head might not cause any further harm if the drive automatically goes into a failure mode. Many nicer modern hard drives can also perform self-error checking and send you messages when problems occur.

PCB Failure Data Recovery
PCB Failures Don't Fix Themselves

When it comes to performing an actual hard drive data recovery, PCB issues aren’t the biggest hurdles in the world. With the right tools and environments, technicians can repair or replace the damaged PCB with a new one and extract your data.

 

No hard drive failure is a good thing. When you’re facing PCB problems, however, you can take comfort in knowing that there are possibilities. Hard drive recovery experts with certified clean rooms can restore your information without compromising your data security or privacy. Talk to the experts at TTR Data Recovery today.

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