A hard drive, also known as a hard disk, a hard disk drive or an HDD is an important component in a computer. All the programs and files are stored in this hard drive. If the drive is damaged, you lose all the data i.e. all the files and the programs. Each year, an alarmingly large amount of important data that has not been backed up is lost due to failed hard disks. This has led to the recent boom in the hard drive recovery industry.
In video and cassette tapes, information is stored in long thin strips of tapes and their surfaces are coated with polished magnetic material. Similarly, the hard disc also contains round platters (plates) which are made up of glass or Aluminum and are coated with polished magnetic material. A very clean polished surface is an important criterion for the proper functioning of a hard disc. Even the smallest particle on the surface of the hard disc will cause damage to the files stored in it.
Data is a piece of formatted readable information. There are two types of storages namely, primary storage or internal memory, and the secondary storage. Few examples of the secondary storage devices are the hard drive, floppy discs, and CDs. In a hard disc, data is stored on the coated surface of the platter. Magnetic coating plays an important role in data storage as well as data recovery.
The hard disc has a head which reads the data on the platter. When you start read from the hard disk, the arm with the head moves back and forth across the surface very quickly (50 times per second).
Hardware failure can occur by human error like dropping it on the floor, by natural disasters like flood, fire, by dust particles, by electrical short circuit, by PCB failure or by a virus attack. Hardware components which normally fail are the platters and the head. If any dust particles, finger prints or water come in contact with the surface of the platter, it gets damaged. Similarly, head can also get crashed.
Hardware failure can be avoided by keeping the system in a clean and temperature and humidity controlled environment. Extra tightening of the mounting screws can also cause damage to the hardware. The hardware should be opened in a specialized room only.
If the problem is in the hardware, switch off the system and approach the nearest data recovery services centre.