I Dropped My Hard Drive – What do I do?

Dropped Hard DriveHard drives are super sensitive to any form of external force, and even the slightest bump can give them problems. If you’ve dropped your hard drive and it isn’t working, odds are, you should get in touch with a data recovery specialist immediately. If you want, there area few things that you can check for first before contacting a data recovery specialist.


If your hard drive is in an enclosure, it is possible that the enclosure itself was damaged and not the hard drive. You can remove the hard drive from the enclosure and test it on a computer to see if it still works. The majority of the time, the hard drive will be the source of the problem if it was dropped, so don’t get your hopes up on the enclosure being the problem.

Contact the Manufacturer

If the hard drive is dropped and it isn’t working, there’s probably not much that the manufacturer can do to help you at this point. However it may be beneficial to contact them to make sure there aren’t any other methods you can try to get the drive to start working again. If the data on the hard drive isn’t important or if you already have a backup, you can try to return the drive to them and they may be able to send you a replacement. If you need to have the data recovered on the dropped hard drive, they likely won’t be able to provide the services necessary to recover the data.

If You Hear Clicking, Do Nothing

If a hard drive is dropped and it isn’t working anymore, it is likely that the platters, arm or render head of the hard drive were damaged or misaligned from the impact. If the render head is trying to locate the data that it is searching for on the platters and it cannot find it, the arm will move back and forth across the platters several times. The head is attached to an arm that hits a stop every time it goes back and forth, which makes the clicking noise. At that point there is nothing that you can do yourself to recover the data, and you should get in touch with a data recovery specialist to come up with an appropriate solution for data recovery.

Don’t Try Fixing It Yourself

There’s nothing wrong with playing around with hard drives for fun, but don’t expect that you’ll recover any data from the hard drive or be able to use it again on your own. There are other tried and outdated methods of data recovery such as the whack method and freezing your hard drive that often don’t target the actual problem with the hard drive and only make data recovery less likely. Never in any situation should you remove the case from the hard drive to get to the platters. The hard drive will immediately become contaminated from airborne particles, and data recovery from the hard drive will become impossible. If the case has to be opened, it has to be done in a humidity and temperature controlled environment with no airborne particles. Data recovery specialists use Class 100 Clean Rooms that filter air to remove airborne particles to avoid contamination and are temperature and humidity controlled to avoid any further damage to the hard drive.

At Data Recovery Group, we are always happy to explain and help you understand why your hard drive may not be working in the event of physical damage. Contact us to help get you started on recovering your data from your hard drive.

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