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A head crash occurs when hard drive’s read-write heads come in contact with rotating magnetic platters. Normally heads are flying over the surfaces on a thin layer of air and are not supposed to touch the rotating platters unless they are within specially designed parking area of a platter. When such accidental impact happens (usually due to shocks, drops, or electrical surges) both magnetic heads and surfaces might be seriously damaged or even completely destroyed. After the initial crash particles from damaged area are landing onto other areas causing secondary crashes and bringing more damages sometimes rendering the drive unrecoverable. The symptom of a head crash is the infamous “click of death” – damaged magnetic heads being unable to read calibration servo tracks from platters are making repetitive clicking sounds while trying to re-calibrate. Head crash can happen to any hard drive regardless of type, brand, model or size.

Data recovery from drives affected by a head crash is performed by replacing of a head assembly with a compatible one taken from donor drive of same make and model. Usually after a head crash drive’s magnetic surfaces have large amounts of bad sectors so data must be extracted extremely carefully with the help of professional data recovery tools. Our success rate for such recovery jobs is at least 85%. Clean room required.

Head Crash

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