A Hard Drive Rebuild Can Vary Widely in Complexity

By: Andy Butler

Hard drive rebuild, in the general sense of the term, can mean a simple operation of replacing the firmware (controller card) and reprogramming it using specialist software. Or it can mean replacing the drive's precision components like its read/write head, done in Class 100 clean rooms by specialist data recovery technicians.

Hard Drives Are Susceptible to Failure

Hard drives are electro-mechanical devices that are spinning even when the computer is idle. Typical spin rates vary from 4000 to 15000 rotations per minute. They are thus susceptible to failure as are CD, DVD or tape.

A hard drive rebuild can become necessary owing to mechanical failure of the disk but a logical recovery of the file system may still be needed to make the data readable. The logical file system can get corrupted with errors during the failure of the drive.

Failures can occur through a variety of causes:- power surges, causing physical damage like a drive head crash, a natural disaster like fire or flood, dropping a laptop or external drive, or damage caused by faulty design of the drive or its firmware programming, even a virus attack or malicious intent could be an issue.

Hard Drive Recovery

Data recovery from a hard drive can be simple or complex.

For example, if the data was lost owing to accidental deletion of files, you might be able to recover them yourself by running a data recovery software.

On the other hand, if the read/write head has crashed and the drive is clicking or the motor has seized, you will have to entrust your drive to a specialist professionals. They will have a dust free clean room where they will open the drive and replace the damaged heads, and the necessary resources and experience with a range of drive problems to help you in your hour of need.

Data recovery professionals typically start by copying the existing image on the damaged disk to a backup location. They will work on a copy trying to recover the data using specialized tools. Only after they have succeeded are they likely to transfer the recovered data to a replacement drive or give you secure access to their servers so you can check the data is intact and download it directly.

Simply replacing a damaged part like the printed circuit board of the drive cannot put things right; it will require some reprogramming to ensure it is correctly matched.

Does Your Recovery Company Have Hard Drive Rebuild Experience?

Hard drives have come a long way since a 5MB RAMAC, weighing a ton, was introduced in 1956 by IBM. Today's drives can be a tiny box in comparison offering many Terabytes (each terabyte is a 1000 GB and each GB is a thousand MB).

Today, there are many storage drive makers each offering models with different features. The drive can be a single drive or a RAID system with multiple physical drives with their own cut down operating systems and hot swap features.

The drive interfaces to the computer can differ. For example, it can be IDE, EIDE, SATA, SCSI, Lan, etc.

Data losses can be caused by many different factors, requiring different kinds of approaches to any recovery.

Only an experienced hard drive repairer can identify just the right remedy that is both effective and economical

Once you have decided on a hard drive rebuild, check that the company you select is experienced and has the resources in house, or is a reseller of a reputable established company who ensures any recovered data is managed securely for your protection and does not broadcast your company's loss of information on their website without your permission.


A hard drive rebuild becomes necessary when you are unable to boot with the drive or to read the data you have stored on it. You will also be better off if you approach a data recovery specialist if your drive is making strange noises (that you have not heard before) or data seems to be disappearing, or your system is spewing error messages.

Considering the numerous makes and models of hard drives in the market, each with differing features, you should approach only an experienced data recovery company with a track record of success but beware of the varying costs and just like any purchase expensive does not mean it is the best.

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About Author:
Andy Butler from ABC Data Recovery writes about Hard-Drive-Rebuild visit www.abc-data-recovery.co.uk for further information.

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