The title of this article says everything you need to know. You should never, ever open the cover of your hard drive. It might sound ridiculous, but even the tiniest speck of dust can mean the end of your data and drive forever.

A hard drive is extremely sensitive. Your data is stored inside it magnetically on a circular disk, which is then accessed by a head that floats very closely above the disk and decodes the data. The circular disk, more often known as the platter, is made from aluminium or glass and is glazed with a thin layer on the top where the data is stored.

The disks rotate from anywhere to 4,200 to 15,000 revolutions per minute which is one of the reasons that makes the hard drive so sensitive. Even if the tiniest bit of dust was to enter the hard drive then it can very likely cause problems. What seems insignificant to us is like a tornado for the hard drive. If the platter was to become damaged then it is goodbye to your data and your drive.

If one speck of dust is going to cause so much damage, then you can imagine what would happen if you opened up your hard drive in your room that is full of hundreds of thousands of airborne particles. Even if they’re not visible, as soon as the hard drive begins to spin again then it is havoc unleashed.

This is why all hard drives are built to be extremely tight. If your hard drive has to be opened in order to commence with data recovery then it absolutely must be done by a professional in what is called a class 100 clean room. If you attempt a “do it yourself” job then you are more than likely just writing your data’s death certificate. These class 100 clean rooms are what hard drives are manufactured in and are specially constructed environments where there are less than 100 airborne particles. You must send your drive to these specialists if you want a chance to recover your data.

Gillware Data Recovery have a video on YouTube that shows exactly how true it is that hard drives are extremely sensitive. They demonstrate that simply taking the cover of the hard drive off, not touching anything inside, then replacing the lid with the incorrect torque settings is enough to break the drive and give it that fabled click of death. Even this is something that the average user would not be aware of.

If the data is not important to you and you cannot afford sending your drive to the specialists, you could attempt to open the drive inside something like a plastic tent that will help keep a lot of contaminants out. However, this is really only a last case resort as the majority of the time the procedure will not be successful. The bottom line is that if you need to open your drive, send it away for it to be fixed professionally.

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