• Burton Kelso, Tech Expert

Don't Believe These Data Recovery Myths!



Ever since people have relied on desktops, smartphones, tablets, and laptops, there has been a huge misunderstanding about hard disk drives and how they work, and how they can be repaired when they fail. It's my experience that when people encounter problems with their tech devices, the last option is to seek help from a professional. Many of you will seek out a computer-savvy friend or a tech hobbyist which puts you at risk of getting poor advice or gives you misguided information about how to properly recover your personal data in the event of a disk failure. In my latest blog post, I will discuss some of the myths about data recovery that have managed to spread like COVID to help you stay informed of your options in case you are faced with attempting to recover your data.


Myth #1: Put the dead hard drive in a freezer to get it “working” again. This myth originated back in the earlier times of personal computers. Older hard drives would fail because the read/write head would get stuck if the drive overheated. Freezing the hard drive would cool the drive long enough to for you to get information off of it. If this process were attempted on a newer mechanical drive or a solid-state hard drive, it would cause more damage than good making it harder to get the information off the drive.


Myth #2: Give It a Good Smack. Sean Connery infamously quoted back in the late 80s that "Sometimes a woman needs a good smack". This should NEVER be the case for women and it also applies to your hard drive too. Again, this is a trick that may work on older hard drives, but if you attempt this with a newer mechanical hard drive, you will ruin the drive ... much like you would ruin your relationship with your partner. If you tried this with a solid hard drive, it wouldn't harm the drive, but your efforts are futile.


Myth #3: Recovery Software is the best way to retrieve your lost data. There are countless data recovery software titles available online, and these can work if there is a problem with the file system on the hard drive. However, if it's a mechanical issue with the drive, you will make the problem worse by running data recovery software.


Myth #4: Data recovery is under the manufacture's warranty and they should cover the costs for damages. Most new computer products come with a 1-year warranty and that includes hard drive or storage replacement. It never covers the cost of having your information retrieved. The terms of service you glossed over when setting up your device state that it's your responsibility to make your data safe from hardware failure.


Myth #5: Hey, swapping the damaged circuit board of a hard drive fix it. This is one of the worst 'needle in the haystack' situations in computer repair. If you were to attempt to swap out a damaged circuit board of a hard drive, you would have the find the EXACT model of circuit board that was installed in the hard drive. In fact, the same model may easily have a ton of variants, each of which is different. It's not worth the effort.


Myth# 6: Replace the platters of your hard drive to get back your files. This technic should only be performed if you are trained in data recovery. If you attempt the DIY solutions that you may see in YouTube videos, you can ruin the drive and lose your files permanently.


There is a lot of false information circulating the Internet that can easily mislead you when it comes to trying to recover information from your device. My best piece of advice is to make sure you're always performing automatic backups of your devices. If you do this, you will never be in a position to need data recovery services. If you find yourself in a situation where you need data recovery, seek out a professional who has the knowledge and equipment required to handle the job. I hope that after reading this post you won't fall for any of the data recovery DIY myths, and trust professionals whenever you face a data recovery issue.



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Want to ask me a tech question? Send it to burton@burtonkelso.com. I love technology. I've read all of the manuals and I'm serious about making technology fun and easy to use for everyone. 


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