When do we need to open a hard drive in a clean room?

– A head crash
– A dead engine or spindle
– A Dead Preamplificator
– A Mix of those…

In a few words, a class 100 clean room, provides a dust free environment and requires the technician to be suited up with gloves in order to open hard disk safely.

Need recovery services? Get in touch now!

What does it looks like?

You can get an idea of what is going on in a drive and why we use a class 100 clean room. On the following picture, you can see the sizes of a human hair, a finger print, regular dust and how close the head float from the surface of the platters.

surface of a hard drive

The head floats on an air barrier generated by the rotation speed of the platters at about 0.015mm. A humain hair diameter is between 0.1 to 0.3mm. You can get an idea for finger print and dust particules. Hence the glove for the hand who works on the drive and the class 100 clean room.

To put things on a bigger scale, the head could be seen as a Airbus 380 travelling at 2500Km/h at 1.5mm from the ground. The dust particules or the finger print would be seen as a massive mountain. In this way, you get a pretty good idea of what a head crash looks like.

This said, there is an important difference with the plane analogy. The coating on the platters get damaged when the head crashes. This is where your data are stored magnetically. Luckily not all head crash will damage the platters.

Fallen hard drive?

You can now imagine that if your drive fall on the floor while it is working what kind of damage can happen. The size of a scratch on a magnetic platters could be from the size of a hair to much more. Which explains why most recovery on drives with scratched platters are impossible. The head would literally explodes while flying this scrated area, making even more damaged.

After a fall, one of the symptom, could be a hard drive clicking. This is a typical if the head or the preamplificator has been damaged. It is also typical, if the system area had been scratched. The system area is located on the platters.

Check our database hard drive clicking sound below:

Is a hard drive hermetically sealed?

No. There is a hole on every drive that let the air comes in and regulate the air pressure in the drive. While the temperature of the drive increases, the pressure of the air inside will rise. Thus you need a hole to keep the pressure down and the drive working.

surface of a hard drive

Data Recovery Services