There are many things that can cause a hard drive to malfunction or crash. A hard drive is made in such a way that it has a metal disk that is enclosed and protected in a casing with a green circuit board at the bottom which is known as the PCB (printed circuit board).
Most hard drive failures are linked to damage of the PCB. The PCB may be damaged by electrical surges, dust accumulation, moisture and even shock. The PCB is what carries the software of the hard drive (firmware) which is responsible for directing the head so that it extracts and reads information from the plate accurately.
Data recovery companies can recover data from a damaged hard drive by simply replacing the drives PCB or by replacing some parts on the PCB. At times a drive may not completely be damaged but it may start to malfunction such that its capacity may not be properly displayed in BIOS. This may be solved by simply flashing the firmware of the drive and reinstalling it. Electrical surges may lead to the development of bugs in the firmware coding.
Hard drive PCB’s are specific to drive type and manufacturer. That means each drive has a specific kind of PCB that will only serve for the same kind of drive. Data recovery companies are specialized in determining the exact PCB that is compatible with your drive.
Manipulating the PCB is usually done by data recovery companies to access and back up important data from a drive that would have malfunctioned. If you were to have the same kind of drives it can be possible to swop the PCB’s from the two drives just to access important information. It is however very important to know that hard drive PCB’s are very complex and any mistake may damage the circuit board completely and you could risk losing both your drives. It is therefore important that you do not try things you are not sure of and let qualified technicians do all the repairs related to your drives PCB.