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What does water damage do to my data storage device?

Moisture of any kind, including accidental fluid spills, are less than ideal for your data storage device. Unusually high humidity, and even a very short period of time in contact with fluid, can create both internal and external damage to your data storage device.

External damage

On the outside moisture will affect the controller board or printed circuit board (PCB) and will, sometimes, cause it to short-circuit. A short-circuit occurs if moisture gets underneath the small surface mount components. It is impossible to see it or to clean it efficiently. In modern drives that have been manufactured in the past 6-8 years, you cannot simply replace the controller board with one that is similar. Even a close match will not be adequate enough. This also pertains to solid-state drives and flash media.

Internal damage

Most hard drives have “breathing” holes and access ports in their casing. When a drive becomes water-damaged or submerged for even a short period of time, the fluids will find their way into the sealed portion of the drive, causing a chemical interaction with the platters and special lubricants needed for proper operation.  Corrosion also occurs. The most damaging result of water damage is the breakdown of the thin film of residual lubrication fluid that coats and protects the platters.

When fluids damage a data storage device, the device must be thoroughly cleaned. Contact a data recovery specialist at Cherry Systems to quickly repair your device, or the damage to your data storage device can be irreversible and your data can be lost forever. Cherry Systems can help you.

photo credit: Circuitry via photopin (license)

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