How do I recover data from a burned external disk?

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Unfortunately, having an external disk burn out is not an uncommon situation… This device is quite resistant, but it has some common problems.

Because they have electronic components, disks can burn out during use. This usually happens due to power surges, lightning strikes and other instabilities in the electrical network, as well as overheating, contact with water or even cases of fire that consume part of the device.

In these situations, is it possible to recover the external drive and its data? If you have a burned device, find out what to do!

Burned external disk: is it possible to recover data?

Disks are such resistant devices that even when they have problems, the data stored on them can be recovered.

Damaged or burned external disks can also be recovered. Below you will learn more about what happens when a disk burns and how you can recover the data stored on it.

What happens when the disk burns out?

To understand what happens when a disk burns out, we need to remember how this device works.

Disk data is stored on magnetic disks, which are extremely rigid and resistant. The device is operated by a reading head attached to a movable arm, which writes and reads the data while the disk rotates at high speed, without touching each other.

So far, you can see that the disk is essentially a mechanical device. But its operation also depends on a logic board (or controller board), which drives the movements of the device, controls the rotation of the motor and interfaces with the computer’s motherboard.

When a disk burns out, it means that the logic board has had a problem. Due to electrical failures, heating or contact with water, or fire, the board can burn with a short circuit or other problems. This stops the disk from working and prevents access to the data.

The good news is that the disks that store the data are usually intact – it is only the platter that burns. Even in cases of fire, it is common for only the disk casing to burn and the disks to be saved, which allows the device and the files it was storing to be recovered.

How do I recover data from a burned external disk?

To recover data from a burned external disk, you need to make sure that the disks are safe from the incident. If everything is fine with them, you can recover the device: just replace the logic board with a new identical one and, if necessary, restore its structure.

However, it is important that you don’t try to do this at home! If you try to open the disk in an inappropriate place, without the right equipment, there’s a good chance that you will be doing the wrong thing and contaminating the device with dirt. This could make it impossible to recover the data and the disk itself.

Also, if your external disk has been burned because it got wet, don’t try to dry it out with a hairdryer or fan, don’t let it dry out in the sun and don’t open the device to do so.

It is important to note that disks are very resistant, but they are also sensitive. Any error in handling them can lead to the definitive loss of data.

To guarantee greater security and success in data recovery, it is necessary to rely on a specialized company like Bot, which has the right professionals, equipment and environments for the procedures and already has experience in several cases of burnt external disks.

One of the biggest advantages of a specialized company is the adoption of clean rooms, which are controlled environments, according to international standards, for working with data recovery.

This way, professionals can safely open the devices and carry out the correct procedures to replace the logic board. They need to find a model of external disk that is exactly the same as the burned device, with the same firmware version and storage capacity, and then change some critical electronic components so that changing the board allows the disk to read the internal data again.

What data can be recovered from a burned external disk?

When the solution to a burnt disk is simply to replace the logic board, you can recover all the data that was stored on it. All you need to do is follow the correct procedures with a company that specializes in data recovery.

However, if the hard drives have been damaged, it is possible that some of the data will be lost. To find out, the company must diagnose the situation when quoting for the service.

How much does it cost to recover data from a burned external disk?

In general, recovering data from a burned disk costs from €200, but this figure can vary greatly depending on the assessment of the company responsible.

You need to consider the complexity of the situation, the damage caused to the device, the model of disk to replace the board and other details that the service may involve.

Also, check whether the company charges for the estimate and for sending the disk for assessment. Here at Bot, the quote and collection of the disk from any address in Portugal is free for our customers.

Now, if you would like to get a quote from us to find out how much it costs to recover data from your burnt external disk, fill in the form and wait for us to get back to you!


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