The Clean Room Myth of Data Recovery
We all can empathize with the guy who just figured out his hard drive crashed on his computer. The first thing everyone does is search for the perfect, cheap answer to hard drive recovery. The Internet is filled with great advice, but unfortunately the data recovery myths that have popped up throughout the years do ultimately irreparable damage to a hard drive. Several of these myths are absolutely absurd, while others have some interesting, factual science behind them. Even if some of these myths allow you to have a workable hard drive for a short amount of time to recover data, they all have permanent damage to hard drive components that cause the hard drive to fail.
Make Your Own Clean Room Myth:
Most people have heard of clean rooms which are areas where large hard drive manufacturers use to design, create, and assemble their data storage products. Clean rooms remove all the damaging particles in the air protecting the platters from being exposed to clinging dust and microbes that can cause data storage to error. Clean rooms cost these large hardware manufacturers hundreds of thousands of dollars, so the idea that a clean room can be made within the home is farfetched.
The clean room method for data recovery comes from the idea that you can use steam to remove particles from the air. Users can close a bathroom door and run hot water for a few minutes. The steam that accumulates in the air picks up particles and causes them to stick to surfaces like the walls and mirrors. While the science behind the method is accurate, the fact is that smaller particles are difficult for the water vapor to pick up and remains suspended in the bathroom air. Professional clean rooms remove even the tiniest particle and are rated for their clean air quality. The steam coming from the hot water in a bath tub or shower just can’t replace the advanced technology of the professional clean room designers.
When attempting to create a clean room of your own, you can irreparably damage the platters once opened. They become contaminated from the harmful elements in the air and decrease your chances to recover the hard drive fully. Professional clean rooms are designed with a level 100 in quality air rating. The 100 mark means that there are only 100 or less contamination particles in the room per square inch. They use high quality, extensive high technology air filters to remove particles from the air to keep air at this high expectation.
If you plan to create your own clean room, do so with the expectation that you may actually ruin the hard drive even further. If you are more highly concerned about possible data loss, then leave the clean rooms to the professionals. While hard drive breakage is truly an inconvenience, you may still be able to recover data if you leave it for professionals to handle. It may cost more money, but your data will be much safer.