SANS Digital Forensics and Incident Response Blog: Tag - failure

Hard Drive Errors and Replacements

Many poor quality hard disk drives manage to get to market. This is especially true with "bleeding edge" models. These drives often suffer failures. For the average individual or corporation, this is problematic enough (and worse when a backup has not been made). For the forensic analyst, this can be devastating, at least if you do not know what must be done.

A common problem is a preamplifier failure. This failure will generally result in the drive creating a clicking or hissing noise. Another cause of this sound can come from a head stack failure. In this post I will detail some of the issues and steps associated with the replacement of a drive head or preamplifier.

The first thing is to access the drive internals. This will invalidate your warranty, but when conducting a forensic examination, the ability to have the drive replaced is of small concern. First, ensure that you have a clean work area.

A clean room is not necessary.

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