How to Recover Data from Hard Drive with Failed PCB?

Failed or Damage PCB is one of the leading causes of hard drive failures. This is a type of physical hard drive failure. If your hard drive has a damaged PCB board and you are searching for a solution on how to recover data from failed PCB hard drive?  Don’t try to fix it yourself after it might be difficult to solve the issue without professional help. Moreover, the mishandling of PCB failure can damage your hard disk. It can make data recovery almost impossible. Why? Because the PCB is one of the most important parts of a hard drive. It controls everything that the hard drive does.

What is PCB and How it failed in Hard Drive?

PCB is the short form of the Printed Circuit Board. It is a fiberglass sheet consisting of multiple electronic components that are connected to each other via conductive tracks. It is widely used in all types of electronic devices. PCB controls and manages the functions performed by electronic devices. It is also used in Hard Drives to control and manage the decoding, encoding, reading, and writing actions performed by the hard drive.

There are many ways in which we can include PCBs in the hard drive. Some designs feature a single-board layout. Other designs can also include many PCBs, split PCBs, or bottom-mounted PCBs.

PCB Failures occur when the drive becomes inaccessible. This might be because the PCB has developed a defect and has stopped working. Interference from an external agent can make this possible.

Steps to Analyse the Type of PCB Failure in Hard Drive

In PCB failure testing, there are many tests that are required for identifying the defects in the device. We perform a PCB analysis based on the damage the PCB has taken. It also depends on the type of recovery process required. The following tests have the highest success rate. Professional data recovery experts also make use of these steps.

1. Micro-Section Analysis

This PCB testing method is used to investigate the following:

  • Thermo-mechanical failures.
  • Component defects.
  • Opens or shorts.
  • Processing failures due to solder reflow.
  • Raw material evaluations.

A removed sample from the analysis provides the expert with a technique. This isolates the electronic component in question.

2. Solderability Testing

This type of testing improves the robustness of the surface. Also, reliable solder joints can be formed again. Technicians use this to understand the effect of stored solder components on PCBs. It can also tell the reason for the fault. This method helps to investigate:

  • PCB coating evaluation.
  • Solder evaluation.
  • Flux evaluation.
  • Benchmarking.
  • Quality control.

3. Contamination Testing

Contamination of the hard drive can also lead to many issues. This includes corrosion, degradation, metallization, and rapid deterioration of wire connections. Common sources of contamination include human byproducts, handling, flux residues, and reaction products. Tests under this head include the handling of:

  • Copper etching liquid.
  • Hot air leveling fluxes.
  • Electrolytic solutions.
  • Water-soluble soldering.

Symptoms of PCB (Printed Circuit Board) Failure on Hard Drive

Look for these signs to check for PCB failures:

  • The hard drive has become completely unresponsive.
  • A smoky smell or burning smell is produced especially when the computer is on.
  • The temperature of the drive shoots up even under nominal usage.
  • The computer reports incorrect status information on the hard drive.
  • The system prompts you to format the drive.
  • It might be taking a lot of time to open files and folders.
  • Strange errors might crop up in files.

How to Prevent PCB Failures?

You can avoid PCB failures if you observe the health of the hard drive on a regular basis. Also, undertake the following checklist:

  • The layers of the PCB should be properly aligned. This will avoid hard disk issues. And short circuits or incomplete open circuits. Hence, any physical damage to the drive can trigger this. It should be taken care of.
  • Physical damage can also lead to a broken component package. This makes the hard drive more susceptible to excessive heating. Manufacturing flaws are a major reason for this.
  • Power surges that cause the voltage to shoot up. This can also end up harming the hard drive.

How to Recover Data with Professional Data Recovery Service?

Data recovery from a damaged PCB Hard Drive is a complex process. Data recovery service is the best solution for recovering data from hard drives with damaged PCB.

It is complex because you cannot just replace an old PCB with a new one. Because the circuit boards are uniquely identified by the hard drives. Specialized equipment is needed to solve the issues. Practical knowledge of PCB circuits is also required.

Data Recovery experts at Stellar are backed by decades of experience. We check all possible hard drive failure reasons. Once the reason is figured out, a firmware transfer of the PCB is undertaken. We also perform logical data access and checks for bad sectors.

Apart from this, Stellar Data Recovery can also handle all other major hard drive recovery cases. This includes the following:

  • Data Deletion.
  • Virus Attack.
  • Power Surge.
  • Clicking noise coming out of the drive.
  • Head-crash.
  • No sensation in the drive.


PCB failure can strike any hard disk at anytime. The biggest problem with this issue is that it can be impossible to recover your data yourself. You need to avail professional help. If the PCB of your hard drive is damaged, get in touch with Stellar to recover your data.

Additional Reading: Reasons Why Your Hard Drive Beeps

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  3. Praveen kumar lakhara December 18, 2018

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