The PCB architecture of modern hard disk drive storage devices has undergone some changes. In previous years, a fried or damaged PCB could have a replacement board taken from a donor drive that was identical and installed in its place. However, PCB swaps have become significantly more difficult as a result of recent technological advances in drives, which have also increased the likelihood of data being lost for good. Before taking matters into your own hands when it comes to hard drive recovery, it is best to get in touch with a professional data recovery service if you discover that you have lost data due to a faulty or damaged PCB.

Although SSDs are easily one of the best consumer storage technologies to come about in years, dismissing hard disk drives (HDDs) as “legacy devices” fails to take into account the fact that they continue to provide immediate storage capacity and reliability unmatched by any other technology. In addition, research that is still going on is discovering new ways to make these ostensibly antiquated technologies better.

HDD Technology Advances, Pulls Data Recovery With It

As hard disk drive (HDD) technology advances, professional data recovery methods have also been forced to advance in order to meet the requirements of new challenges when it comes to disk failures or hard drive crash. Standard methods for hard drive recovery, which have been tried and perfected over the course of many years, do not work as well as they used to and, in some cases, do not work at all as a result of improvements in the reliability and performance of hard disk drives (HDDs). In fact, the process of successfully extracting the contents of a failed disk has become more difficult as a result of advancements in drive technology. Additionally, drive failures themselves seem to have decreased markedly.

In the not too distant past, one of the more fundamental techniques utilized in computer peripheral repair as well as professional data recovery to gain access to failed devices in preparation for data extraction was to replace damaged, defective, or non-functioning PCBs with donor boards taken either from identical drives or ordered from drive manufacturers specifically. Although this technique is still widely used today by amateurs and novice computer users, PCB swaps are largely considered to be an obsolete and inefficient method that carries a significant potential for the permanent loss of data.

PCB Swaps Today

In recent years, the technicians at Hard Drive Recovery Group have noticed that knowledge about modern hard drive manufacturing among consumers, computer enthusiasts, and even some professional data recovery providers is shockingly limited. As a result, the number of data recovery cases that we continue to receive in which a user attempted a PCB swap with the assistance of a YouTube video or other online forms of DIY advice has increased markedly. It has already been established that any attempt of this nature will be fruitless.

If you are using a hard drive that was produced in 2014 or later and it fails because of a damaged or faulty PCB, attempting to fix the issue by replacing the PCB will, in every single case, result in the irretrievable loss of any data that is stored on that drive. This is because the PCB swap procedure is not backwards compatible. Unless you still have the original board, no data recovery service, not even a professional one, will be able to assist you in getting your data back. Too frequently, modern hard drives are received by technicians with their PCBs missing because the user or another data recovery company attempted to swap the boards.

The technology behind hard drives has advanced to the point where data recovery procedures like PCB swaps that were once considered standard practice in the industry are now rendered obsolete. Now, attempting them can lead to irreversible data loss in the vast majority of cases. The original printed circuit board is required for any kind of successful data recovery from a hard disk that has a damaged or malfunctioning PCB. Any attempt to replace the board with a donor PCB, even if it comes from the same manufacturer or is the same brand, will result in failure, rendering it impossible to retrieve any data from the drive.

Today’s PCB Fixes Are Different

Professional data recovery companies such as Hard Drive Recovery Group have created innovative solutions to address previously encountered challenges. These individualized solutions take into account the lightning-fast pace at which technological innovation is advancing. Using the original board can fix the problem of data loss that occurs on modern HDD devices when the PCB becomes damaged or stops functioning properly. Engineers specializing in data recovery are able to fix the operating system that is installed on the faulty PCB, diagnose and replace components that have failed, and even transplant the necessary components to a donor PCB. If the original printed circuit board (PCB) has been thrown away, none of this will be possible.

Hard Drive Recovery Group makes significant investments in research and development, which enables recovery methods to keep up with advances in hard drive technology. Data recovery engineers need to be equally as creative as hard drive manufacturers in order to find the most effective solutions for preventing the loss of data when storage devices fail. As manufacturers discover even more inventive ways to improve the capacity, performance, and longevity of hard drives, And unfortunately, every device will stop working at some point. Whether or not the loss of data is temporary or permanent depends on whether or not the data recovery partner has the appropriate educational background and level of technical experience.

PCB Failure – Small Percentage Of Data Recovery Cases

Only a small percentage of our data recovery cases are caused by data loss due to PCB failure; in fact, it only accounts for about 5% of all hard drive recovery cases that we receive throughout the course of a given year. However, if our engineers do not have access to the original hard drive PCB, any data loss that is the result of a PCB failure is certain to be irrecoverable in each and every one of these kinds of situations.

Hard drives produced after 2014 are unable to accept PCB transplants. The individual board components now have their own data stored in them, which controls the operations that are unique to that drive. It is no longer possible to repair a faulty printed circuit board (PCB) by using a donor board taken from a different drive of the same brand and model. In each and every instance, it will lead to the complete and irreversible deletion of all data. This can make hard drive recovery difficult for amateurs.

On the other hand, we are able to successfully recover all lost data in more than 96% of cases of PCB failure in which our engineers have access to the original board. In addition, our technicians have developed specialized procedures that enable us to transplant chips from donor boards to the original PCB in situations where the original board has suffered critical damage. This makes it possible for us to facilitate data recovery and extraction with a success rate of greater than 90%.