Repair information on hard drives or hard disks. Hard drives are magnetic data storage devices. They are used in most desktop, laptop, and server due to their low cost and high data density.

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How damaged is a drive with a broken seal?

I have a large western digital hard drive. While reinserting it into my case I tore a small part of the hermetic seal and could see into the axis and platters. How damaged is it? Can I save the drive? Can I safely turn it on for a couple hours to extract the data myself?

Edit: I care about the data, but not enough to pay for professional recovery. I’m willing to risk losing it.

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If you care about the data, send it to a data recovery shop.

Whether the drive will last long enough is not important, you don’t want to find out with only one copy of the data.


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Wise answer in general, but not what i wanted to know. I should have specified I'm willing to risk the data, just wanted to know my odds


@bysmuth - Its a gamble! Running your system with a broken seal even after patching it as it doesn't take much dust to damage either the heads or platters.

I would recommend you make a full backup and replace the drive ASAP if the data on it is important. Otherwise I would send it out so they can properly clean the dust out before running the drive.


@bysmuth Then risk and lose it. You didn't tell us how much data is there.

It could probably stay alive reading for an hour or so, if that is enough then try it.



Most likely than not you could pull data off of it fine but if you could afford it I would recommend a professional


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