Electronic components in a computer system are sensitive and all too readily damaged by a sudden power loss. A power failure caused by a lightning strike or a power line damaged through a natural disaster or an accident are the most likely to induce damage to one or more of the sensitive electronic components.
In most cases a power failure is just a minor annoyance and even if a failure of the system occurs, the damaged component can often be easily replaced, allowing the computer to operate correctly. Should your hard disk drive become damaged as a result of a power failure, simply replacing the drive may allow the computer to work again, but will usually require the disk to be sent for data recovery in order for the files to be recovered.
Damage Caused by Power Surge
When a power surge occurs it usually sends a large spike of voltage and or current into the connected components, which may cause a failure should they exceed the permissible limits of the component.
The more often your computer system suffers a power surge, the more likely it is that a component will fail. As with excessive heat, the damaged caused by power surges are cumulative. The power regulator is the most common component on the hard disk drive controller to fail as the result of unscheduled reboots due to multiple hard disk failures. Damage to the maintenance area or firmware code also seen from time to time following a power failure, which cause a lot of complications for the data recovery process.
Repair or Replace Controller Board
Repairing the damaged components or set of components provides the easiest opportunity of recovery data through securing a sector-by-sector image of the drive. In cases where the damage has cause a lot of damage, it either impossible or impractical to repair the hard disk drive, in which case donor parts will be necessary.
Should your controller board need to be repaired or replaced, it is important that the drive is sent for professional data recovery, as specialist equipment and knowledge is required. It is therefore important not to attempt unnecessary reboots, which could result in additional damage or try to recover the data yourself.
Data Recovery and Protection Against Power Surges
The rate of success at recovering data from a hard disk drive damaged by a power surge is very high, subject to the caveat of that attempts to recovery the data yourself have been made. Should the system be operational at the time a power surge causes a failure, it is highly likely that some data will be damage, due to sectors not being committed to disk, although such damage is often restricted to temporary files.
The best protection from power surges is to use an Uninterruptible Power Supply (UPS) although these must be regularly tested to ensure that they will operate correctly when a power failure does occur. A less expensive but less effective method of protecting your computer system, Is to use a surge protector.