Overheated Laptop Brixton

“Excellent job to return my data extremely quickly. No idea why my laptop stopped working. Turned it on first thing in the morning and it wouldn’t boot up.”

Alan Harrison, Brixton

A Lenovo laptop arrived at our laboratory in Fleet Street London from Brixton. The laptop contained a 1TB Western Digital hard disk drive, which was examined by our hardware data recovery specialists, revealing that the drive motor spindle had seized up, almost certainly the result of overheating. Our hardware data recovery engineers were able to dismantle the drive and replace the spindle motor to overcome the problem, allowing them to secure a sector-by-sector image of the drive. During the imaging process approximately a thousand unreadable bad sectors were encountered.

An examination of the laptop revealed that the cooling fan and heat sink hard become clogged with dust, causing it to be inefficient as it would not rotate at full speed. This would have resulted in the internal temperature of the laptop increasing alarmingly, slowly causing problems with the hard disk drive. A hard disk drive which runs at a temperature outside its normal operating range is prone to a failure of the drive spindle motor, the read/write heads or both.

Our data recovery specialists examined the image of the drive which revealed a single 1TB NTFS data volume. An examination of the volume revealed it to contain approximately 320GB of data consisting of operating system files, program files, assorted office documents, videos, music files and other user data. A detailed scan revealed that the unreadable bad sectors had affected some unimportant file system metadata and some operating system files. The data was written to a USB hard drive before it was returned to the customer.

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