Hard drive data area and firmware area are the two most important elements. Data area is located on the platters inside the hard drive. Firmware area is located on platters and PCB. Data area and firmware area are two independent but closely connected areas.
Both firmware area and data area are strongly affected by the performance of physical components such as the hdd motor, heads, platters, parking ramp, magnets, PCB, etc. The most typical failure is the PCB damage causing non-spining, heads’ damage causing clicking noises, platter damage causing scratching sounds, etc. If these physical components are damaged, both firmware and data area cannot be accessed.
Firmware area is acting like the key to access the data area and it is controlling when and how the physical components should work, it controls also when and how the data area should be used. When firmware is damaged, it can be ROM damage on the PCB or firmware module damage in the service area/firmware area on the platters, the hard drive can be not started at all, or keeps busy, or wrongly detected, 0 capacity detected. At this time, the data area cannot be accessed too. Users must firstly fix the firmware damage and then it is possible to access data area and do data recovery. Please note when firmware area is damaged, the data area is still good only if the platter surfaces containing the data area is not scratched, the only issue is that the data area cannot be accessed.
Data Area contains all the user data on the surfaces. When the physical components and firmware area are working properly and the data area can be accessed. Users can easily get the lost data back only if the wanted files are not overwritten.
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