In the world of computers, data recovery is something we all know and rely on to recover lost of missing data. The process of data recovery is very complicated, one that you should never attempt to do yourself. Hard drives especially, are very fragile and need extra special care when they are worked on. You have to be careful with the small components inside of them, which is why only a trained specialist should be attempting data recovery.
When you first take your hard drive to a specialist, they will perform an evaluation then get back to you and tell you the problem, as well as the cost. When most people get their price quote, they immediately think the price is too high. As this happens, the individual will decide to try their own data recovery. This isn't the smartest idea, as it normally results in your data being lost forever. In most cases, where individuals attempt data recovery themselves, the data is so far gone that even the best data recovery specialist can't bring it back.
When the hard drive crashes and data cannot be accessed, most people will think about using a disk repair utility. This isn't a good idea, as the software will normally write to the disk, causing the data that is currently stored to be overwritten. These types of software programs can be very complex, and in most cases, won't fix the problem. They should be avoided at all costs, for the simple fact that they won't bring back your data - they will only make things worse.
Another common mistake people make, that should never be attempted, is to open up the hard drive and try to rebuilt it. Hard drives are full of very delicate components, many of which are very small, and very fragile. The platters are the most sensitive inside of the hard drive, as they are small and contain a layer of magnetized material. This material is very fragile, and sensitive to debris, dust, and especially your fingerprints.
If you don't know how to handle the platters, you can easily scratch their surface, which could indeed damage them forever. There is a spindle inside of the drive, which constantly moves the platters. A motor is there as well, which determines the speed that the platters revolve. The platters store data for the entire drive, which is accessed by an actuator arm. When the hard drive is in operation, the platters and the actuator arm move at very fast speeds, which is why everything has to be perfect.
If you go to tamper with the drive and attempt to rebuild it yourself, you'll more than likely damage something. The technicians that work with data recovery on a daily basis are experts with hard drives, and know exactly how to handle the devices. They know how to handle the platters, the actuator arm, and how to put everything back in a complete working fashion.
Some people out there have been told that hitting or even dropping a hard drive can fix common hardware problems. This is not the case, as hard drives can easily break if they physically abused in any way. The interior components are very fragile and do not react well at all to any type of abuse or physical mistreating.