A hard drive is a system comprising mechanical, electronic, and magnetic elements. When saving data, the hard drive translates electronic signals into magnetic impulses which are stored as chains of magnetic values (either 0‘s or 1’s) on the platter surfaces. When reading data, the ‘translation’ process is reversed.
The printed circuit board (also known as ‘the PCB’ or ‘the controller’) provides power to the hard drive motor and provides all of the functionality that allows the hard drive to effectively manage the magnetic electronic translation process.
In most modern hard drives, the drive’s PCB contains information that is specific to the internal conditions of that particular hard drive, with the result that a direct replacement of the PCB taken from a similar model hard drive will not work for modern hard drives. For data recovery purposes therefore, it is essential that the original PCB is fitted to the hard drive submitted for data recovery.
A PCB issue is usually resolved by finding an exact match ‘donor’ hard drive and removing the PCB from it. The specific parameters of the damaged PCB need to be extracted and installed onto the ‘donor’ PCB, following which the hard drive should respond for data extraction.