Gus over at Lifehacker has picked up on an exceptionally useful blog post from data recovery experts Kroll Ontrack with tips for data recovery if your hard drive gets wet. Given that half the country has been swimming in their loungerooms these past few weeks, the advice is particularly timely.
The first piece of advice is the most obvious – don’t try and power up a wet hard drive. It goes without saying that water and electricity don’t mix, so why wouldn’t it apply to your hard drives?
But the second piece of advice is surprising – don’t try and dry out your wet hard drive. Instead, pop it in a zip lock bag and take it to a data recovery expert:
Although it sounds paradoxical, keeping a hard drive wet aids data recovery. We therefore recommend putting the hard disk in a sealed container or plastic bag to prevent it drying out until professional engineers can dry the platters and other components in a sterile environment.
Hopefully, you all have redundant backups of your hard drives anyway in case of emergencies, but if not, keep this in mind when you’re trying to recover data from a flood-soaked HDD.