Different people will have different ideas about what a clean room is and why it is actually such an important factor for data recovery. Essentially clean rooms are controlled areas designed to be free from minute airborne contaminants which could be a speck of dust or even pollen for example. Entry to a clean room is gained via an airlock and operators generally use specialist protective garments.
For professional data and server recovery companies a clean room is an essential asset as hard drive repair often requires the use of exceptionally clean working conditions.
Outside air is filtered to prevent dust entering the room. Filters and processes will be in place inside the room to remove internally generated contaminants during production and working areas are often further filtered locally such as laminar flow bench.
Clean rooms come in a variety of classes depending on their usage and the class certification is an indication of the permitted number of particles per cubic meter that particular clean room is certified for as well as the actual number of particles that are permissible. Less and smaller is obviously best.
Clean rooms are used extensively in the pharmaceutical, semiconductor manufacturing and biotech industries. Data recovery centres typically use a Class 100 clean room that has an allowance of 100,000 particles per cubic meter (compared to 35 million particles per cubic meter in a normal room).
Why Are Clean Rooms Essential For Hard Drive Repairs?
Clean rooms are used for data recovery to prevent dust, electro static discharges and such disturbances. These kinds of precautions become necessary because even microscopic dust particles can damage the image on the drive platters, and make data recovery difficult.
Hard drive technology continues apace with drives being able to hold Terabytes of data but as this data becomes more densely packed on the platters, the chances of further damage are increased so it is essential that these hard drive repairs are carried out in the cleanest of environments.
Another consideration for using a clean room though is the warranty on your drive that will be made invalid if not repaired by an authorised agent or in a clean room environment although in reality the value of the accumulated data on most drives is by far massively more valuable than the drive itself, so all the more reason to ensure that it is only worked on in the cleanest of environments to prevent further damage.
Thus clean rooms are necessary for data recovery on both performance and product warranty considerations. Disk drives should only be opened in clean rooms and kept there until the recovery is complete and the drive is closed. Data storage media are getting packed with data more and more densely with each new generation of drives. It is thus extremely important to attempt data recovery in exceptionally dust free rooms.
If you need to hand over your hard drive to a data recovery services company check the validation of their clean room. At the very least it should be class 100 certified although the top companies will have invested in even better standards, for example ISO class 3.
Visit Remac for more information on hard drive repair and Mac data recovery
What is a hard drive? by kassim