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Hurricane Katrina Revisited Water Damaged Hard Drive Recovery

Amazingly enough DTI is still receiving drives from Katrina victims. This is what prompted our re-visiting our hurricane disaster recovery planning. After even years, people are still just now getting to their damaged homes and computers. This is a reminder of how quickly everything can be lost. Our relief efforts to Katrina victims is still going on to this day.

Looking Back On Katrina Water Damaged Hard Drive Data Recovery

Flood damaged hard drives are among the toughest hard drive recovery cases we receive. DTI has proprietary measures we take that are unique in the industry. Living and working where we do, we have all felt the damage from water. Jacqui Best our support manager just had her house flooded not even two weeks ago! Sure FLorida is a great place to live, but we all get a little nervous this time of year.

Malcolm our head data recovery engineer sent a few pictures from the latest hard drive from Katrina. Here are hard drive parts from the water damaged hard disk:

water damaged hard drive

The next shot of the water damaged hard drive is a close up of the platters:

water damaged platters

We could tell when we opened the box that this was going to be a tough hard drive recovery. Here is a shot of the hard drive when we first opened the box:

water damaged hard drive cover

Almost every flood damaged hard disk drive we receive for recovery has major corrosion. One of the top priorities is to stop the corrosion and get the drive platters into a recoverable state. We use special environmentally safe chemicals that help the process. Here is an example of the type of corrosion common on a water damaged hard drive:

hard drivw flood damaged corrosion

The final picture shows typical corrosion focused on the back of the hard drive this time:

water damaged hard drive recovery

Even with all of these obstacles, DTI was able to recover this persons data! Call us if you have any questions:

24 Hour Hard Drive Recovery & Server/RAID Recovery Hotline:
Toll Free 1-866-438-6932 or direct 1-727-345-9665.

Extended Software Support:
8 AM to 11 PM EST 7days a week!

Below is a New Orleans TV Station that won an award for their interview with the owner of DTI, Dave Mohyla. Visit Our Hurricane Data Recovery Page for the entire interview.

8 Responses to “Hurricane Katrina Revisited Water Damaged Hard Drive Recovery”

  1. Davedata99 July 30, 2007 1:00 pm #

    Very impressive, I have witnessed the extent of damage salt water can do to electronics. Hard drive recovery from a flooded hard drive is very hard to pull off, especially after it has been sitting all this time. Well done

  2. Heather July 11, 2008 9:47 pm #

    I have a hard drive from my old Gateway PC that was involved in Hurricane Katrina… yes I know three years later I have just come across the drive and I figured I would see what I could find on Google. Now I know my odds of ever recovering anything off of it are one in a million but it does contain many family digital pictures which are priceless to me so I figured it wouldn’t hurt to write. If there is any interest/chance that I might be able to one day recover the pictures that I lost I would be interested in mailing it out to your company. If you don’t think I’m completely crazy – please let me know what the next step would be.

    Thank you very much.

  3. DTI Data Recovery July 12, 2008 10:36 am #


    No, you aren’t crazy, we have recovered some pretty badly damaged hard drives that have been in floods or in fires. The best thing to do is to give us a call at 866-438-6932 on Monday and talk to one of tech’s about the best way to ship it to us. We STILL give major discounts to people who were effected by Katrina and our services are no data – no charge so you wouldn’t pay anything anyway in the unlikely chance we can’t recover your data.

  4. Norman P. Aquino September 30, 2009 11:13 pm #

    Hi, I am still reeling from the devastation brought by typhoon Ondoy in the Philippines just days ago. My place was one of those badly hit. Water reached the 2nd floor of the apartmment I was renting and I was away when it happened.

    I lost everything, including all my photos. I have 7 external hard drives that were submerged in water (fresh) for more than a day.

    i would be interested in having data (mostly landscape photos from various trips since 2005) recovered from my 1-terabyte hard drive, which contains a backup of some of my photos. I have taken the drive out of the external casing. There is water inside.

    But before I send it in, it would help a lot to know how much it would cost. I don’t want to spend on shipping when I won’t be able to afford the final price later. I am writing this from my cell phone. Thank you very much, and please pray for us.

  5. Nixon Go Co March 2, 2010 5:58 pm #

    I would like to know how much it would cost including shipping to have the data recovered from my external hard drive. Just like Norman. We were also hit by Typhoon Ondoy in the Philippines. I have tried to have the data recovered here but only around 25 % was recovered.

  6. Scotticus September 24, 2011 9:36 am #

    Do you have before and after pictures of the platter? That picture just shows the chassis with head stack, but there’s no platter in the picture.

    • Jacqui Best February 13, 2012 2:08 pm #

      I am sorry we do not have those photos.


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