What does a physical recovery entail?
A physical data recovery service requires highly specialized tools and spare parts from a completely compatible drive.
Even if you own the same drive from the same manufacturer (offering the same size and speed) most likely internally the drives differ considerably. This makes them incompatible with each other in terms of the parts used inside. This is one of the major reasons why physical hard drive recovery services are so involved and ultimately expensive. This, coupled with the need of expert tools that need to be operated within a clean room environment (to prevent dust particles getting in contact with the magnetic platters), is the major reason why physical hard drive recovery services are so involved and ultimately expensive. Dust and dirt can potentially ruin the surfaces that hold your data preventing good recovery. As such, physical hard disk data recovery services are not for the faint of heart.
Once a drive operates again, the same software tools used in a logical data recovery scenario are used to scan the raw data on the drive. This will hopefully locate the data needed and recover it to another device. All hard drive data recovery services function this way by recovering the data to a second device. This way we avoid overwriting any data on the problematic drive and keep the stress level of the drive to a minimum avoiding an even bigger drive failure.
How can data loss be avoided?
The only way to avoid performing a data recovery service (where important data was lost) is to have a functioning backup system in place with backups that are current. It's important to remember sooner or later every hard drive will fail. There are some signs that can hint at an impending failure and should prompt you to save your work data to another device:
Unusual sounds coming from the drive like clicking or grinding noises.
Uncommon slowness in responding to regular requests like starting an application.
The drive experienced a physical impact of some sort.
In all these and other situations, proceed carefully and perform a backup ASAP.
What drive should I get?
We get this question all the time, but the truth is all drive manufacturers have experienced problems with certain lines of drives at one point or another. Get the drive that offers the features that you need (size, speed) at the price you can afford. Always have a working backup strategy and your chances of getting hit by a data loss disaster are extremely low.
It also doesn't matter which brand your hard drive is because every brand has had its share of premature deaths. Backups are the only way to avoid having to go through a hard drive recovery service in a data loss situation