Since we knew the drive was making beeping sounds, there was no point in causing more damage to the drive by attempting to power it on. We opened the drive cover in our Clean Room to inspect the condition of the platters and the severity of the damage. What are we looking for when we open the drive cover? We are checking the platters to make sure there is no scratches or heavy contamination.
A little information on how drives work. Data is stored on round platters and read/written by read/write heads. The heads have to be parked on “parking ramps” when the drive is powered off. When the drive gets powered on, the platters spin at 5400 – 7400 RPM’s, creates a wind effect, then the read/write heads come off the ramps and hover nanometers above the platters, reading and writing data to and from the platters.
In this case, the heads were stuck on the platters about 50% into the drive. We were able to safely remove the heads from the platters, but since the drive was powered on many times after it was dropped, the reading write heads were completely damaged (please see photos).