This is a recent case from a failed 2TB Samsung HDD, the client accidentally dropped the hard drive into hot soapy water, the damage caused can be seen in the photos.
The disk was opened in our clean room, the liquid ingress can clearly be seen at the top right of the picture.
The HSA or head stack assembly shows how far the liquid travelled, this can cause damage to the heads, this device has 4 heads and 2 platters, thankfully the platters were ok with no visible signs of damage.
Further works included changing the PCB from a USB 3 connector to a SATA interface, this is not a straight swap as some imagine, there are certain electroninc components that have to be transferred to adapt the ‘donor’ PCB.
Following further firmware work to the A, S, T list and SMART clearing a total recovery was accomplished, 1.4 TB in total, a very lucky escape for the client!
Please note that in no circumsatnces should you open your hard disk up in non clean environments, further to this simply swapping the PCB will not work and in some insatnces destroy your data, this case study was published to show our skill set and capability.