When a hard drive is undergoing data recovery, often they have to be opened up, especially when making mechanical repairs. The hard disk that the data is stored on is an extremely delicate component, so delicate that even the smallest contamination by airborne particles can leave the data permanently unrecoverable. The cleanliness of the air is a crucial factor in data recovery, and for that reason, our line of work requires specialized cleanrooms.
A cleanroom is a sanitized environment, typically used in manufacturing or scientific research that has a low level of environmental pollutants such as dust, airborne microbes, aerosol particles, and chemical vapors.
Cleanrooms come with many different classifications. The classification refers to ISO 14644-1 standards, which specify the number of particles 0.1 micrometer or lager permitted per cubic meter of air. For ideal data recovery conditions, it’s necessary to have at least a Class 5 cleanroom environment, where the room cannot exceed 100,000 particles per cubic meter.
By comparison, the ambient air outside in a typical urban environment contains 35 million particles per cubic meter.
Larger numbers like Class 100 refer to FED-STD-209 E standards and denote a maximum of 100 particles of size 0.5 micrometers or larger are permitted per cubic foot of air. However, take note that this standard was cancelled in 2001, and any data recovery service provider who advertises its services as Class 100 may be using outdated technology.
ISO Class 5 cleamrooms are the minimum requirement anyone in the market for hard drive recovery should demand. Certified cleanrooms are the only way to guarantee that your hard drive will be worked on in a suitable environment. Data recovery services that offer “clean benches” are considerably inferior, as per technical documentation and industry standards, to providers that offer cleanroom services. When you need to trust your hard drive to somebody for recovery, only trust the ones committed to providing the necessary facilities that ensure you data is in safe hands.