Electronic restoration is becoming increasingly viable as a method of getting information back from servers and devices that have suffered physical damage. The most common incidents that cause people to consider electronic restoration are fires and floods, which often leave sensitive electronic equipment in terrible shape. However, despite the apparent severity of the damage, it’s often entirely possible to pull data from a machine that has sustained damage in one of these incidents. In some cases, it may even be possible to get the entire machine to work again. However, electronic restoration isn’t a magic wand or a cure-all. There are situations in which it won’t work, so it’s crucial to understand electronic restoration before you assume that you’ll be able to rely on it in the event of an emergency. Here are a couple of things to consider:
What can electronic restoration do?
Electronic restoration is excellent at treating certain kinds of damage and somewhat less effective at treating others. The good news is that in many cases, electronic restoration works wonders on computers and equipment for medical, manufacturing, or telecommunications purposes. Even in circumstances where a piece of equipment has been totally immersed in floodwaters. Or exposed to smoke, corrosive vapors, and extremely high temperatures, electronic restoration can be shockingly effective. The trick is often to remove deposits of foreign materials, and other effects of corrosion. If successful, it’s possible to save the time and money it would take to replace the equipment entirely.
The standard criteria for electronic restoration are as follows: it must be possible to remove the contaminants from all surfaces of the device in question. And this removal must be reproducible rather than dependent on luck. Furthermore, the cleaning must refrain from causing any damage to the device apart from the cosmetic variety. And the process must be either more cost-effective than replacing the device outright or considerably more convenient than waiting for the time it will take to procure the replacement. If you can check those boxes off your list, electronic restoration is a good idea. Here’s a brief description of how it works:
The first thing that should be taken care of before successful electronic restoration is the immediate removal of the damaged device from all power sources and the cessation of its use. Following that, the person conducting the restoration process will perform a chemical analysis of the types of contaminants affecting the machine and their various concentrations. Various protocols, procedures, and chemicals may then be used, depending on the offending substance.
In the case of fire damage, for instance, hydrochloric acid is a common problem. And it can be worse when coupled with the water discharged by a sprinkler system or a hose. To minimize the effects of corrosion, it’s possible to apply a protective lubricant to the damaged components. To limit the chance of further corrosion, it’s best to remove the water from the room and lower the relative humidity to below 40%. These conditions will prevent a faster chemical reaction between the hydrochloride. And the metal from which the affected device is made, buying the technicians much needed time.
Next, the equipment is disassembled, and each component cleaned. Highly trained electronics professionals used for this step. Since this part is the most detail-oriented and requires considerable knowledge of how to clean each part. Optical and chemical quality testing follows, after which the device reassembled, adjusted, and returned to service.
Success and Reliability
When restored in this manner, it’s quite common for the damaged electronics to function properly once again. And the data housed inside is frequently intact. 60-70% of electronics treated this way function again without incident, and do not require further repairs. Even over long periods of time, their performance tends to remain at least equal to the way. It was before being damaged—and can even improve in some cases. Of course, every damaged unit should inspect thoroughly to see if it meets restoration criteria. But if it does, then this is an excellent method to restore data and services.