Experience Catastrophic Hard Drive Failure Without Catastrophe

If you've ever wondered what caused massive hard drive failure or what a pretty much destroyed hard drive looked like, there's an app for you.

Drive Savers has created the DriveSaver app for the iPhone, calling it the "first online hard disk drive simulator," which it is, in all likelihood. The app is free. Of course, Drive Savers isn't being completely altruistic here - they're a data recovery company and want your business. But for those who aren't intimately familiar with the interior of their computers, the app is pretty cool.

Be forewarned: Turn the volume down a bit before playing with it - it's loud.

The simulator lets you look at the inside of a drive, both a spinning platter hard drive or a solid state drive, giving you an idea of what it looks like. You get your choice of what type of catastrophic failure you want to experience virtually, some of which necessitate your involvement (just as in real life - touch a chip on the SSD, contaminate this disc), others which don't (catastrophic head crash failure, for example).

Your options are:
• Clicker failure
• No spin/seized motor
• Spin up and down
• Electronic failure
• Contamination failure
• Head crash failure

Then there is, of course, the option for one-touch dialing to DriveSavers - even if you're not in the United States. You can also request an estimate via web and you'll get a response within 30 minutes by phone or e-mail, which is perhaps the one of the more innovative features of the phone.  The process of recovering your data can be fairly complex and costly though, be forewarned.  That said, if you have extremely valuable data on that drive, it literally could be a life-saver.

The company also offers you a variety of best practices to prevent data loss, backup strategies, data recovery and more.  There's also a whole bunch of photos from their ISO 5 certified cleanroom, which is an absolute necessity, if they have to get down and dirty disassembling your drive, to get at the delicate platters so they can retrieve your precious data.