One of the most popular type of hardware failures on hard disk drives is stiction.
What is it?
Stiction is a condition of an HDD where the reading heads arm gets stuck onto the surface of the disks.
What HDDs does it happen most often on?
Laptop drives inside external drives sustain stiction more often, but occasionally desktop drives, as well.
How to know if it happened to your drive?
The easiest way is to put your ear against the drive and power on. If you hear buzzing or humming sounds, then more than likely stiction is what happened.
How to prevent it from happening?
More or less, nobody can prevent it from happening. It just happens in ideal unpredictable conditions for the stiction to occur.
What can someone do at home to resolve this problem?
Not much. Reason being is because attempting to open the hard drive and poke around inside to see how to move components around is a bad idea. Why? Typically, people don’t have the proper understanding of how to resolve the problem and, subsequently, they cause severe damage to the surface of the disks. Preventing surface damage is incredibly important. Any disk surface damage will likely cause for the data to become unrecoverable.
Here is an example of someone causing surface damage, therefore ruining chances of a successful recovery:
With the goal of maximizing the chances of recovery, it is best to seek advice from a data recovery specialist.