In very rare cases, platters are removed from hard drive assemblies. In situations such as fire or water damage, the platters must be cleaned using a media sanitation system that DriveSavers says is proprietary.
The company also says that there are situations where platter damage is too severe and data cannot be recovered. In the case of fire damage, heat may have warped, or scorched the platters. With water-damaged hard drives, impurities in the water settle on the platter surface and, if left to dry, can create hard water spots that bond to the platter surface. Fortunately, only a small portion of DriveSavers business is disaster-related.