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Salvage and Recovery Services
Magnetic Media


Wet magnetic media (such as floppy disks, tapes, and cassettes) pose special problems for successful data recovery. Generally, we recover only the stored data itself and transfer it to new storage media. No attempt is made to salvage the water-soaked physical media upon which the data is stored, as wet magnetic media cannot be effectively cleaned or reliably decontaminated without the risk of further damage.

Water-damaged media to be considered for recovery include 3-1/2″, 5-1/4″, and 8″ diskettes, PC hard drives, magnetic tape, data cassettes, and other types of magnetic storage. Special types of magnetic content (such as audio tapes or cassettes) can be recovered using digital-conversion technology. CDs and DVDs can often be cleaned without requiring the transfer of data to new media (though we are also able to perform this task if required).

Data Recovery from Wet Disk Drives and Tapes: Early Response Tips

The response steps below will help Document Reprocessors successfully clean and air-dry your wet disks, allowing the recovered data to be transferred to new physical media and/or formats (see “Options for Wet Magnetic Media Data Recovery” below).

Attention to these steps early in the recovery process will help Document Reprocessors successfully salvage the contents of water-damaged magnetic media:

  • For all media types, place wet media in plastic bags, seal tightly, and freeze immediately.

  • For floppy disks, keep each disk and sleeve together to preserve labeling information.

  • For hard disks, drain out as much water as possible, but do not disassemble the drive. Seal the entire unit in a zip-lock bag.

  • Put frozen bag(s) in a sturdy box, label the box with your name and contents, and ship within 24 hours by overnight express to our Rushville, NY, location.

  • Call our office ahead of time to advise us on quantity, shipping, and expected arrival time so we can be prepared to receive your shipment.

Options for Wet Magnetic Media Data Recovery

Data we recover from wet media may not necessarily need to be replaced upon the same type of media from which it was extracted. Modern data storage formats offer considerable space, reliability, and cost improvements over obsolete media types. For example, a single hard disk drive can store the equivalent of hundreds of thousands of floppy disks, at a tiny fraction of the cost.

Your Document Reprocessor representative will be on hand to explain your media recovery options and help you to decide how best to address the long-term storage of your recovered data. But whatever you decide, time is of the essence. Contact Document Reprocessors now to make arrangements and/or get answers to questions regarding recovery of data from wet media.

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