Water damaged parts, is there any chance of recovery?

there may be a chance to recover data from drowned/flood damaged hard drives but you will need the service of a professional data recovery company, if you send in the drive, you will get a quote and then you can decide whether it's worth it or not:

Remove the hard drive from the case and immediately place it in an air-tight plastic bag, such as a ZiplocĀ® brand bag. If the drive is wet do not leave it out in the air to dry. Do not attempt to dry or clean the drive in any way. If the hard drive is covered in mud, rinse it in purified water and wrap it in a moist paper towel before placing in into the plastic bag. Never attempt to open the hard drive. Allowing the drive to dry out may cause additional damage, which may make the recovery more difficult, if not impossible.

Act quickly and send off the drives as fast as possible. For water-damaged media, swift action could make all the difference.


Dried mud (in most cases) isn't a good conductor, so not getting ALL the mud off isn't going to be a big deal. It IS a good insulator though, so it may cause over-heating if caked on in the wrong spot, so you want to get as much off as possible (without damaging what it's stuck to).

For your hard drives, you're probably best sending them off for professional data recovery, or at least an assessment, as particulates may (probably) have seeped into the inner mechanics.

For other, solid-state devices, I'd say your best/cheap bet is to clean the dried mud off with a stiff, plastic-bristled brush and a can of compressed air. Then use some high-percentage Isopropyl Alcohol (97.5% or better), and cotton or foam swabs to clean it up further.

You're going to want to disassemble the devices to some extent (ie: remove heat sinks and detachable daughterboards), just make sure you have the right tools to do the job (for both removing and reattaching) and pay attention on how you took it apart, so you can get it back together.

The most important part is testing them in a system that you can afford to damage by using a possibly shorted device. :)

I hope your computer damage was the worst of it for you!