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What is a Clean Room?

Updated: 7/20/2022

Anyone who researches data recovery services, is likely to hear the word “clean room” thrown around a lot. This piece elaborates on data recovery clean room work environments and why they are important.

A cleanroom / clean room is an environment with a very low concentration of environmental pollutants such as dust, airborne microbes, aerosol particles, and chemical vapors.

Source: Wikipedia – Clean Room

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So What is a Data Recovery Clean Room?

Anyone can look up definitions on Wikipedia, and smaller data recovery shops may even attempt to construct their own makeshift clean rooms. The reality is that a number of variables determine the level of certification granted to individual clean rooms. Factors include the size of the room, ventilation, air filtration configurations, and professional classifications.

You may be thinking ‘wow, all of these specifications surrounding clean rooms really sound like overkill, what’s the big deal’. You are not alone if a variation of that thought crossed your mind.

A Speck of Dust is Capable of Irreparably Damaging your Drive

The magnetic read/write heads that work with a hard drive’s platters float a distance of mere microns above the surface of the platter. If your drive is opened by an inexperienced technician outside of a clean room environment, small airborne particles can end up inside the drive, creating a serious risk for contamination. Should any of that contamination find its way into that tiny gap, the heads could collide with the platters. This scenario is known as a hard drive head crash. The result is scratched platters, an irreparably damaged drive, and potentially unrecoverable data.

Data Recovery Must Be Conducted in a Cleanroom Environment

A clean room is designed to filter and circulate air inside a controlled area, maintaining a level of air quality far cleaner than the air we breathe. Class 100 ISO-5 clean rooms are not considered a “sterile” environment. That said, most certified clean rooms are efficient enough to maintain a level of airborne particulate that is less than a fraction of a percent of what you would find in the air outside. The following statement illustrates the necessity of clean room data recovery.

Outdoor air contains some 35,000,000 particles (dust, pollen, etc.) per cubic meter – our clean room cuts that down to just 100.


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In Accordance to ISO 14644-1: Data Savers Operates a Certified Class 100 ISO-5 Clean Room Environment

While there is no “industry standard” for data recovery. The class 100 ISO-5 standard is an environment that meets or exceeds what is commonly used in biology, chemistry, and manufacturing scenarios.

Cleanrooms come in many sizes. The small laminar-flow hood that you may have worked in during chemistry class in high school is technically a modest cleanroom. An industrial operation would be more likely to utilize a large room with air-locks. When considering clean room specifications for various data recovery providers, consider that the size of the actual room is far less significant than the experience of the technicians working in it.

Don’t be Fooled if a Data Recovery Company Claims to Have the Only “Certified” Clean Room in the Country

We know that when researching data recovery labs, a proper clean room is one of the most important things to take into consideration. We are confident in our equipment and our experience, and you will be too. Please contact Data Savers if you have any further questions about our facilities.

I was very thankful that they provided a fair price up front! No hidden fees! These guys know what they're doing. Super thankful for them!

~ Marin G. on Google

After working with two other companies who could not recover the wedding videos, we took the drive to Data Savers. Our wedding videos were recovered. They are true professionals and worth every penny!

~ Elizabeth H. on Yelp

The team at Data Savers were level headed and provided reasonable flat rate options. They quickly diagnosed the problem, recovered the data, and had me back to normal in short order.

~ Mark J. on Google

Data Savers' No Risk Steps

Send In Your Drive

Ship* us your drive, our technicians will examine it for FREE and provide you with a flate rate (no hidden costs) estimate. (*FREE UPS Ground shipping in continental U.S. too!)

You can start by clicking Submit Drive.

We can also email you a quick estimate with our Request Pricing option.

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After your receive your estimate, with your approval our experts will get to work on recovering your data. Our drive repair and recovery techniques have been developed over many years to get the highest success rate possible.

With our No Data - No Charge policy we will not charge you if no data can be retrieved.

Get Your Data Back!

We will transfer your recovered data to a new external drive, ship* it back to you and let you get back in business! (*Free UPS Ground return in continental U.S.)

We do keep a copy or image of your data for ten days to ensure that you receive it successfully. After that your data is securely erased.