External Hard Drive Data Recovery
External hard drives have become incredibly popular because of their versatility and portability. They make great back up and storage devices for pictures, music, documents, and business data but external hard drives are also very susceptible to being dropped or jarred. They are also prone to electrical damage and logical failures that can cause data loss.
There are 4 types of failures that we see in external hard drives: Physical failure of the external hard drives enclosures electronics, Physical hard drive failure, logical failure, and user error.
Physical Failure of External Hard Drive Enclosure Electronics:
External hard drives contain an adapter to adapt the native hard drive interface (usually SATA on newer drives) to USB, Firewire, Thunderbolt, E-SATA or Network. Many of them also contain a power supply.
Both the adapter and the power supply are susceptible to electronic failures which will leave you with a dead hard drive and no access to your data.
If you believe your external hard drives components have failed but the hard drive inside is OK and you want to attempt recovery of your data yourself, check out our Do it Yourself Data Recovery page for step by step instructions and tools that will help you through this process.
Logical Failure of External Hard Drive:
External hard drives are susceptible to logical failures because they often get connected and disconnected to your computer or several computers. Sometimes, disconnecting an external hard drive without properly ejecting it first can cause damage to the boot sector, partition, or file system. If your external hard drive is suddenly asking to be formatted and your confident your drive is not physically damaged, you have a few options.
Attempt Recovery Yourself: Go to our Do it Yourself Data Recovery Page.
Remote Recovery by File Savers: Go to our Remote Data Recovery Page.
In Lab Recovery by File Savers: Go to our In Lab Data Recovery Page.
Physical Failure of External Hard Drive:
If your external hard drive is no longer recognized by your computer, there is a high chance your drive is suffering from a physical hard drive failure. The most common physical failures we see from external hard drives are caused by dropping them. Because external hard drives are portable, they are often dropped from desks or tables to the ground which is probably the worst thing you can do to it.
When you drop a hard drive, the heads often make contact with the platter surface, leaving serious damage to the platter where your data is stored. Sometimes this type of damage can't be overcome leaving you without the possibility of recovering your data. If you drop your hard drive and it stops recognizing, we highly recommend that you turn it off immediately to give yourself the best chance of a successful recovery of your data.
Physical external hard drive failures can also include electrical failures, firmware failures and motor failures. If your hard drive is clicking, beeping, buzzing, dead or not recognized, we highly recommend that you power off your drive and give us a call for a Free Diagnosis today.
Attempting recovery of a physically failed hard drive yourself is not a good idea! Hard drives are extremely sensitive and when they fail, you should never power it on, open it, put it in the freezer, tap on it or use data recovery software to attempt to recover data from a physical failed or failing drive. Doing this will likely cause total data loss without any chance of recovery.
User Error (Deleted, Formatted):
We understand that it's really easy to accidentally make a mistake and delete files or format your external hard drive. Deleted data or a formatted hard drives can be recovered depending on what you have done since the initial mistake. If you turned off your external drive immediately, we can probably recover all of your files. However, if you continued using your hard drive and copied or wrote any data to the drive you can make your deleted or formated data unrecoverable. Once the deleted data becomes overwritten, it becomes impossible to recover.
If you accidentally deleted important data or formatted your drive we highly recommend you power off your drive and do not continue using it until we successfully recover your files.
|External Drive Types||Operating Systems||File Systems|