Why external hard drives fail:
External hard disk drives will fail for many and varied reasons but a lot of of them will be similar to those problems encountered by internal hard disk drives. You will be aware that an external hard drive is made up of many of the same components as an internal drive and with this in mind they are susceptible to the same problems. We at Belfast Data Recovery are on hand to help you should your external HDD suffer any of these malfunctions and more importantly are on hand to help recover the data that might otherwise be lost without using the expertise of a reputable and experienced data recovery company.
Failure caused by internal malfunction:
Actuators, heads, platters – these things might mean nothing to you if you are not IT savvy (and in this day and age you don’t need to be) but when they fail they can cause the malfunction of the HDD inside your external storage device. We liken the process to that of playing an old record and as care should taken playing an old record the same care should be taken using an external HDD. More so because external storage devices tend to be transported from place to place on a more frequent basis. As well as damage to the actual parts and components on the drive itself there can also be failures to the PCB (printed circuit boards) which in themselves form a large chunk of how the external HDD operates. With a malfunctioning PCB you may find that the external drive is unresponsive regardless of what computer or system you attach it to.
Loss of incorrect formatting of data using an external HDD:
Data can become loss or inaccessible for a number of reasons as we have already touched upon. One of them, although we for the most part would prefer not to touch upon it, is human error. You should be aware that many of the requests for assistance we receive are on the basis that human error has taken place and it has been impossible to retrieve the data after an incorrect format or mistaken deletion. Deleting or formatting a drive means that the information is no longer contained in the same way it was before and upon retrieval – using third party software – the data can be separated or no longer readable. We do not advise the use of third party software for this reason. It can cause problems in the same way that a defrag can.
As an internal hard disk drive feeds off the power of the computer it is connected to so an external hard drive feeds off its own external power supply. Sometimes these power units develop faults and in doing so can cause a sudden stop to the hard drive which may render it unusable upon restart. One reason for this that we at Belfast Data Recovery see a lot is that the heads spin out of alignment due to this sudden stop and will not spin up again in the correct manner. This causes problems when reading – or trying to read – the information on the disk. With this in mind we are experts at retrieving data from external hard drives that have suffered data loss or inaccessibility due to power failure.
Firmware faults render your external hard drive inoperable:
Almost all electronic devices have firmware of some description helping to make it function. The same can be said of external hard drives that require firmware built into the PCB (printed circuit board) to pass instructions between the external drive and the system to which it is connected. Firmware also dictates the amount of power used to make the external drive run and determines such requirements such as spin speed and the likes. Failing or failed firmware can render your external hard drive unusable and as such trying – as some people do – to install or download new firmware can lead to further complications.
Sudden system crashes and your External HDD:
Having clocked up more than 15 years experience in dealing with all kinds of internal and external storage solution we feel we are well placed to help you deal with this issues that may surround the sudden failure of yours. Many individuals simply throw their storage devices away believing that it is the end of the matter and the drive is good for nothing. Well in a manner of speaking it isn’t. It may be no use when it comes to storing new information but your existing information – if you have no accurate backup – can be recovered. One reason for the failure of an external hard drive is a sudden system crash – common these days because of the issues surrounding lack of support for Windows XP (an operating system many people still run). Likewise with an external hard drive a sudden system crash can occur if the drive has been moved and has been involved in some kind of collision along the way. It may only have seemed like a small knock to you but it is enough to have the actuator arm snapped, the heads bumped from their natural alignment or the platters badly scratched.