External Hard Drive Data Recovery

If you’ve lost data in the past, you know how frustrating and devastating it can be to realize that files you expected to be on an external hard drive suddenly aren’t showing up. Studies executed by Nearly 46% of hard drive users lose data every year. This guide will highlight the most common causes of data loss, familiarize you with technical details on external hard drives, and introduce you to the process of external hard drive data recovery.

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External Hard Drive Data Loss Scenarios

It’s more likely than not that you ended up on an article about external hard drive data recovery because you are the unfortunate external hard drive user who has experienced data loss. You may be thinking that reading about common external hard drive data loss scenarios probably won’t help the fact that all of your files appear to be gone. The Data Savers team agrees, if you click on the “request an estimate” button in the purple form below this paragraph. Without further ado, these scenarios can result in data loss from external hard drives.

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Accidental Deletion

The most common cause of data loss from an external hard drive is almost certainly human error. In the nearly twenty years we have operated Data Savers, we have assisted clients who accidentally deleted files, formatted the wrong drive, failed to eject their device before unplugging it, and a myriad of additional scenarios. If you have lost data due to human error, you shouldn’t give up hope quite yet. The first thing you will want to do is unplug the drive in question (immediately). When a file is deleted, the file will typically remain intact on your storage device, with the caveat that the memory location(s) where it was stored are now marked as empty. If the physical storage space where your file(s) were saved is overwritten for any reason, it’s safe to assume your data is gone for good. So, unplug the drive, and reach out to Data Savers to start your data recovery journey today.

Physical Damage

Physical damage can render an external hard drive beyond the reach of the average consumer, but it’s very rare that physical damage will put an external hard drive outside the scope of Data Savers’ skills. External hard drives can experience all manner of physical damage, ranging from bumping your external hard drive off your desk or coffee table to something like an external hard drive being exposed to both heat and smoke in a housefire followed by water and particle accumulation when fire-fighters extinguished the house.

Logical Damage

If the file system on your external hard drive becomes corrupted, you will not be able to access your data. File corruption is one the principal varieties of logical data loss that will occur with external hard drives. While NAND Flash based solid state drives are typically superior to hard disk drives in terms of durability, a solid state external hard drive is more likely to experience corruption than an external hard disk drive. This can render the drive unusable and prevent you from accessing your data. However, in other cases, the drive might be rendered unusable, making it necessary to work with a data recovery lab like Data Savers to get your files back.

What Happens to an External Hard Drive that Experiences a Head Crash? 

A head crash on a hard disk drive occurs when the read/write heads make physical contact with the platters responsible for storing your data. The read/write heads are situated at the tip of the actuator arm, and hover nanometers above the platters when the drive is operating as intended. This enables the read/write heads to convert the miniscule magnetic fields on the platters into binary data (1s and 0s). A head crash is typically caused by dropping an external hard drive or the drive experiencing a similar impact.

Was Data on Your External HDD Exposed to Malware? 

If your external hard drive is infected with a virus, all manner of unpleasant effects can ensue. The malware could corrupt data stored on your external hard drive, making it inaccessible. It could also extract sensitive / confidential information from your drive and transfer that data to the bad actor(s) responsible for the malware. In some cases, the virus may simply delete your data. To protect your data from malware and viruses, it is important to keep antivirus software up to date, scan your external hard drive regularly, refrain from clicking any suspicious links in on the internet or in emails, and last but certainly not least, maintaining an effective backup strategy.

External Hard Drive Data Recovery with Data Savers

Data Savers is a professional data recovery laboratory based out of Atlanta, Georgia. Well, technically we are located in Chamblee, Georgia a suburb located in the Atlanta metropolitan area. Data Savers has been storing lost, deleted , inaccessible, or corrupted files from all manner of storage devices. One of the most common types of storage device we see at Data Savers is external hard drive data recovery cases. If you have experienced data loss from an external hard drive, don’t hesitate to reach out to Data Savers today!