External Hard Drive Data Recovery

External hard disk drives (HDD) are used as a secondary form of storage and a reliable backup method. Portable and easy to use, external hard drives typically consist of a standard 2.5" or 3.5" hard drive in a simple enclosure with an external port that connects to a computer or other media devices, most commonly via USB. When an external hard drive fails or becomes damaged, Secure Data Recovery has qualified recovery experts with industry-leading and professional external HDD data recovery services.

Some of the external hard drive manufacturers we work with are:

  • Seagate
  • SanDisk
  • Western Digital
  • Toshiba
  • Samsung
  • G-Tech, and many others

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Call: 1-800-388-1266

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Types of External Hard Drive Failure

There are three basic types of external hard drive failure that can result in data loss:

Physical Failures

Hard drives have internal parts moving at high speeds and they can become less reliable as they age. A hard drive's read/write heads hover just above the surface of the platters that store your data, and if they come into contact with the platters, data loss may occur. In addition to internal wearing out and scratching the platters, other common physical failures include:

  • Spindle that controls hard drive spinning locks up
  • Actuator arms don’t work properly
  • Grinding, clicking, or beeping noises on the drive due to read/write head failures

Electronic Failures

If an external hard drive has an electronic issue, it may stop working entirely or it may report an error message, depending on which of its components have failed. Electronic failures are potentially as serious as physical hard drive failures and should only be handled by experienced data recovery professionals. Some external hard drives experience electronic failure due to:

  • Faulty fans on the drive
  • Power cords not plugged into grounded, surge-protected outlets
  • Power surge, preventing your hard drive from being disconnected properly

Logical Failures

External hard drives can also lose data due to non-physical errors that affect how the drive operates. Some of these failures include:

  • Corruption due to a virus attack
  • Accidental Deletion
  • Host system won’t recognize the media
Clicking Heads
Clicking Heads
The clicking sound of a failing drive often indicates problems with the movement of the drive's read/write actuator.
Dead Heads
Dead Heads
This clicking sound is made when the actuator arm continuously resets itself because the read/write heads have failed.
Torn Heads
Torn Heads
This clicking and buzzing indicates damage to the HDD read/write head(s), which processes data stored on the disk platter(s).
Scratched Platter
Scratched Platter
This high-pitched whine usually signals scratches in the disk platter(s) that prevent read/write heads from processing stored data.
Stuck Motor
Stuck Motor
A buzzing or chattering sound coming from your HDD device could indicate a stuck or damaged spindle motor.

The Challenges of External Hard Drive Data Recovery

Some of the factors that can affect your chances of successful data recovery on an external hard drive include:

  • File System - Depending on the operating system used, an external hard drive can be formatted in different file systems including FAT, NTFS, HFS+, EFS and XFS. Our engineers work with all operating systems on external hard drives including Windows, Mac, and Linux.
  • Hard Drive Size - Some newer external hard drives hold 8TB of data or more, and data recovery is often difficult on larger drives. Our engineers create full clones of repaired external hard drives before using our proprietary software, to recover the data without damage to the external drive.
  • Failure Scenarios - As mentioned above, the type of failure scenario affects the chances of recovery, and therefore the recovery tools and procedure that are needed. All physically damaged external drives need to be treated in our certified Class 10 ISO 4 Cleanroom to prevent any danger of media contamination.

Secure Data Recovery thrives on challenges in data recovery, so whether your external drive has logical data issues or a severe spindle failure, we have the capabilities, experience and tools to give you the best possible chances of a successful recovery. We have specialized file utilities designed for virtually every file system and file type, and as a result, we offer high success rates for external hard drives.

The Secure Data Advantage for External Hard Drive Recovery

Secure Data Recovery is the most certified data recovery company in the industry. We were the first company to earn SSAE 18 Type II Certification for the highest levels of security and have Class 10 ISO 4 Cleanrooms in each of our six labs across North America. We boast an overall 96% success rate for recovery on external hard drives.

After receiving your external drive, we evaluate the damage and complete a diagnostic report that includes a list of recoverable files, price quote, and turnaround time. After you agree to the recovery, our decades-experienced engineers use advanced proprietary tools to bring your external media to a working state enough to image the drive and work to recover your data from a copy of the media. This keeps your device in its original condition.

Secure Data Recovery customer service is available 24/7 to start a case for you and also offers emergency data recovery for external hard drives with a 48-hour turnaround. We promise you that if we are unable to retrieve the files from your external hard drive, no other company will have the tools or experience to do it. That’s why we stand by our “no data, no recovery fee” guarantee. You don’t pay the recovery fee if we don’t retrieve your files.

When you need external hard drive data recovery, choose the certified experts at Secure Data Recovery. Call 1-800-388-1266 to start your case.

Customer Reviews (78)

Average Rating:

This service was rated 5.0 out of 5.0 based on 78 review(s)

  • Reviewed on May 3 2022  |  RICHMOND, VA

    Quick Recovery

    I''m so thankful Secure Data Recovery was able to save the priceless files and photos from my damaged external hard drive. Jake Gambatese made the process easy and was very communicative. I selected the slowest return option to save some money and the files were sent back to me much quicker than I expected. I''m working on uploading these files to the cloud so this doesn''t happen again!

  • Reviewed on Apr 19 2022  |  Escondido, CA

    Saved when others claimed there was no such option

    After being dupped into paying 750.00 by a local shop, to get half my data and returning the drive only to be told it was damaged, I called Secure Data Recovery on a prayer. SDR was able to restore even what someone other than me or mine deleted! I Await the drive to gain access to files that could not be replaced for any amount of money as well as irreplaceable, and all are accounted for on the document they provided. I will never go anywhere else ...

    the same price could have been paid only once had I known what I know now!

  • Reviewed on Apr 5 2022  |  Malden, MA

    Data Recovery Life Savers

    I can''t thank this company enough for getting me my data back! From the second I placed the phone call, to the end of the process, Val, my rep, was amazing! Answered all my questions, explained the process to me and retrieved my data! Highly recommend!!!

  • Reviewed on Mar 26 2022  |  Rockville, MD

    SDR is simply the best

    Personally and professionally, I have worked with many data recovery firms, and even more tech companies. Some do poor work, most are okay, and a select few are excellent. In my experience, SDR is the best of them all. Both individually and as a company, they are honest, thorough, knowledgeable, considerate, helpful, friendly, and very, very good at data recovery!

  • Reviewed on Feb 9 2022  |  Bel Air, MD

    Excellent Service

    I backed up all the early photos of my kids to a drive, and they were lost within a dead hard drive.
    From beginning to end, I was very impressed with the service of the company.
    Scott gave an in-depth overview of the process and kept me in the loop as things progressed.
    The damage turned out to be worse than initially thought.
    They still did a great job recovering about 4000+ images and probably losing 500 images.
    Scott delivered the great news of the recovery and showed genuine disappointment that all the files could not be recovered.
    The technicians did their best, and Scott provided wonderful customer service.
    I would use this service again and recommend to family/friends.

  • Reviewed on Oct 19 2021  |  Snohomish, WA

    Incredible Experience Start to Finish

    As a photographer I put all of my photos on an external USB hard drive. Every photo I have ever taken... With my USB connected to my laptop I went to set it on my desk not realizing I had set in on the edge. Therefore, slipping off the desk landing directly on the imported USB hard drive. Snapping it in half. Riddled with devastation and panic, my girlfriend found Secure Data Recovery after a quick google search. I immediately called them and was introduced to, Scott McMacken. He calmed my fears and insured me he could restore my photos with ease and confidence. Throughout the days proceeding, Scott was available for every call, email and question I had. Including me on every step of the process. Fast and efficient. I thanked Scott for not only restoring all of my photos but for his thorough professionalism during the entire process. He really made the entire experience feel like I was his number one priority. Hopefully I will never have to go through an emergency like this again, but if i do, I know who I''m calling.

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