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External Hard Drive Data Recovery
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External Hard Drive Data Recovery Services

Since the early 2000s, computer owners have used external hard drives as a quick secondary form of storage and as a reliable method of data backup. 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 desktop or laptop computer (usually via USB).

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Hard Drive Failure Sounds: Typical noises of a failed hard disk drives.

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Clicking Heads
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HGST 320 GB Hard Drive - Clicking Heads
  • Clicking Heads
    HGST 320 GB Hard Drive - Clicking Heads
    00:00:21
  • Dead Heads
    HGST 320 GB Hard Drive - Dead Heads
    00:00:14
  • Torn Heads
    Hitachi 1 TB Hard Drive - Torn Heads
    00:00:20
  • Scratched
    Hitachi 2 TB Hard Drive - Scratch
    00:00:25
  • Stuck Motor
    Seagate 500 GB Hard Drive
    00:00:20

At Secure Data Recovery Services, we handle hundreds of external HDD recovery and repair cases each year, including drives from brands like Seagate, Maxtor, Fujitsu, Western Digital, Iomega, Dell, IBM and more. Our engineers are familiar with the various factors that can affect the recovery process on these devices.

When an external hard drive fails, you need to work with a qualified company that understands the potential challenges of external HDD data recovery. Dozens of companies manufacture the devices, however, so many have unique features that can complicate professional data recovery services.

For instance, many newer hard drives are designed specifically for backup and come with software that automatically copies the user's selected files to the external drive on a set schedule. Other external hard drives have setup disks that allow users to choose from several formatting options, including RAID options if the external enclosure contains two or more internal HDDs.

Reasons for External Hard Drive Data Loss

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

  • Physical Failures - Because hard drives have high-speed moving parts, they can become less reliable as they age. A hard drive's read/write float just above the surface of the platters, which store your data, and under the right circumstances, the heads might come into contact with the platters. This is often accompanied by a clicking or whirring sound, but users may not hear these sounds if their external hard drives have large or well-insulated enclosures.

    The platters of a hard drive also spin, and the spindle that controls this action can lock up, preventing the drive from reading properly. Hard drives can also have problems with the actuator arms that hold the read/write heads, and due to the extreme precision of modern HDD technology, even a slight error can completely prevent a computer user from accessing any data.

    At Secure Data Recovery Services, we treat all physical data recovery issues in certified Class 10 ISO 4 Clean room, which is a specialized environment that prevents particles from coming into contact with your external HDD. By working in Cleanroom, we can repair physical damage without any risk to your media.

  • Electronic Failures - Some external hard drives have faulty fans, or computer users simply forget to plug their power cords into grounded, surge-protected outlets. 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.

  • Logical Failures - External hard drives can also lose data due to corruption, accidental deletion or other non-physical errors, which are considered logical errors in our classification system.

Recoverability varies greatly for logically damaged external hard drives. If you notice missing files or you see data corruption messages that might indicate a logical error, immediately shut down your external hard drive to avoid overwriting your data.

Free Evaluations for Portable Hard Drive Data Recovery

Regardless of your hard drive's failure scenario, our engineers will take a measured, planned approach to evaluate the failure. We will provide you with a free media diagnostic report before starting our work on your case. You can view your external hard drive's chances of recovery, a list of recoverable files, a likely case completion time frame and an accurate price quote. We offer free diagnoses through our network of more than 30 locations across the United States.

In addition to our external and portable hard drive recovery services, we offer repair and recovery for other external devices including micro drives, USB drives and flash cards. Call us for more information about any of our services or to schedule a media diagnosis.

The Challenges of External Hard Drive Data Recovery

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

  • File System - Depending on the operating system you use on your computer, you may have formatted your external hard drive in a number of different file systems, including FAT, NTFS, HFS+, EFS and XFS. Our engineers have extensive experience with all of these file systems and with various operating environments such as Windows, Mac OS, Linux and Unix.

    We have specialized file utilities designed for virtually every file system and file type, and as a result, we offer high success rates across-the-board for external hard drives.

  • Hard Drive Size - Some newer external hard drives hold 2TB of data or more, and data recovery is often difficult on larger drives. Our engineers use a careful approach and always create full clones of repaired external hard drives before using our proprietary software, and we can recover hard drives of all sizes without risking media damage.

    We also have capable physical recovery tools for all physical hard drive sizes, including standard 3.5" desktop drives, 2.5" laptop drives and 1" micro drives.

  • Failure Symptoms - As mentioned above, failure scenario affects the chances of recovery. All physically damaged external drives need to be treated in a Certified Class 10 ISO 4 Cleanroom to prevent any danger of media contamination.

Secure Data Recovery Services also uses experienced engineering teams to treat each case, 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.

Certified, Secure External Hard Drive Data Recovery Services

Secure Data Recovery Services has more relevant certifications than any external HDD recovery or repair business in the United States. We offer the most reliable security and the highest chances of a fast, complete recovery in every case.

Our certifications include:

  • Security Certifications - Secure Data Recovery Services was the first data recovery provider to earn a SSAE 16 Type II Certification. We also have an SAS 70 certification and post all of our certification reports online.

  • Compliance Certifications - In addition to the aforementioned security certifications, we have compliance certifications for PCI-DSS, FERPA and HIPAA. Call for more information about federal and state legal compliance.

  • Green Business Certification - Our laboratories use sustainable practices. As a member of the Green Business program, we regularly look for new ways to improve our facilities' ecological impact.

  • GSA Certification - We are a member of the General Services Administration schedule and offer all of our external drive services to government and military offices through this program.

Secure Data Recovery Services also offers 24/7/365 emergency data recovery services for external hard drives. We complete most of our emergency recovery cases within a single business day.

Whether you need speed, security, reliability or all three, Secure Data Recovery Services is your best option for professional external drive recovery.

Customer Reviews

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Average Rating:
5.0
Total: 24 Review(s)

This service was rated 5.0 out of 5.0 based on 24 review(s)

  • Highly Recommended!!!

    5.0
    Reviewed on Sep 9 2017

    I was unable to access years of photos on my external hard drive. My son came across Secure Data Recovery and I am so glad he did! Amazing company! My account rep, Frederick Wright was amazing and very patient with me. He was able to work with me and my budget.

    I have all my photos back and I am EXTREMELY SATISFIED and would highly recommend them to anyone needing data recovery. The Secure Data Recovery team has been professional, timely and courteous.

    Thank you so much to the techs!!

    Authenticated Lake Worth, FL
  • Very positive experience.

    5.0
    Reviewed on Aug 31 2017

    Had a dead external drive, they were able to retrieve files and save my bacon. Process was very easy and convenient to top it all off.

    Authenticated Greentree, PA
  • Great Service

    5.0
    Reviewed on Aug 30 2017

    Amazingly easy process, I thought my data was gone for good, but it was recovered ! My Account Rep Chris McMacken, helped me throughout the process - five stars for Chris !

    Authenticated Tacoma, WA
  • 5 Star Data Wrangler!

    5.0
    Reviewed on Jun 2 2017

    It's not usually easy when you have to use the level of recovery that you might need for a failed drive, but Secure Data Recovery made it much easier by offering options that fit me and my lowly budget. Alec kept me moving through the process and was able to do some of the extra things that make a tough situation more bearable!

    Authenticated Oklahoma City, OK
  • Outstanding Service

    5.0
    Reviewed on May 16 2017

    My external hard drive recently failed and I'm so happy that I chose Secure Data Recovery to attempt to restore my files. They did a remarkable job and restored everything- including priceless family photos and important documents. Their service representative, Fred Wright, provided very personal service and kept me fully informed throughout the process; he ensured that everything was completed in a timely and professional manner. After this experience, I cannot imagine ever trusting my data files to any other company (including the original manufacturer of the failed drive). I am an EXTREMELY SATISFIED customer and HIGHLY RECOMMEND Secure Data Recovery to anyone who needs personal, professional service. They're the best!

    Authenticated Lebanon, NJ
  • Highly recommend!!!!!!

    5.0
    Reviewed on Apr 20 2017

    I mistakenly reformatted and overwritten my external hard drive that contained all my family pictures and video. Frederick A. Wright was the account rep assigned and he was outstanding. Kept me up-to-date through the whole process. They were able to recover 100% of my data back. Process started on March 20th and I received my data back on April 11th. I chose off-peak business pricing option as it saved me some money and I didn't need the data back right away. I'd recommend Secure Data Recovery to anyone needing data recovery.

    Authenticated Port Jefferson Station, NY
  • Awesome Sauce.

    5.0
    Reviewed on Jan 24 2017

    Working with Alec was great. I had five years of memories that I thought was a total loss from my broken hard drive, but they were able to retrieve my information when everyone else told me that it was a loss. He answered all of my questions (via phone and email), even when I felt like I was asking too many. He helped me trouble shoot what I thought was wrong, and what to do in the future, and assured me about what was going to be done. I received back all of my information, and I could not be happier! Thank you Alec, and thank you techs from the Secure data recovery team!

    Authenticated Sault Sainte Marie, MI
  • Excellent job! Definitely recommend this service!

    5.0
    Reviewed on Jan 22 2017

    I foolishly waited too long to back up the photos I had taken at the beginning of my first ever Antarctica trip and--wouldn't you know it--my drive making a weird noise and I could no longer access any of my data. After reading numerous positive reviews of Secure Data Recovery, many of them enthusing about Alec, I decided to try their service, choosing it over many other options. I was delighted to find that Alec was my main contact. He was responsive and effective in working with me. The result: all my lost data was recovered! I'm delighted and will certainly recommend Secure Data and Alec to any of my friends, family or colleagues who have the misfortune of losing data like I did. Thanks, Alec!!

    Authenticated Scotts Valley, CA
  • Alec Rocks!

    5.0
    Reviewed on Jan 20 2017

    I ended up not having to use Secure Data Recovery since my hard drive eventually was able to start up and I was able to transfer my data, however I was REALLY impressed with the stellar customer service Alec provided. He was quick to respond to my first inquiry and kept in contact to make sure my hard drive needs were met. I may not have needed to use the services this time (whew!), however you made me a customer in the future! I will highly recommend your company to others.

    Authenticated Volcano, CA
  • I need more stars!

    5.0
    Reviewed on Jan 9 2017

    Alec did an absolutely amazing job with my case, was very understanding of my problems and financial situation and was so easy to work with. Really couldn't be any happier!!

    Authenticated Windsor, NY
  • Alec did great

    5.0
    Reviewed on Dec 24 2016

    Alec helped me throughout the process and was always very prompt, knowledgeable and courteous.

    Authenticated Berkeley, CA
  • Thoroughly positive experience with full recovery

    5.0
    Reviewed on Nov 1 2016

    I'm not sure I recall a more favorable customer service experience than was provided by Alec Sakenes as helped us through the data recovery process. His assistance was thoroughly positive and professional. Great work from start to finish.

    Authenticated East Aurora, NY

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