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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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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 (86)

Average Rating:

This service was rated 5.0 out of 5.0 based on 86 review(s)

  • Reviewed on Jan 9 2023  |  Mount Kisco, NY

    Data Recovery Review

    Over 20 years of my business were on my hard drive when it stopped working...but Da iel reassured me they could recpver it and sire enough they did. He was kibd, respectful and reliable. He put me at ease and followed up consistently to update me on the progress of my recovery.

  • Reviewed on Nov 8 2022  |  Nashville, TN

    Great Service

    Daniel was great! Always kept me up to date with everything. I did get majority of my lost data and very important files. Definitely recommend them.

  • Reviewed on Nov 7 2022  |  Sapulpa, OK

    Expeditious Recovery!

    Words of thanks cannot express how eternally grateful I am for Secure Data Recovery to retrieve all my precious date from my damaged external hard drive. Daniel Novak made the process extremely easy. He explained how the process works, how much (worth every penny to retrieve my precious data), how long it would take, and was in constant communication. If I had a question Daniel was quick to respond. I highly recommend Secure Data Recovery for your data recovery issues. I have uploaded all data retrieved to the Cloud as to avoid this incident in the future! Thank you Daniel and Secure Data Recovery team!

  • Reviewed on Oct 27 2022  |  New York, NY

    Grateful for a complete recovery of my hard drive

    Daniel Novak assisted me with my device and he was communicative every step of the way. I was thrilled that Secure Date Recovery was able to make a full recovery of my external hard drive.

  • Reviewed on Sep 11 2022  |  Fort Lauderdale, FL

    Recovering files

    Jake Gambatese was very professional and communicative in the process of recovering my files from my WD driver after i dropped it.

  • Reviewed on Jul 14 2022  |  Olando, FL

    Hard Drive Recovery

    Eric Dvorin was absolutely phenomenal in communicating the overall process of recovery and understanding the stipulations of my financial situation as well as the urgency of the situation in general. The turnaround time altogether was about 12 days and actually surprised me! I shipped off a 4TB drive with failed writing/reading heads and Secure Data managed to lose only 32 files, which was shocking to me. Eric did advise that I would lose a very small amount of data so I prepared myself for the worst, but I was very pleased with how much they were able to recover. Definitely recommend and will be sending my colleagues in the film industry to them based on Eric’s willingness to help and the quick turnaround time.

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