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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).

External Hard Drive Data Recovery Services

External hard drives contain a standard hard drive and a dedicated USB interface.

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.

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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: 18 Review(s)

This service was rated 5.0 out of 5.0 based on 18 review(s)

  • 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
  • Fantastic service + great results

    5.0
    Reviewed on Aug 3 2016

    Working with Alec has been a pleasure. Super fast responses, helpful information, and great follow-up. Secure Data Recovery was able to recover 99% of my data with rapid turn around time. Couldn't be happier with my experience and results.

    Authenticated Pulaski, TN
  • Only 5 Stars?

    5.0
    Reviewed on Jul 28 2016

    I feel like such an idiot! I failed to back-up my important data and my hard drive took a "dirt nap". I contacted Secure Data Recovery and they got back ALL my important files. Alec Sakeness was my contact person and stayed in touch with me throughout the entire process! It was amazingly fast and painless. The price was extremely fair and I didn't feel like they took advantage of my bad situation. I hope to never need your services again, and I'll refer you to any friends or family that need this service.
    Thank You Alec!!

    Authenticated Carlsbad, CA
  • Couldn't be happier

    5.0
    Reviewed on May 5 2016

    Alec Sakenes did an exceptional job guiding me through the process of retrieving my files from a failed hard drive. He made the process go very smoothly and was a pleasure to work with. Alec was prompt in every response and thorough and clear with every explanation. I couldn't be more satisfied. Thanks Alec

    Authenticated Oxford, MS
  • Excellent Customer Service

    5.0
    Reviewed on Mar 15 2016

    Excellent customer service... Thank you Alec and staff for recovering 10 years of pictures and files! This company is professional and trustworthy. You have one happy customer right here!

    Authenticated Virginia Beach, VA
  • Secure Data Saved my Pictures

    5.0
    Reviewed on Dec 17 2015

    I recently had a computer fail. I thought now big deal, because I have a backup. Unfortunately, while transferring the files to the new computer the backup overheated and failed. I called around to several different data recovery services. Pricing was all over the map, but I choose to go ahead with Secure Data Recovery, because I liked that they looked at the drive before determining pricing. I also liked their policy of not having to pay until you review the data that they recover, then pay if you want that data returned to you. This is what made me decide to go with them. Rob Anderson was very informative and professional, explaining the process and answering all of my questions. They were able to recover almost all of my data from a Seagate hard drive. I had 10 years of digital memories that were returned to me. I would highly recommend their service.

    Authenticated Walled Lake, MI
  • Five star rating...all the way!

    5.0
    Reviewed on Dec 15 2015

    Lost my external H/D recently and unfortunately, no back up of files, memories, etc. Called up the fine folks at Secure Data Recovery for some help. Mitchell Moore was a rockstar. He was incredibly helpful with the entire process, providing excellent service, communication and worked with me on the most cost effective way to get my data recovered...which they did without exception! I would recommend Secure Data Recovery if you are ever in a data loss situation. Great job and THANK YOU!

    Authenticated Elgin, IL

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