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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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Total: 12 Review(s)

This service was rated 5.0 out of 5.0 based on 12 review(s)

  • Fantastic service + great results

    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?

    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

    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

    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

    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!

    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
  • History Restored

    Reviewed on Nov 16 2015

    While traveling for business, I had a portable HDD with nearly 10 years of data, research, records, and information that suddenly stopped working. Alec with Secure Data Recovery walked me through their process via phone and provided a general estimate. A few days later, I recieved notice that 99% of my data had been recovered after my drive was sent to their clean room. Alec had good and reasonable answers for me the entire way.

    Thank you SDR and Alec! 10 years of history would have been a lot of lost time!

    Authenticated Lees Summit, MO
  • One Happy Customer

    Reviewed on Oct 22 2015

    When my external hard drive crashed, I was devastated. All of my photographs, stories and poems I've written, family history documentation, and other files from all the computers I've had over the years were stored on this drive and were irreplaceable. I am very happy that I found Secure Data Recovery when I searched online, because they are very professional, trustworthy, efficient and fast. Rob Anderson was incredible, and I really liked being able to check on the progress of my data recovery online. It was wonderful to be able to see what had been recovered, and the fact that they were able to recover EVERYTHING is something I am eternally grateful for. I will be more careful with my data in the future, but what a relief to know that if something goes wrong again, I have a place to turn that I can trust. Thanks so much!!!

    Authenticated Great Meadows, NJ
  • Excellent Experience! Got all my data back

    Reviewed on Oct 7 2015

    Process went very smooth. Rob was able to work with me to get all my data back to me on a replacement drive! Would definitely recommend.

    Authenticated Los Angeles, CA
  • excellent services

    Reviewed on Aug 3 2015

    I worked with Mr. Rob Anderson directly. All the data were recovered, and the service was professional and excellent. Most importantly, they really take good care of customers. I am extremely pleased with this service.

    Authenticated Gainesville, FL
  • Got it ALL!

    Reviewed on Apr 8 2015

    Thanks to Alec and the staff at Secure Data Recovery for saving 1.2 TB of files. We usually back up all of our files, but I missed this one (ooops). I tried to retrieve the files with software myself, but the drive had mechanical issues. I'm really glad these guys do what they do!

    Authenticated Geneva, NY
  • Got it all

    Reviewed on Apr 1 2015

    Thanks Chris, you took my mistake and fixed it! total recovery of my computer hard drive. When I thought all was lost, one phone call got it done! Fast friendly service, kept me up to date on progress and was at the price quoted. I would highly recommend SECURE DATA RECOVERY to anyone with a computer problem. I would definitely recommend Chris, none better, Thanks again

    Authenticated Lubbock, TX

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