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External Hard Drive Data Recovery

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

Call our 24/7 toll-free hot line to speak directly with a data recovery specialist. If you have a data loss emergency, click here for an overview of our emergency services.

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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

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

Clicking Heads
HGST 320 GB Hard Drive - Clicking Heads
  • Clicking Heads
    HGST 320 GB Hard Drive - Clicking Heads
  • Dead Heads
    HGST 320 GB Hard Drive - Dead Heads
  • Torn Heads
    Hitachi 1 TB Hard Drive - Torn Heads
  • Scratched
    Hitachi 2 TB Hard Drive - Scratch
  • Stuck Motor
    Seagate 500 GB Hard Drive

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 (63)

Average Rating:

This service was rated 5.0 out of 5.0 based on 63 review(s)

  • Reviewed on May 7 2021  |  Atchison, KS

    Very detail oriented

    Kim was very solicitous about making sure about what we needed and following up on my questions. Our laptop had "died". We had been able to load all text data through Microsoft, but were not able to find eight years of photos.

  • Reviewed on May 5 2021  |  North Hollywood, CA


    Kim was extremely helpful in keeping me up to date with my drive! Thank you so much

  • Reviewed on Apr 29 2021  |  ,


    Kim Nguyen,
    Was so helpful to me. Answered every call and email. Rushed things for and always had the answer. I had a serious loss of data and Secure Data Recovery help me get most of the data back. If it hadn''t been for Kim keep me up to date and in touch I think I would have panicked. Thank you Kim for all your help!!!!!!!!!

  • Reviewed on Apr 29 2021  |  Del Norte, CO

    Great Experience

    While this is not an inexpensive option (I’m not sure how exactly they recover the data) it has been totally worth it.

    Working with Kim, my assigned agent, provided me with peace of mind and I was kept up to date on all the steps / process.

    I am so grateful all was NOT lost. I would do it again if I had to.

  • Reviewed on Apr 26 2021  |  Bell gardens, CA

    Great Service from Jonathan

    I want to thank Jonathan Nguyen for his professionalism, patience and understanding. My hard drive was damaged and I needed to retrieve some important files. So I called Secure Data Recovery Services and Jonathan was the representative. He explained how the process works. I had a lot of questions (repeated some of them lol) and he answered all my questions making sure I understood. I called and emailed him and he always responded. I always felt comfortable working with Jonathan. At the end, I retrieved my files! Thank you Jonathan and thank you SDRS.

  • Reviewed on Apr 26 2021  |  Roanoke, TX

    Best recovery service I''ve ever dealt with!

    My company needed an emergency data extraction out of a failed hard drive and Secure Data was the only solution that worked after trying a few companies. They provided supreme timely service and Jonathan was able to take care of every need asked of us when the data was able to recovered. Highly recommend for anyone who is in need of recovery and speedy at that. In under a week I had everything needed from my crashed drive so it saved my company $1000s!

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