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Signs of External Hard Drive Failure
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External Hard Drive Symptoms of Failure

Identifying the symptoms of a hard drive failure can be difficult when the drive is in an external enclosure. Many computer users have trouble distinguishing between software issues and mechanical hard drive failures, particularly when using a relatively new external hard drive.

Signs of External Hard Drive Failure

Failure symptoms vary greatly, and to avoid accidental damage, you should turn off your external drive as soon as symptoms occur.

Common symptoms of external hard drive failure include:

  • Failure to Mount or Recognize
  • Excessively Loud Operation
  • Clicking, Whirring or Grinding Sounds
  • Disappearing Files or Folders
  • File Corruption Error Messages
  • Extremely Slow Drive Access Times

Secure Data Recovery Services offers external hard drive repair and data recovery through a network of offices across the United States. Our engineers have experience with all popular external hard drive models, and we can quickly diagnose failure symptoms to provide you with a data recovery price quote and turnaround estimate. Contact us today to schedule a free media evaluation.

Distinguishing External HDD Failures from Software Issues

In many cases, our clients are unsure whether they cannot access their external hard drives due to permanent mechanical failures or minor software problems. The safest course of action is to turn your external hard drive off and get a professional data recovery evaluation, but there are several simple non-invasive steps that you can take to verify that your data is completely inaccessible.

Try using your hard drive with a second computer that uses the same operating system as your primary PC. Connect the drive directly to the computer (not through a USB hub). Try using a new connection cable, making sure to choose a manufacturer-approved USB or FireWire product. If minor issues are preventing your drive from mounting, these steps should restore access to your data.

Steps to Take After an External Hard Disk Drive Failure

If you believe that your external hard drive is suffering from a mechanical, electrical failure or logical issue, you should immediately shut the drive down to avoid unintentional media damage. Do not turn the hard drive back on until you can speak with an experienced data recovery specialist.

Many computer users try to use data recovery software to restore missing files from external media. Unfortunately, commercial utilities cannot treat physical media issues or overwritten files. Running any type of software on a damaged external hard disk risks serious damage, as the read/write heads of the hard drive may be in direct content with the coated magnetic platters that store your data. When the drive attempts to boot, the heads will cause severe rotational damage.

Never run data recovery software on an external hard drive, particularly if you hear unusual operating noises or if you note any symptoms of a mechanical failure. Note any symptoms that preceded the failure and call Secure Data Recovery Services to set up a free media evaluation.

We offer free diagnostics to give you an easy way to analyze the cost and turnaround time of your case without any obligation to proceed with our professional services. After completing a brief evaluation, our certified customer service team will explain service options to help you choose an appropriate course of action. In addition to our standard service option, Secure Data Recovery Services offers 24/7/365 emergency recovery for all types of external hard drives.

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