External Hard Drive Data Recovery

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External Hard Drive Data Recovery

Datlabs rescue data from ALL failed, faulty, clicking and damaged  External Hard Drives. Our  External Hard Drive Data Recovery Service is available throughout the UK . We have Offices and drop off locations in most major cities and for your convenience we provide a free courier collect in normal working hours from your home or place of work. Datlabs technicians are proficient in all operating systems and file system types i. e. Windows, Mac and Linux etc., We offer budget and emergency service options designed to meet most client needs and we are successful in recovering data from All makes and models of faulty and damaged external hard disk drives , Seagate, Lacie, Freecom, Western Digital, Samsung, Toshiba, Apple and all OEM’s.

External Hard Drive Failure

External hard disk drives are a convenient solution to bulk data storage or archiving. They are used for home, business and work and a mixture of all three. Storing data on an external hard drive can help you manage your affairs more efficiently and keep your music, photos and important documents all in one place. Having an external hard disk drive therefore makes your documents, files, folders, pics and movies etc., easily transportable and available to other computers. Current products are light and small and available in capacity ranges of one terabyte and above,  so they store a lot of information. This transportability however renders them susceptible to accidental damage, such as being dropped, knocked, suffer from liquid spillage or other forms of natural disaster. External hard drives are not designed for the “rough and tumble” of everyday life and really ought to display a hazard notice. Unfortunately a playful bump from your friendly dog or boisterous youngster can easily result in the catastrophic loss of vital files and folders.

Over 80 % of the external hard disk drives we deal with have been knocked, dropped or received a jolt in someway.  A common report is that the customer has snagged or tripped over the trailing connector leads and consequently dragged the disk drive off a work surface.  The reports do as you might imagine range from the tragic to the amusing, however in the vast majority of cases end result is damage to the hard disk drive read-write head assembly.

External Hard Drive Faults

Common external hard disk faults present as; Not recognised by the BIOS, Clicking or grinding noises, Red or no lights on the enclosure,  or a combination of all three. These symptoms generally indicate that the hard disk drive within the enclosure is no longer accessible and is faulty. A clicking sound indicates that the hard disk drive being addressed over the USB interface has faulty read write heads or has corrupt firmware.  Over 80% of all faulty external hard drives received by Datlabs have faulty read write heads that need replacement by our technicians in order to read the data stored on the disk drive platter surfaces.

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Typical Hard Drive Fault Symptoms:

Here is a list of the more typical fault types and symptoms that are diagnosed and rectified by our technicians.

External Hard Drive Not Recognized

“Hard Drive Not Recognised” is a common enough symptom; if the hard disk drive from boot up is completely quiet and does not spin, this is usually a consequence of a damaged USB connector or cable , a power problem with the external hard drive circuit board. (the circuit board being an integral part of the connector.)

External Hard Disk Drive Clicking Sound.

Clicking sounds from your external hard disk drive indicate a failure of the read/write heads internal to the hard disk drive corrupt firmware or a combination of the two. In the majority of cases substituting the failed read write head assembly with a matching component will re-establish functionality sufficient to retrieve your data and transfer it to a new device. There are a small percentage of cases where the failed read/write heads have physically damaged the magnetic recording media meaning a complete recovery of your data will not be possible. With the increasing use of platter lubricants in newer devices however these incidents are now a rare occurrence.

External Hard Drive Bad Sectors

Performing a successful recovery of data stored on the hard disk platter surfaces is dependent upon the extent of the physical damage to the magnetic patterns that constitute stored data on the surface of the hard disk platter storage media. If magnetic information is corrupt or overwritten then these data storage areas will be unrecoverable. However when the hard disk drive finds a read/write/verification error it marks that sector as ; to be “re-located” . The drive then transfers this data to a reserved area. This process is known as remapping and re-located sectors are called “remaps”. The ID value shown in S.M.A.R.T represents a count of bad sectors that have been found and remapped. The re-map allows a drive with bad sectors to continue operation. A hard disk drive accumulating re-locations is at risk of imminent failure. As the number of re-located sectors increases, the read/write access times tend to deteriorate as the hard drive is forced to seek to the reserved area whenever a remapped sector is accessed. Clicking External Hard Disks Drives invariable exhibit high bad sector counts. Transferring data from media with bad sectors is unfortunately time consuming and will extend recovery timescales.

Hard Disk Drive Utilities

If you have an external hard disk drive that’s been dropped or knocked we therefore advise that you do attempt to run a repair utility on the drive (such as Scandisk / Chkdsk / Norton etc). These utilities will if the external hard disk drive is accessible stress the read/write heads or potentially cause further unwanted and irreparable damage to the storage media.

Mac External Hard Drive

Datlabs services include Data Recovery from Apple Mac External Hard Drive data storage units, A table of which is shown below.

Apple’s sleek machine design and propensity to use primary solid state hard drives means that as a unit they have an intrinsic data storage capacity constraint. A capacity that most users exceed and consequently use additional storage capacity in the form of external hard disk drives connected via USB, FireWire, or Thunderbolt to store their files and folders. If you are relying on an external hard disk drive as your destination for important data then it is vitally important that you take steps to protect the device and the files and folders you store on them.

  • My Passport
    Apple USB Super Drive
    My Book
  • Airport Time Capsule
    G Drive
    Lacie Porsche Design
  • Lacie
    Thunderbolt

    G Technology

External Hard Drive Media Management

When committing to use an external hard disk drive the first thing we recommend is that you test the device using the bundled drive test utility typically WD Drive Utilities, Seagate Dashboard and determine that the media is healthy.

Disk Test Utilities

Before you use the hard drive select the drive in Disk Utility, click Erase, click Security Options, and then move the slider at least one step to the right, Disk Utility will write zeros over the entire disk. Should one of those writes fail due to a bad sector, Disk Utility will map out that sector so it won’t be used. The same remapping should happen in regular use, but by doing it at the outset you can identify a drive that has a poor recording media profile and will ensure that you start with a clean bill of health. DO NOT REPEAT ONCE YOU HAVE USED THE DRIVE.

Manage Operational Ambient Temperature

The likelihood of hard drive failure increases with temperature gradient, make sure your hard drive has good airflow to aid in cooling.

Encrypt Your Data

With an external drive connected to you Apple Mac if you don’t want others to access your stuff then use encryption. Before you Encrypt a drive however,  make sure you have a backup first ! One of the features of Mac OS X is full disk encryption, called FileVault 2. To encrypt a drive, control-click it in the Finder and choose Encrypt drive name. Continue to use normally once encrypted.

Back Your Data Up Remotely<.span>

A Backup of your external drives is highly recommended,  either in the cloud or in a keep safe location.  If your local external hard drive is lost, stolen or damaged then your data will still be available from another source.

Scheduled Monitoring and Replacement

It is well to note that all hard drives are subject to wear , whether its of the spinning disk variety  or  Solid State Device (SSD).  Hard drives need  regular monitoring and maintenance and replaced with new recording media on a schedule.

Click here for more information about Apple Mac Data Recovery

External Hard Drive Media Management

When committing to use an external hard disk drive the first thing we recommend is that you test the device using the bundled drive test utility typically WD Drive Utilities, Seagate Dashboard and determine that the media is healthy.

Disk Test Utilities

Before you use the hard drive select the drive in Disk Utility, click Erase, click Security Options, and then move the slider at least one step to the right, Disk Utility will write zeros over the entire disk. Should one of those writes fail due to a bad sector, Disk Utility will map out that sector so it won’t be used. The same remapping should happen in regular use, but by doing it at the outset you can identify a drive that has a poor recording media profile and will ensure that you start with a clean bill of health. DO NOT REPEAT ONCE YOU HAVE USED THE DRIVE.

Manage Operational Ambient Temperature

The likelihood of hard drive failure increases with temperature gradient, make sure your hard drive has good airflow to aid in cooling.

Encrypt Your Data

With an external drive connected to you Apple Mac if you don’t want others to access your stuff then use encryption. Before you Encrypt a drive however,  make sure you have a backup first ! One of the features of Mac OS X is full disk encryption, called FileVault2. To encrypt a drive, control-click it in the Finder and choose Encrypt drive name. Continue to use normally once encrypted.

Back Your Data Up Remotely

A Backup of your external drives is highly recommended,  either in the cloud or in a keep safe location.  If your local external hard drive is lost, stolen or damaged then your data will still be available from another source.

Scheduled Monitoring and Replacement

It is well to heed the fact that all hard drives are subject to wear whether spinning disk or SSD, and need to be the subject of regular maintenance and replaced with new recording media on a schedule.

Click here for more information about Apple Mac Data Recovery