External Hard Drive Data Recovery

External Hard Drive Data Recovery

Dropped Clicking Buzzing Drives Recovered.

0800 008 6638

Prices Start @ £195 ex VAT Free Courier Collect Hard Disk and SSD Unrivaled Success Rates No Data No Recovery Fee

External Hard Drive  Data Recovery.

Datlabs are industry leading experts in recovering inaccessible data from faulty external hard drives  All makes and models of dropped, clicking , buzzing and damaged external hard disk drives successfully recovered. Seagate, Lacie, Freecom, Western Digital, Samsung, Toshiba, Apple and all OEM’s. Solid State SSD and Flash Memory specialists.

Your Data Successfully Recovered From :

  • WD My Passport
    WD My Passport Ultra
    WD My Cloud
    WD Elements
    Apple USB Super Drive
    Toshiba Canvio Basics

  • Mac G Drive
    Lacie Porsche Design
    Lacie Rugged
    Lacie Seagate
    G Technology
    Toshiba Canvio Advanced
  • Seagate Back-up
    Seagate Back-up Plus
    Seagate Expansion
    Seagate Back-up Slim
    Maxtor M3
    iStorage disk Ashur 2

External Hard Drive Door to Door Recovery Service.

  • Free Phone or  Call Back
  • Free  TelePhone Assistance.
  • You Get a Firm Quote
  • Free Courier Collect U Drop-In
  • We Receive  Your  Case.
  • Your External is  Diagnosed.
  • We send a Diag report + Costings
  • You agree or otherwise.
  • We Fix and Recover
  • Data is xferred and validated
  • U get File List to Check
  • U accept the file listing.
  • We Invoice U Pay
  • Your data is  shipped.
  • <14 days your data is deleted

In many cases we can re-purpose component parts from your faulty external hard drive. In such cases we offer a consideration for their retention  and re-use  and will permanently delete your stored data from its storage media.  Click the icon below or opposite for more details concerning how you can benefit from our data recovery equipment re-cycling scheme.

Datlabs Data Recovery Equipment Recycle Scheme

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 portability 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.  Despite manufacturers introducing  preventative technology solutions that militate against dropping your  hard drive  damage still occurs. For the technically minded  a description can be found in the Datlabs Data Recovery Articles Section.  Hard Drive Preventative Data Loss Technology.

Increasingly we are dealing with SSD variants of external hard drives. You can find more detailed information on how we recover data from faulty external solid state hard drives.

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Frequently Asked Questions

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External Hard Drive Faults

Common external hard disk faults present as:-

  • Not recognized by the OS.
  • Clicking or grinding noises.
  • Red or no lights on the enclosure.
  • 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.

Typical External 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 Recognised

Having plugged your external hard drive into a USB port and it is not picked up by the operating system this is a common fault . When the hard drive is completely quiet during “plug in”  and does not spin, this is usually a consequence of a damaged USB connector or cable or 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 of the external hard disk drive 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.

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

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.

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.

Datlabs Data Recovery Offices Near You. 

Datlabs Data Recovery  Offices are open 0800 – 1700 on week days.   Call our Customer Service Desk for an  appointment and a reference number before dropping in your faulty external hard drive. (we do not need your power or usb connector leads.) You will need to package your faulty hard drive  and consider insuring your device against loss. (follow this link for further information about packing and sending your external hard drive for data recovery.)  With Emergency cases we attend within hours and will work on your equipment until your data is recovered

Datlabs London
Data Recovery Office

68 Lombard Street.
Near Bank Station
City of London.
EC3V 9LJ.
T: 0207  293 0815

Datlabs Birmingham
Data Recovery Office
.

Grosvenor House,
11 St Pauls Square
Birmingham.
B3 1RB.
T: 0121 629 0437

Datlabs Chiswick
Data Recovery Office
.

Bldg 3. Chiswick Park
566 Chiswick High Road.
London.
W4 5YA.
T: 0207 111 0965

Datlabs Liverpool
Data Recovery Office
.

Horton House.
Exchange Flags.
Liverpool.
L2 3PF.
T: 0151 676 0000.

Datlabs Manchester
Data Recovery Office
.

The Pavilions.
Bridgehall  Drive.
Bury.
BL9 7NY.
T: 0161 452 3896.

Datlabs Leeds
Data Recovery Office
.

City West Business Park,
Gelderd Road.
Leeds.
LS12 6LN.
T: 0113 254 9742