It goes without saying, but dropping any electronic never gets you good results. This is especially true with external hard drives, also known as portable hard drives, and often leads to the external hard drive failing and requiring data recovery help in order to retrieve the valuable fil
es and data stored on it.
Identify The Problem
Today’s external hard drives are far more resilient to drops and knocks than old external hard drives were in the past, but it certainly does not mean that they are immune. Any drop or knock can cause a head crash in your external hard drive, which means the read/write head of the external hard drive came in contact with the platters.
Electrical surges, water damage, reformatting the external hard drive, and time can also lead to the external hard drive not working. It is important to identify what the root cause of the issue is so you can get an idea of what can be done moving forward to retrieve the files stored on your external hard drive.
Don’t Resort to Software
Because data recovery software only fixes problems that are related to logical issues with the external hard drive, you won’t be able to recover data on the external hard drive from software for physical issues. If your hard drive was dropped, software won’t help, but it also will not help for external hard drives that received water damage, or had an electrical surge. Software really only addresses issues with reformatting, but even then, resorting to software may make matters worse.
You should only run data recovery software on a hard drive if you are certain that it is meant for that type of hard drive. You run the risk of reformatting your hard drive, which will make recovering the data nearly impossible, even for a reputable data recovery professional. There are plenty of free downloadable data recovery software programs on the Internet, and you can do more harm than good when using some of them if you are not careful.
Don’t Try Do It Yourself Methods
It may not be easy, but you should avoid the temptation of tinkering around with the external hard drive after dropping it to see what the real problem is. Nearly every time someone tries an at home data recovery trick in an attempt to retrieve their data, they make it harder for a data recovery professional to recover the data from the hard drive. Methods like freezing, swapping the circuit board, and re-dropping the hard drive (yes people have “claimed” that it works) should not be tested on your own and will likely make it more difficult to recover data from the hard drive.
Never try opening the protective case that encloses your external hard drive! If professionals have to open up an external hard drive, they use cleanrooms to filter out any tiny particles in the air, as they can contaminate and damage the platters and components of an external hard drive.
What You Can Do
Don’t assume that the data cannot be recovered even in the most catastrophic events. Check all sources possible to see if you can locate any backup copies of the files that were stored on your external hard drive. Check media types like any laptops, disk drives, other external hard drives or hard drives that you own, and any cloud backup services you currently use or may have used in the past. Even if the files you locate are outdated or incomplete, they may be your best option moving forward.
If you need to retrieve the files stored on your dropped external hard drive, it is best to leave it up to a trained professional if you are serious about getting your data back. Data Recovery Group is trained at external hard drive recovery, and deals with all sorts of issues, including hard drives that underwent a physical issue like being dropped. Call or email us and we can walk you through your options for getting your valuable data back.