There’s no question about how convenient external hard drives can be. Thanks to these devices, you can go anywhere armed with terabytes of data that you can easily share with several devices. Installing them is also a breeze. But sometimes, due to their seemingly amazing prowess, people seem to forget how fragile they are, thus making it essential to learn what’s involved in rescuing data from an external drive.
Unfortunately, only a few are familiar with the process of file recovery from these external hard drives. Some just downright panic, clueless about what to do and how to do it in the first place. But if you know how to recover data from your external hard drive, it saves you from the trouble of experiencing the worst. This helps you turn around what could have been a disastrous event.
How External Hard Drives Work
A wide range of sensitive parts make up an external hard drive. These components are responsible for recording data as a type of magnetic pattern that groups of magnetized metal grains form. The grains cover the circular patterns spinning at 7,200 rpm, which is the case for consumer drives.
Every platter has its designated reading head hovering a few nanometres above the surface of the platter. This head writes converting strings of bits on the disk with the use of the electrical current that is fed through the electromagnet.
A circuit board is attached to the lower part of the hard drive. This is where you can find the main controller chip and other electronic parts that are in charge of controlling how the headers operate.
Among these many electronic components is the tiny memory chip that keeps the firmware. It is permanent software that comes up with the essential instructions on the way the hard drive communicates with the rest of the computer hardware.
Now that you’ve got some idea of how external hard drives work, it’s time to familiarize yourself with the different methods for rescuing data from an external drive.
Try the CHKDSK Command
A utility known as CHKDSK can be found on every Windows computer. Its main purpose is to confirm the file system integrity of a certain volume and try to solve logical file system errors. Using the CHKDSK is surprisingly easy and simple despite its lack of a graphical user interface. Just follow the steps below:
- Go to the taskbar’s search box and type in “cmd.”
- Choose Run as administrator.
- Enter the command chkdsk X: /f and then press enter. Don’t forget to replace X with the specific letter designated to the HDD that you’re trying to fix.
- Give the CHKDSK enough time to finish.
Reinstall the Driver
Even professionals still commit mistakes, and software developers behind the creation of hard drive drivers are no exception. A corrupted or faulty driver can render your HDD inaccessible or unusable. The good news is that it will only take you several minutes to reinstall it.
- Go to the taskbar’s search bar and type “device manager.”
- Choose the option for Device Manager.
- Browse through the categories available and search for your external HDD. Most of the time, you can easily find this under the category of Portable Devices.
- Just right-click the SD card and choose Uninstall Device.
- Reboot your computer.
- Give the right driver enough time for its automatic reinstallation.
Take Advantage of Disk Utility’s First Aid Feature
While Mac users won’t be able to use CHKDSK for rescuing data from an external drive, they have an even better option: Disk Utility’s First Aid feature. Based on its name, the main function of this First Aid feature is to assess and repair storage devices that don’t work as they should.
Since its user interface is nice and easy to use, this is somewhat self-explanatory. However, here are the steps you should follow to perform this method:
- Proceed to Finder. Choose Application and select Utilities. Launch Disk Utility.
- From the list found on the left, choose the specific hard drive you like to repair.
- Click the button marked as First Aid.
- Verify that you like First Aid to assess the partition for errors.
Hire a Reliable Hard Drive Data Recovery Service
The only downside about rescuing data from an external hard drive is that sometimes, you can’t simply do it at home using DIY software for data recovery. There are instances, like in the case of hard drives with physical damage, when your best option is to look for a reliable data recovery service centre.
These service providers are made up of professionals who have long years of experience under their belt and use state-of-the-art equipment that allows them to perform the recovery on your behalf. While these data recovery centres are not made equal, they pretty much follow the same workflow, which involves the following steps:
- You place a work order.
- Pack your media properly and prepare it for shipping.
- Get a professional estimate.
- Agree with the price quote given.
- Wait for your data to be recovered and safely delivered to you on an external hard drive, a flash drive, or a DVD.
Unlike what most people seem to assume, rescuing data from an external drive with the help of a professional doesn’t come with hefty price tags. Many legitimate companies charge justly for the service, which means you don’t have to spend a lot of money only to get no results at all.
Use Hard Drive Data Recovery Software
The last but not the least option for rescuing data from an external hard drive is to use data recovery software, especially if the device is already logically damaged. Every software follows a specific way of recovering data from hard drives so it’s best to choose one that you’re most comfortable using.
The Bottom Line
These are just some of the methods for rescuing data from an external drive. Be sure to weigh all your options so you can recover your important data with confidence and fewer worries.