How to Fix External Hard Drive Problems

One of the most intriguing things about the data recovery industry in general is the fact that there are always websites out there that are offering some kind of quick fix. Recently, we have come across a lot of sites that claim to tell you how to fix external hard drive failures.

Dangerous Information Is Everywhere

Naturally, we do not want to target anyone specifically when we say that typically a lot of this information is not only incorrect, but very dangerous, particularly in cases where the data that needs to be recovered from an external hard drive is very critical. We have seen a lot of cases where businesses trust their data to shoddy data recovery software providers or computer repair stores that really have very little idea about providing professional data recovery, and we can tell you that these stories always end badly. We often end up picking up the pieces in situations like this, and although we are always happy to help, a drive that has been damaged by a non-professional can often be very expensive to recover.

Why Take The Risk?

Many of our business clients are the types of people that do not like to take unnecessary risks. But at the same time, many of these managers are also people who are self-starters and like to do as much as they can to solve a problem. So of course, when they need to repair external hard drive issues, it only makes sense that they would try to do as much as they can to find a solution for free on the Internet.

But, you need to understand that in order to repair external hard drive problems that are physical in nature, there is very little that a layman can do. This is because the process of damaged hard drive recovery is exactly the same whether you are talking about a laptop drive, on external hard drive, or even a full on raid array. Each hard drive must be not only removed from its enclosure, whatever that may be, but it also must be repaired in clean room conditions.

But, if you want to know how to fix external hard drive issues, the best thing to do is to call a professional data recovery technician, such as the ones at Hard Drive Recovery Group. We offer a variety of free technical support services to not only businesses, but regular consumers and continue to offer it seven days a week. We can typically at least give you some kind of idea of what your external hard drive issue is and if it is fixable using data recovery software, or in the case of a damaged hard drive, must be sent to a lab for external hard drive recovery.

Repair External Hard Drives Safely

One of the things that we always recommend to any customer that calls us is to resist using any kind of hard drive utility or untested data recovery software. Just because you find a website on the Internet that claims to offer superior external hard drive recovery results, does not mean that it is always true. Remember that many of these data recovery software providers do not actually offer any kind of guarantee, so if the software they offer does not repair external hard drive issues, you may not be able to get a refund.

What’s more, these products can actually damage your hard drive and the data contained within significantly. What this means is that the cost of your damaged hard drive recovery can increase markedly. Remember that it is always safer in cases of hard drive failure to do nothing than it is to attempt to recover your own files with sketchy products.

Contact us here for help.

As an additional warning against trying to recovery external hard drives on your own, check this video from Youtube about a guy who blew his own hard drive up. This happens a lot more than you would think.

Portable Hard Drive Recovery?

One of by far the most popular services offered by Hard Drive Recovery Group is of course portable hard drive recovery. There a number of reasons for this, but considering the popularity of portable storage and external hard drives nowadays, this is not altogether surprising.

And, because of the fact that external hard drives are quite inexpensive and are now available to the regular user (as opposed to a few short years ago when portable hard drives were actually very expensive and typically tended to be used by businesses only), they are used more commonly than ever. In fact, even at our shop we use a variety of external and portable hard drives in order to back up our own data. They can be a very robust solution and you certainly cannot beat the price per gigabyte.

External Hard Drive Problems

But, the issues with external hard drives are clear. Unfortunately, the portability of an external hard drive means that it is liable to be damaged in a number of situations; at least when compared to a common internal hard drive. As a result, many of our portable hard drive recovery jobs come from people who have dropped the drive, and are looking for a way to fix their external hard drive problems.Portable hard drive recovery issues

These issues are often made worse by the fact that many users that complain that their hard drive crashed were using these hard drives to back up critical files. Even worse are the scenarios where people were using these hard drives in order to keep sole copies of important files. As a result, for many people, portable hard drive recovery is an absolute must.

Portable Hard Drive Recovery Image Problems

One of the biggest issues for people looking to fix external hard drive problems has to be price. Because of the fact that many people purchase their portable hard drives for under $100, they often expect that portable hard drive recovery will be equally cheap. Unfortunately, what you have to recognize when you have a crashed portable hard drive is that the cost for recovering these drives is very equivalent to that of recovering an internal hard drive.

So even though the actual hard disk drive may have been very cheap and on sale at an electronics manufacturers such as Best Buy, it still takes the same amount of professional data recovery time in order to fix external hard drive problems and recover your data safely.

Don’t Fear Recovery

Naturally, we do not want to scare away people who have been in a situation in which their hard drive crashed, because not all portable drive data recovery jobs are expensive. In fact, when there is not an actual physical problem with the drive, we can often perform what is known as remote data recovery in order to restore all of the drive’s files immediately.

The best bet is always to speak with a professional data recovery technician. If you have specific important files that you need to recover, call us for a quote and we may be able to discuss the possibility of only recovering certain files, depending on the problem.

You also may want to click here for additional thoughts on external hard drive recovery.

Contact us here.

Memory Card Recovery Services

Almost all modern digital cameras use portable storage devices called memory cards. They can store gigabytes worth of digital images. Unfortunately, it is easy to delete stored data from these memory cards. If you accidentally select a delete-all function (which happens to all of us, at least once), your vacation photos, family memories and all the great moments you have stored on your camera can be erased. Unfоrtunаtеlу, іt іs easy tо delete stored data frоm thеsе cards.  But it is not necessarily permanent, at least with the right professional hard drive recovery.Memory card recovery

This іs thе reason whу уоu nееd tо knоw hоw tо recover memory cards. Recovering deleted digital data іs not only роssіblе, but a very popular service. Тhаt іs bесаusе cards will nоt іmmеdіаtеlу permanently wipe clean thе deleted files. Тhе digital files аrе stіll thеrе. Тhеу wеrе simply marked аs deleted by the file system whісh mеаns thаt thе рrеvіоuslу occupied space оn thе card саn nоw bе replaced bу а nеw photo file. Тhеrеfоrе, we always recommend our customers stор usіng thе camera аnу furthеr аnd dоn’t tаkе аnу nеw pictures to ensure оld pictures are not overwritten permanently.

The key іs tо usе thе rіght software tо recover deleted photos frоm data card automatically. There are a number of products on the Internet, but unfortunately many of them are rather sketchy and offer no refunds if they do not function.  This is why it is always better to consider a professional shop like Hard Drive Recovery Group – with us, your files and pictures are recovered, or we simply do not charge.

What То Dо То Recover Memory Card Photos

The fіrst thing уоu nееd tо dо іs tо power down уоur digital camera. Yоu must refrain frоm usіng іt tо prevent nеw files frоm overwriting thе deleted photos. Іt is best іf уоu саn remove thе memory card frоm thе camera tо mаkе surе thаt уоu will nоt accidentally usе it.

The nехt step іs tо recover thе deleted photos usіng а data recovery software provided and recommended by an established data recovery service. Тhіs іs easy bесаusе аll you won’t have to concern yourself about heavily researching a reliable software thаt саn undelete photos frоm memory card automatically.

Recovering Deleted Photos: Тhе Actual Steps

You dо nоt hаvе tо bе а computer geek tо recover memory card photos erased photos. Аs long аs уоu hаvе thе rіght software, уоu саn typically perform thе photo recovery operation wіthоut assistance.

The fіrst step іs tо download thе photo recovery software frоm а trusted source. Install thіs software іn уоur computer sо уоu саn begin thе recovery procedure. Тhе installation оf photo recovery software іs easy. Јust follow thе wizard instructions аnd thе software will install itself.

Then уоu hаvе tо gеt thе аffесtеd memory card аnd insert іt іn thе card reader оf уоur computer. Іf уоu dо nоt hаvе а card reader, уоu mау reinsert thе memory card іn your digital camera. Plug thе digital camera intо уоur computer usіng thе USB cable. Оnсе уоur computer has recognized thе memory card, thе photo recovery process саn nоw begin.

The software саn dо іts job wіth minimal intervention frоm уоu. Simply follow thе instructions аnd allow thе software tо recover deleted photos frоm memory card automatically. Wіthіn а fеw minutes, уоur deleted photos саn bе restored tо уоur computer.

Accidentally deleting photos frоm memory card саn happen to anyone. But, yоu саn lose thеsе photos forever іf уоu will nоt recover thеm quісklу. Gеt thе rіght іnfоrmаtіоn nоw tо learn hоw tо Recover Deleted Photos frоm memory card wіth thе help оf a reliable provider like Hard Drive Recovery Group. Contact us here.

Hard Drive Clicking? What Not To Do.

When it comes to a clicking hard drive, the web seems to be pretty chock full of “things to do when your hard drive is clicking.” Unfortunately, 98% of the stuff that is out there is either a myth, or simply dangerous to your hard drive (but most importantly, the data contained within!).

hard drive clicking

Ok, so if you can see the inside of your hard drive like this, you're doing something wrong.

So, we figured we’d instead create a Top 3 list of things NOT to do when you hear your hard drive clicking, because clearly there is no shortage of “To-Do” advice. Most of this advice is very unfortunate, however, because in some cases it can take what would have been a perfectly recoverable hard drive and make it absolutely worthless. No more pictures, no more emails, no more files. Gone. You do not want to be in that kind of situation, where your drive is dead and hard drive recovery is NOT possible, but believe us, it happens more often than we would like. It happens a lot, in fact, to people who:

1. Attempt To Fix Hard Drive Problems On Their Own

Hey! That guy on Youtube looks pretty cool as he pulls out a screwdriver and opens his hard drive case right in front of you, right? Well, although he may be cool, he’s likely also an idiot. There is a reason why clean room data recovery exists, believe us, and that is because hard drives are ultra-sensitive to contamination of any kind. That means dust. That means moisture. That means microscopic particles in the air. They are all around you, believe us. So when someone tells you that by simply swapping out a circuit board or removing a head mechanism from a similar drive is going to help, STOP! Put the tools down for the sake of your data. It’ll save you time and tons of money.

2. The Hard Drive Freezer Trick?

Does this work for dead hard drive recovery? Uh, sometimes… But this is really something we like to call “lottery ticket data recovery”, and is certainly not the be all and end all when it comes to how to fix a hard drive failure. The problem with the Freezer trick, of course, is that the condensation created within the hard drive during the melting process is extremely dangerous to the data on the disk. Basically, water kills anything electronic, and if you freeze the air surrounding a typical spindle and platter system, you’re going to get a lot of it. If you do this, you are likely to find yourself with an unrecoverable drive. So don’t!

 3. Continue Working

Yep, this is from the “if I don’t do anything, that noise will go away”-school of thinking. And while this may work for your 1978 Datsun, let’s just say your hard drive is a little more complicated. So as soon as you hear your hard drive clicking, turn that computer off! An important thing to understand is that the quicker you power down your drive, the easier the data recovery is going to be. This is because typically the sound you’re hearing is a misaligned drive head, and each click may be the head crashing into the platter. So to sum up, act quickly, and your hard drive repair will be cheaper, more complete, and just better!

Oddly enough, when it comes to a hard drive crash that has been the result of a clicking hard drive, inaction is often the best policy. That means taking your tools you were planning to use for this “dead hard drive recovery” and throwing them aside. That may mean turning your computer off even when your first inclination is to use whatever fix you can find in Google. Now, take a deep breath. If you have had a failed hard drive, you are going to need some professional data recovery help.

Feel free to contact us here.

Remote Data Recovery

What many business owners do not think about when they have a server failure or catastrophic hard drive crash is that it is not always necessary for them to immediately package up the hard drive and send it to a professional provider such as Hard Drive Recovery Group. It is not always necessary to prepare your hard drive for shipment immediately, especially with more complex machines such as raid arrays or NAS or SAN systems. Instead, many business owners turn to us for something known well in the industry as remote data recovery.

About Remote Data Recovery

Typical server bank in the midst of a remote data recovery job.

RAID servers are perfectly built for remote data recovery services.

Remote data recovery is exactly what it might suggest: professional data recovery services completed from a location that is remote to yours. This means that no matter where you live, or where your business is located worldwide, as long as you have an Internet connection, we may be able to provide you with professional remote data recovery services.

In a lot of cases where a business owner or IT professional may have something like a mis-configured file system or partition table problems, we can offer immediate help via a simple network connection. This saves not only the business owner a lot of time and potential productivity loss, but also enables us to perform the data recovery service safely, and faster than if the hard drive had been removed from the machine in order to be shipped for data recovery.

Major Cost Benefits

Of course, convenience is not the only advantage of remote data recovery: because the overall time taken by our data recovery technicians is much shorter in remote recovery situations, our recovery fee is also much lower. In fact, we offer some of the lowest remote recovery pricing in the industry. And, if you have a competitive quote for a similar service, we will beat it by 10%, guaranteed. All you need to do is forward us the e-mail quotes, and we will immediately beat that price – no questions asked.

Perfect For Enterprise Software And RAID Array Problems

Although remote data recovery is often perfect for situations where a single hard drive has failed within a raid array, it is not a common procedure for many consumer hard disk drive problems. In fact, if you are actually experiencing a physical hard drive failure, there is very little we can do remotely. In fact, whenever you have an actual mechanical problem with your hard disk or server, it is more likely that you are going to have to call us about a flat rate hard drive repair that can be performed in our class 100 clean room.

Additionally, this particular form of data recovery is not appropriate for major physical problems caused by natural disaster such as flooding or fire. In fact, this particular service really only represents about 10% of our business hard drive recovery cases. But, it is an option that is available when it is possible, and comes part and parcel with our 24 hour free support for businesses.

We understand how to important critical systems are to your business, and also are quite aware of the productivity losses that may come from a major system failure. This is why we consider all of our business remote data recovery jobs to be priority one and work to solve your hard disk drive issues immediately. This is just one of the differences that Hard Drive Recovery Group technicians provide our clients.

Call us toll-free at the number above or click here in order to request a remote data recovery assessment right away.

IOSafe SSD – Hard Drive Recovery Unnecessary?

the IOSafe SSD

IOSafe: making hard drive recovery obsolete?

As we have mentioned on occasion before, we simply love those IOSafe drives. A great idea, seems to be executed extremely well, and comes with the kind of price that doesn’t scream as “premium” as it would have a mere five years ago. Yes, the consolidation of the hard drive industry has been fantastic for users, and those prices aren’t going up anytime soon. IOSafe, though, seems to be in a class of its own as far as hard disk protection.

So, it appears the company is moving forward with this, its first SSD drive.  It’s certainly not for the thin of wallet, to be sure, but it’s nice to see them taking their hard disk safety technology forward with this $499 beauty. Plus, it’s one of the fastest hard drives PC Mag has ever tested, due in part to its USB 3.0 interface.

Now, we’re really not the kind of techie to recommend SSD drives to users – we still consider the technology too new and expensive, and risky, frankly, – but this one has it’s own insurance policy. And by that we mean literally – IOSafe will give you up to $5000 dollars for data recovery if it becomes necessary within the first couple years. Now, of course you won’t need close to that if you send in your drive to Hard Drive Recovery Group (nice plug!), but it does circumvent a lot of the fears that come with adopting a straight SSD hard disk.

Keep it up, IOSafe!

No Nonsense Hard Drive Facts

A Seagate Hard Drive

A Seagate Hard Drive - more advanced than the space shuttle?

It really was about time. If you know the hard disk drive industry at all, you know that they have some marketing people that love to try to make a metal box look like a Corvette. This is hard drive technology, after all, which is frankly, quite amazingly dull. A lot of business owners like it that way. It’s a sturdy technology that lets you put a lot of information into a small space. Saves paper, too. Although if you were talking to a marketer, he’d tell you it was more exciting than the moon landing!

This article on hdd specifications from PC World is a great no-nonsense look at specs, and what to look for. Someone needed to say it, and I’m glad that PC World did. Take it from us: there are really only so many things that matter when it comes to hard drive storage. In essence (with perhaps the exception of SSD drives and hybrids), this is very much the same technology that has been around for 20+ years.

On the other hand, PC World still is PC World, and of course their plug of USB 3.0 drives is funny only because they RECOMMEND them as a performance boost. My friends, we can tell you that unless you’re a robot, you’re not going to “sense” the milliseconds of time savings you will get from USB 3.0. But, let’s remember that this is a magazine that survives by its advertisers, and making them happy first (after the reader, of course) is always going to be the plan.

Hard Drive Crash-Proof?

This drive is indestructible (according to the manufacturer!).

More great hard drive technology from IOSafe coming down the pipe. The 3TB “Everythingproof” hard disk drive touts itself as not only crash and failure proof, but fire and waterproof! This is one of those drives that you could take a blowtorch to and to cool it off, throw it in icy water. A “Mythbusters”-style piece of hardware, from a really innovative company.

Yep, can’t say enough about the technology at IOSafe (it isn’t good for our business, mind you ;)), but knowing the business of hard drive repair and recovery quite well, we would note that price, especially when it comes to storage media and hardware, is pretty much priority one when it comes to regular users. Business users can sometimes be different, but (much to their dismay when an inevitable hard drive failure occurs), more than often are also a little “by the seat of their pants” when it comes to data safety.

At $499, this is probably priced way above most personal users wallets, and is still not a “must have” for Enterprise users (which really should have a professional, consistent backup plan in place, one would think). But great technology, and despite only having 1 year of free data recovery service included (here’s where the $99 upgrade to 5 years protection comes in), a real improvement in the world of safe data storage.

Mac Hard Drive Recovery Just Got Harder…

IMac

The ever uncrackable IMac. Now more proprietary than you'd like.

Well, color us surprised, but then, not really. Apple is up to its old tricks again, this time making it harder than ever to perform Mac hard drive recovery. Or removal. Or replacement, for that matter…

Yes, according to a note on Engadget today, the new IMac actually has a “specialized” proprietary SATA cable for its hard disk, on which features a seven prong setup as opposed to the usual four prong. This  means that if you were really techie about it (and you have to be on an IMac anyway, as removing a drive is nowhere near an easy task for the layman) and you wanted to put a new hard drive in your system, you’d be completely out of luck.

This is unless, of course, you bought a drive specifically from Apple. We’ won’t bet against the idea that this will likely be an expensive option when compared to picking up a discount drive at your local retailer. Some might call this a “war against the customer”, while others would call it “protecting Apple technology”. Whatever the case, IMac buyers may be getting a little more than they bargained for when they experience a hard drive failure. Users beware!

OSFClone – Open Source Cloning For The Masses?

Interesting tool we just came across in the blogs. OSFClone touts itself to be a free drive cloning program (which is what companies that practice “safe hard drive recovery” use), which enables you to “see-all” that is on a drive. Basically, it looks to clone a raw image from your drive so that you can analyze it. It also boots itself, which of course lets you skip your OS and get straight to the nitty-gritty.

So probably not a program for “everybody”, frankly, but at least for those of us with geekier intentions. Worth a look, and a disk imaging program for FREE is certainly nothing to complain about. Especially if it works ;)

SSD – Worth The Hassle?

Another SSD drive

SSD... even the experts can't recommend 'em!

Very interesting article from a storage expert at Information Week, where you might expect him to be talking his own book (or basically, pushing new technologies on companies), but he actually seems to go the opposite way.

Read Getting Real About SSD Performance and check it out for yourself.

As a hard drive recovery provider, talking our book (i.e. generating sales and jobs for our company) would mean jumping for joy at SSD, as its overall stability has been weak at best, and has already provided us with more data recovery requests than we might have thought. But, we continue to warn corporate IT managers AGAINST the technology, as its high expense, particularly at this relatively nascent time for it, far outweighs the benefits.

The “tried and true” platter system will have to suffice for now for all but the most risk-oriented IT people. But then, most IT people we know prefer “tried and true” to “rolling the dice” when it comes to their critical data!

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Consolidation Reigns In The Hard Drive Industry

Recessions bring about these kind of things. The bigger, healthier storage companies end up gobbling up the smaller ones. Such is the case with Western Digital buying Hitachi, and this will continue. As the industry moves to SSD, some of the older platter-based foundries essentially become obsolete, leaving a lot of cap-ex on the balance sheets for these manufacturers. Western Digital's getting bigger!

Not a surprise to see this happen, as Hitachi is a huge company, and their storage unit merely a small piece of the pie. Western Digital has gotten better at what they do as well, as we see a lot less of them coming through for hard drive recovery than we had just a couple of years ago.

Not a lot of players left in the industry, but that, too, could change. SSD has leveled the playing field once again.

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A “Promise” Of Faster RAID Technology

Intel’s Thunderbolt has quietly crept on the storage scene, promising transfers from external sources at up to 10Gb/sec. Fast transfer, to be sure. Meanwhile, Promise, one of the most respected RAID manufacturers has introduced their Pegasus RAID solution.

Claiming 20x the throughput speed of USB 2.0, this one could indeed be a smoker for administrators looking for a hot network attached storage solution. Good stuff, we say.

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Erasing Your SSD Drive. Or Not…

SSD drives continue to be the “future promise” that the hard drive manufacturers are touting. But the disadvantages are beginning to add up. So says the fine folks at UC San Diego, who tested several drives with the classic drive erasing techniques that work very well with platter based drives, and discovered that some of the data was still recoverable. In fact, with some erasing algorithms, ALL of the data was still present.

The SSD drives are touted as the future of laptop hard drives, and yet the inability to erase them is a pretty serious security breach. While we don’t want to “put the hate on” new hard drive technologies by any means, it’s clear this is a huge issue for businesses and in particular, military and government. How to address it is really where the question lies.

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