External hard drives are a convenient way to store large amounts of data, from family photos and important documents to music and movies. However, when they suddenly stop working, it can be a frustrating experience. In this blog post, our team will explore why an external hard drive may not work, some risk-free diagnostic methods to identify the problem, and data recovery options for external drives.
Reasons Why USB External Hard Drives not Working
- Physical Damage. External hard drives are prone to physical damage as they are often transported around. Dropping or banging the hard drive can cause mechanical issues that prevent it from working properly.
- Power Issues. If the external hard drive is not getting enough power, it may be unable to spin up or operate. This can happen if the USB cable is damaged, the power source is inadequate, or the USB port on the computer is faulty.
- File System Corruption. The file system organizes and manages the data stored on the hard drive. It can prevent the operating system from accessing the files and folders on the hard drive if it becomes corrupted.
- Bad Sectors. Bad sectors are areas on the hard drive that are damaged or corrupted. They can occur due to physical damage or other factors and can prevent the hard drive from reading or writing data in that area.
- Malware or Virus Infection. Malware or virus infection can cause damage to the hard drive and corrupt files, making them inaccessible.
Risk-Free Diagnostic Methods When External HDD not Working
Before attempting any data recovery methods, diagnosing the problem with your external hard drive is important. Here are some risk-free diagnostic techniques to identify the issue:
Check the Cables and Power Source
Check the USB cable for any signs of damage, such as fraying or breakage. Also, make sure the power source is adequate, and the USB port on your computer is working correctly.
Try a Different Computer
Connect the drive to a different Windows PC or iMac to see if it works. If it does, the problem may be with your computer rather than the hard drive.
Use Disk Utility
Disk Utility is a built-in tool on computers that can diagnose and fix the external drives. Connect the external hard drive to your PC and open Disk Utility. Select the external hard drive and click First Aid to scan for and repair errors.
CHKDSK is a command-line tool in Windows that can diagnose and repair issues with hard drives. Connect the external hard drive to your Windows computer, open Command Prompt, and type “chkdsk X: /f” (replace X with the drive letter of the external hard drive) and press Enter. This will scan and repair any errors on the hard drive.
What not to Do When the External Disk Drive is Not Working?
When your external disk drive stops working, it can be a frustrating experience. You may be tempted to try and fix the issue yourself or use recovery software to recover lost data. However, these steps can be risky and may cause further damage to your device.
Using Recovery Software
One of the first steps people take when encountering a problem with their external hard drives is to use recovery software. While recovery software can help recover lost or deleted files, it can also cause more harm than good.
Recovery software works by scanning the disk for data and attempting to retrieve any recoverable data. However, if the disk has physical damage, trying to use recovery software can cause further damage to the disk, making data recovery more difficult and sometimes impossible.
Additionally, some recovery software can be malware or spyware that can damage your computer and put your data at risk. If you choose to use recovery software, it is important to choose reputable and trustworthy software from a reliable source. Even then, recovery software should be used cautiously and only as a last resort.
Trying to Repair the Device Yourself
Another common mistake people make when their external hard drive stops working is attempting to repair the device themselves. This can be tempting, especially if you are familiar with technology and have some knowledge of how to fix things. However, attempting to repair the device yourself can cause more damage to the disk and make data recovery more difficult and sometimes impossible.
There are several components inside the external hard drive that can be damaged, including the read/write head, the platters, the motor, and the circuit board. Attempting to repair any of these components yourself can be risky and potentially worsen the problem.
If your external hard drive stops working, the best course of action is to power down the device and send it to professional data recovery services like PITS. Data recovery service providers have the expertise and equipment necessary to diagnose and repair a wide range of issues with external hard drives.
External Hard Disk Not Working - Data Recovery
Engineers at PITS Global Data Recovery Services have years of experience in data recovery and have developed specialized techniques to recover data from all types of storage media, including external hard drives.
Sending your device to a professional data recovery service like PITS also reduces the risk of further damage. We use state-of-the-art equipment to diagnose and repair issues with the hard drive. Our engineers will try every method to recover data that may be lost forever.
When you send your device to a professional data recovery service like PITS, you can have peace of mind knowing that your device is in the hands of experts. Our professionals have years of experience in data recovery and have developed specialized techniques to recover data from all types of storage media, including external hard drives. They have a deep understanding of the complex mechanics of hard drives and know how to handle them properly to prevent further damage.
Reasons to Choose Us if Your External Disc Drive is not Working:
The PITS team uses state-of-the-art equipment and technology to diagnose and repair issues with the storage media. We have access to equipment that is not available to the average person, which allows us to recover data that may be lost forever if you attempt to recover it yourself or use untrusted recovery software.
With our team of highly skilled and experienced professionals, we are able to handle all types of storage media, including hard drives, solid-state drives, RAID arrays, and more. Our technicians have years of experience in recovering data from all kinds of devices and have developed specialized techniques to handle even the most complex data recovery cases.
Our team starts the recovery process with a risk-free evaluation, which means that we will review your storage device and provide you with a detailed report of the issue and a quote for the data recovery service. This allows you to make an informed decision about whether or not to proceed with the data recovery service.
If you are facing a problem with your external drive not working, do not hesitate and get in touch with us. Starting your data recovery process with us, you will be guaranteed the highest recovery results. With our 99% success rate, established over the years in the market, we will precisely work with your device, restoring your important files with the highest level of professionalism. Get in touch with us by filling in the form below or calling our customer service line.
Frequently Asked Questions
External hard drives can stop working for various reasons, including physical damage, file system errors, connectivity issues, or drive failures.
Common signs of an external hard drive issue include not being recognized by the computer, slow performance, unusual noises (clicking or grinding), or error messages when trying to access data.
Clicking or grinding sounds suggest mechanical failure. In this case, immediately power down the drive and seek professional data recovery assistance to prevent further damage.
Yes, data recovery services like PITS Global Data Recovery Services specialize in recovering data from malfunctioning external hard drives, whether the issue is logical or physical.
- Safely eject the drive before unplugging it.
- Avoid physically dropping or mishandling the drive.
- Store the drive in a cool, dry place.
- Regularly back up your data to a separate location or cloud storage.