Many businesses use removable USB hard drives for local data backup of files on a PC or to extend the storage capabilities of a computer that has reached its hard drive limit.
Data backup is an important part of business continuity and some businesses want to keep full control of their data, so they opt to use a local removable drive that can be taken off premises for security.
But what happens when that external hard drive crashes or files can’t be found? Data loss can result in downtime, which can cost a small business over $10,000 per hour.
Data losses from external hard drives happen out of the blue and can be caused by things like:
- Unexpected system shutdown
- Application failure
- Damage due to power surge
- Accidental file deletion or formatting
- Corruption of files
- Physical damage to the drive
- Virus, ransomware, or other malware attack
If you’ve discovered data loss from a USB hard drive, here are several things you can do to try to recover your data.
NOTE: It’s important that with any recovery, the drive is cloned to a known working drive before any work is done to ensure any data is preserved (even if you can’t see it). You can use a tool like Acronis True Image or a hardware clone device.
Reboot the Computer
First try one of the quickest fixes for a lot of issues, which is a reboot of your computer and the device. Sometimes a computer can run into software conflicts, memory issues, or other problems that may cause the computer not to properly read the data on the hard drive.
Check to see if the reboot cleared up the problem. But if the data that should be on the hard drive is still not readable, move onto a few other fixes.
Check the Device Cable
Sometimes the simplest problem could be causing what appears to be a data loss incident, but it actually isn’t.
Check your USB device cable connection to your PC to ensure it’s plugged in snugly both to the hard drive port and the computer port.
Try to Connect the Drive to Another Computer
Sometimes the problem is with the computer, not the removable hard drive. You can check to see if this might be the case by attaching the drive to another computer to see if you’re able to retrieve the files from that device.
If you can read the files on another device, then your problem is with the original PC. If not, then the hard drive has the issue.
Check Operating System Compatibility
When you use a backup tool, such as Time Machine on a Mac, to back up all your files to a removable hard drive, not just your files are being cloned. There is other system-specific data also being included so that your files can be restored exactly the way they were – including emails, contacts, etc.
When you’ve backed up in this way, then restoring that data typically has to be done on a compatible operating system. Meaning if you’ve backed up in one version of a Windows or Mac OS and are trying to restore to a computer with a different OS version, then the data may not have the ability to restore.
If you’ve having problems retrieving data from a USB hard drive, check to ensure there is not a difference in operating system version that might be causing the conflict.
Use a Disk Recovery Program
There are a number of disk recovery programs, such as Disk Drill, that can be used to try to recover your data. However not all of these are as safe as others, so make sure you’re not using the first result on a Google search without checking the validity of the developer.
It’s also important to understand that any work done on a failing drive will stress the drive, and if unsuccessful can make it difficult/impossible/expensive for a data recovery professional to recover your data after you’ve gone through a “DIY” process.
Bring the Drive to a Professional
If the files that you’ve lost are very important, then you want to bring your USB hard drive to us for recovery. We have both the tools and the experience to perform a professional data recovery of files on your drive.
We also take every precaution, such as cloning the drive prior to doing any recovery work.
Bringing your drive to a professional for data recovery is always the best shot for success!
Come to Pro Tech Guy for Professional Data Backup & Recovery Solutions
We offer professional data recovery in an emergency as well as solid data backup and recovery solutions that can keep your Framingham business protected from potential data loss and resulting downtime.
Contact us today for an IT consultation. Call 508-364-8189 or reach us online.