9/25/23, Yom Kippur: UES & SOHO repair centers are closed / Midtown will be open

My external hard drive is dead. Can it be fixed? Or Recovered?

We get this question of panic often, “My external hard drive is making noises…or My external hard drive is completely dead. Can you fix it?

My external hard drive is dead.  Can it be fixed? Or Recovered?

I just want to clarify the answer on this one. As you can imagine, each drive failure has its own complexity and severity level. Let’s review the different phases of external hard drive failure to see if your external drive can actually be fixed. Or if it’s too far gone and the only action would be to recover your files.

My external drive is working but prompts to format it.

This may be a sign of your partition being corrupted. If that’s the case, files are typically recoverable and then your drive can attempt to be formatted afterwards. However, you should still run it through a hard drive test to ensure there are no bad sectors or lag time which would signify hardware damage.

My external drive works, but files are corrupted.

If your drive is deemed to be healthy, this is a gray area. My thought is if it happened once, it could happen again. Could lightning strike twice? Maybe. I wouldn’t want to test that theory. In any case, you can most likely replace your drive under warranty if new enough. Otherwise, move on and be grateful if your files are saved from such a corruption.

My external hard drive is slow.

This is a symptom of a physically failing hard drive. It should be tested, but this is not one to play with afterwards. Look to recover your files on move on.

My USB external hard drive is beeping, clicking, or making odd noises.

That sounds like mechanical failure. Your head, spindle, or another main part is failing. This is known as a lab recovery service at this point. Your failing part will need to be replaced to have a working drive. Now, once your drive is working, files would be recovered. So, your drive can be used afterwards, right? Wrong! In this process, the drive is brought back to life solely to recover your files. It is not stable enough to use with confidence. So, it is not usable afterwards.

In most cases, your external hard drive will not be usable again. Plus, it’s a safer bet to buy a replacement external hard drive if you run into a hard drive issue. If your photos, videos, music, and other files are important, treat them with priority.

My external hard drive doesn’t power up. No noises or sounds.

See the answer above. Lab recovery will most likely be needed. But, we’ll see if there’s an easy fix first such as faulty power cable or enclosure. We like the easy ones. We’ll be happy to check this out.

Next steps?

Unless you know how to perform data recovery, seeking out a local NYC external hard drive data recovery company is the way to go. Please don’t think of opening up your drive yourself unless you really know what you’re doing. We’ve seen too many DIY’ers do this, damaging any chances of future recovery.

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Got any further questions? Walk in for a free diagnostic in NYC:

53 East 34th Street (Park & Madison), Floor 3 New York, NY 10016

806 Lexington Ave (62nd Street), Floor 3, New York, NY 10065

110 Greene Street Suite 1111, (Floor 11), New York, NY 10012

Outside NYC? Just mail in your device if in the US.