The convenience of external hard drives is undeniable. They allow us to carry terabytes of data everywhere we go, they can be easily shared among many devices, and their installation could hardly be any simpler. Because of their ubiquitous nature, we have come to rely on them so much that we seldom consider just how fragile external hard drives are.

If you know how to recover data from external hard drives, you have muchbetter chances to prevent the worst from happening and turn what could be a disastrous situation around.

~ How Do Hard Drives Work?
Inside every external hard drive is an assortment of sensitive components that record data as a magnetic pattern formed by groups of magnetized metal grains. These grains cover circular platters that spin at 7,200 rpm, at least on consumer drives. Each platter has its own reading head, which hovers several nanometers above the platter’s surface, writing converting strings of bits onto the disk using electrical current fed through an electromagnet.


Attached to the bottom of the hard drive is a circuit board, which houses the main controller chip as well as many other electronic components that control the operation of the headers.

One of these electronic components is a small memory chip that stores the firmware, which is permanent software that provides the necessary instructions for how the hard drive communicates with the other computer hardware.


~ Diagnosing Common Types of Hard Drive Failure
Hard drive failures can be categorized into two broad categories: software failures and hardware failures.

~ Software Data Loss
Software data loss is most commonly caused by badly written software applications or unfortunate user errors. During the Windows XP era, there were many computer viruses designed to inflict as much damage as possible by deleting the data stored on hard drives.

Fortunately, this type of malware, short for malicious software, is much less common today, but software programmers still make many of the same mistakes as they did several years ago. The same, of course, also applies to computer users. Every day, important files are lost because someone decided to empty the Recycle Bin without first checking whether it doesn’t contain something important.

The one thing that most cases of software data loss have in common is recoverability. There are many capable tools that you can use to recover external hard drives after a software data loss without any expert knowledge.

~ Hard Drive Isn’t Spinning
This often happens after a sudden voltage spike. Inside the hard drive are special diodes that act as fuses. A voltage spike may cause these diodes to blow, making the hard drive seem as if it were dead and all data were lost. Usually, it’s enough to replace the printed circuit board (PCB), which can be done in a normal environment without opening the hard drive enclosure . . .

Stay in touch for the Part 2 of this post.




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