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November 1, 2018

How to Deal with a Broken External Drive

by John_A

We use external drives for different purposes. Faster SSD drives like the Samsung T5 are fast enough to use in actual computing operations, and a lot of video editors and designers actually edit via their T5 drives through a USB-C. Other HDD-based drives are useful for storing data and moving large files. The cost of external drives is on a decline, so you can get plenty of storage space for a few bucks.

While external drives are versatile and durable, there will be time when your drive fails you. A lot of things can cause the external drive to fail. A corrupt partition or the accidental bumps your external drives have to deal with as you carry them in your bag are just as bad. Before giving up and accepting the loss of files, however, you actually have a few options to try.

Fixing a Corrupt Partition

Partition repair is something you can try if your external drive is no longer detected by the operating system. In the case of Windows 10, you can try accessing the partition using the diskpart command from the Command Prompt with the drive plugged in.

In many cases, the partition itself can be recovered and you will have access to your files again. However, you may also find the partition to be irreparable, in which case you are asked to create a new one and format the partition to make it usable.

If the latter is what you find after running a partition check, don’t go through with repartitioning the external drive (or formatting it) just yet, especially when you have important files inside the damaged partition.

Recovering from Bad Sectors

Another common symptom of a damaged external drive is the drive suddenly becoming very slow and unresponsive at times. When you experience the sudden slowness while the drive is still plugged and fully readable, try running a check for bad sectors.

On a Windows computer, right-click on the hard drive you want to check and select Properties. Click Properties > Tools > Check (under the Error-checking tab) to start the process. You can then choose the “Scan for a recovery attempt of bad sectors” to try and correct the issue.

Again, recovering from bad sectors isn’t always possible, especially when the drive is severely damaged. That brings us to the third option, which is….

Professional Data Recovery

When your disk partition isn’t recoverable, or your external drive remains unresponsive, you want to stop using the drive completely and preserve the files inside. You want to do the same when you start hearing clicking noises coming from the external drive.

Not using the drive further increases your chances of recovering your files. You can then get the help of a professional data recovery service such as Secure Data Recovery to further boost your chances. With the right tools and expertise, complete restoration of your valuable files is more possible than ever.

The next time you run into issues with your external drive, don’t panic! Back up the files that you can still salvage and take the steps we discussed in this article to deal with the issue further

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