Back in the days when a Megabyte was considered an enormous amount of storage capacity and computers used to fill up entire rooms, the average hard drive weighed about 200 pounds. Over time, technology progressed and today most of us use portable storage devices (PSD’s).
Portable storage devices
PSD’s are small hard drives designed to hold large amounts of data. In most cases, 1 Terabyte or more. When traveling, for example, a portable storage device may be an incredibly useful device. Generally, in the computer world, portable storage devices include flash drives, memory cards, external hard drives (sometimes called mini hard drives), and portable CD/DVD-ROM drives. However, not all of these share the same characteristics. In this article we talk about issues related to external hard disk drives.
External hard drives are extremely easy to use. Simply attach the device’s cable to your computer’s USB/Thunderbolt/Firewire port and if the power supply is external, plug it in. Now you’re ready to use your new storage device. Once connected, the computer may ask to install specific software. Some software allows you to schedule automatic backups and will let you determine which files you want to copy. Since many people forget to backup files before it’s too late, this can be an especially handy feature.
An external hard drive is just like your computer’s hard drive, except it has not been installed into your PC, but rather is encased in its own enclosure. A majority of external hard drives are portable and some have their own cooling system or shock protection built-in. Using an external hard drive as a backup solution costs far less than paying for data recovery while reducing the chance for data loss. Before you buy an external hard drive, you should consider the type and size of the documents you plan to store on the drive. External hard drives range in capacity from 500GB to over 4TB.
Although external hard drives are removable mobile storage devices, they share many properties found in the internal hard drives we’re all familiar with today. Just as the case with internal drives, this type of media is prone to problems such as head stuck issues, platter, head damage or severe damage to its service area or firmware. Platter damage scratches are among the worst problems that any drive can have. Simply because the platter is the component which stores your data. The picture below shows platter surface that has been damaged when the reading element (head) made contact with platter and penetrated through its protective layer destroying magnetic media along with user data beneath.
In recent years, security became critical. To comply with more advanced security standards, many hard drive manufacturers employed encryption features to protect data. Although useful, at times some of these features can be the main reason your data could not be recovered. Since manufacturers are generally not responsible for your data, from their point once you decide to encrypt your data the responsibility is yours. On the other hand, most portable drives are Self-Encrypting (SED’s). This means they encrypt data even if a password has not been set. In most cases, encryption will affect both user and firmware areas.
If you’ve suffered from data loss contact Data Analyzers, your professionals for specialized external/portable hard drive data recovery.
For more information about our services please call us at 866-456-DATA.