External hard drives are great for increasing the storage capacity of your laptop or desktop computer affordably, as an easy and inexpensive back-up solution, or for carrying important data with you on the road.
But the features that make them so convenient also put them at risk of catastrophic data loss. External hard drives may suffer hard disk failure or damage that results in data loss and requires professional data recovery services due to:
- Shock damage from being dropped or falling off a shelf
- Shock damage caused by rough handling during travel
- Power surges
- Fires and floods
Here are three easy ways to avoid the need for emergency data recovery and protect your external hard drive.
1. When storing your external HDD at home, always make sure it is in a secure place. - Do not store your external hard drive where someone can accidentally pull on the power cord or connecting cable, knocking the drive to the ground. Store your drive flat on a desktop, as close to your PC or Mac as possible.
2. When traveling with your external hard drive, make sure it is in a well-padded case. If you bring your external hard drive on the plane, stow it under your seat rather than in an overhead storage compartment, where items shift and may fall out. This also keeps your laptop and drive within easy reach for use on the plane!
3. Always use an outlet with a surge protector when you plug in your external hard drive. Some hard drives draw power directly from your laptop. This is a more convenient solution.
4. If you're using your external hard drive as a back-up method for your PC or laptop, store it in a separate location from your computer. If your home or office falls victim to fire or floods and your external back-up drive is sitting right next to your computer, chances are both devices will be damaged. Consider cloud storage as a second back-up means, so you can access your data from any Internet-enabled device in the event of an emergency.
5. If your hard drive is dropped or may have been damaged and then fails to boot, has trouble reading files, or is making odd clicking, grinding or whirring noises, do not attempt to recover the data yourself. Call 24 Hour Data for the best chances of getting your data back quickly and affordably!