10 Reasons Why Your External Hard Drive May Go Down

Portable Drives

External hard drives are a great tool for even the most casual computer user. No matter if you’re using a laptop or a desktop, external hard drives are an excellent way to free up space on your computer and to carry around your most important files in a portable device. Because they offer much larger amounts of space compared to a flash drive, these external hard drives are by far the most convenient and useful mode of storage for your documents, songs, videos, and photos.

Of course, like almost anything relating to computer technology, these external hard drives are just as susceptible to corruption as any other device. However, unlike with your computer or your phone, trying to diagnose the cause of the corruption isn’t always as clear. If you’re wondering how to fix an external drive, then one of these 10 reasons might help you make your diagnosis.

Unplugged Without Safely Ejecting

Odds are, if you’ve ever plugged anything into your computer’s USB drive, you’re more than familiar with the concept of safely ejecting. Our instinct is to simply pull out the plug-in once we’re done with it, but you need to make sure you safely eject before removing if you want to avoid corruption. The same goes for external hard drives — failure to safely eject could result in a corrupted drive.

Contracted a Virus

Plenty of people use external hard drives as a way to keep their files with them wherever they go, no matter if they’re heading to work or home or back again. Unfortunately, if any of those files contain a virus, then the entire drive is most likely going to be corrupted as a result. Accidentally ownloading virus-laden documents straight onto the drive or unknowingly transferring them from your computer to your external drive is a surefire way to corrupt your external drive.

Infiltrated by Malware

In a similar vein to a corrupted, virus-riddled external hard drive, a drive that’s been infiltrated by malware can also become corrupted quite easily. Hackers, coders, cybercriminals, whever you want to call them: the ultimate goal is to disrupt your technology and gain access to your most important and personal information. If any malware makes its way onto your external drive, then it’s almost certainly going to end up corrupted.

Bad Sectors

In computer lingo, a sector is a unit of information that’s stored on your computer’s disk. (Think of it like a book on the shelf of the library.) If your disk — in this case, your external hard drive — happens to be messed with in any way when downloading or transferring files onto it, then you can end up with what’s known as a bad sector. Your drive won’t be able to read these sectors, and if too many build up on your drive, then your drive will become too overwhelmed and simply stop working. They’re an all-too-common cause of external drive failure.

File System Errors

A file system error is sort of like an umbrella term that computers use to describe a failure to open up a file. While the source of a file system error can be anything from a video to a document to an MP3 and the cause of a file system error can be difficult to pinpoint, the effect is always the same: an unopenable file and a corrupt drive.

An Outdated Drive

Unlike many of these other causes, an outdated external hard drive is one of the easiest external drive failures to fix. All you have to do is simply get a new one. External hard drives with as much as two terabyes (that’s two thousand gigabytes) are quite easy to come by and relatively inexpensive from most major retailers. An outdated drive that’s been corrupted presents you with the perfect opportunity to upgrade to the latest and greatest.

A Read/Write Head Crash

If you’re unfamiliar with what a read/write head crash is, let’s put it in simple terms: this cause of external hard drive corruption happens when the drive is in the middle of an operation and is suddenly jerked, jolted, or shocked, subsequently causing irreversable damage to drive that renders it useless. (Don’t you hate when that happens?) This is, of course, one of the more physical causes of external drive failure.

It Was Accidentally Dropped

Like a read/write head crash, accidentally dropping your external hard drive is a way to physically cause it to fail. Whether the fall actually caused the drive to break into pieces or simply resulted in one of the other technical problems listed here in this article, accidentally dropping your external hard drive is frustrating for you and fatal for your drive.

It Has a Damaged Power Cable or Case

As it turns out, there’s more than one way you can physically corrupt your external hard drive. As time goes on, just like with any piece of technology, you’re likely to see some wear and tear start to develop. It could be a worn USB cable with wires sticking out. It could be a damaged case with one too many scuffs. It could be a broken USB port. All these things are simply symptoms of time passing by, but they can ultimately leave you with a corrupted drive.

A Slew of Unknown Errors

Every so often, there comes an external hard drive that’s just done for. There’s no other way around it. Due to a combination of factors, the external hard drive has flat-out died, no one cause taking the blame over the other. A slew of unknown or innumerable errors can corrupt an external hard drive just as well as any of these other factors.

What Happens If My External Hard Drive Goes Bad?

If your hard drive has been corrupted for any reason, you should contact the experts at DataRecovery.com. They pride themselves in their ability to save your most important files through data recovery and tout exceptional customer service. No matter if you’re a large company or a small business -or simply an individual, you can get in touch today to receive a free quote.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *