Hard drives are often relied on for storing secondary copies of data. While external hard drives are the lifeline of many personal and business data backup plans, they have vulnerabilities that should be considered. Here are 4 hard truths of external hard drive data recovery that you should consider before you trust your external hard drive to serve as your one and only data backup solution.
Hard drives fail
External hard drives can fail for many reasons and it happens everyday. Backup devices are written to constantly and so often reach the end of their recommended life sooner than normal drives. As physical storage devices, external hard drives are susceptible to natural disaster, physical damage, and general wear and tear that can render them unusable. Additionally, they’re vulnerable to other common data loss risks like viruses and human error.
Some recoveries are easier than others
Hard drive repair and data retrieval can be expensive and is certainly time consuming. Logical failure and physical device failure are the most common types of hard drive data loss. Logical failure, unlike physical failure, is a non-tangible failure that can be caused by viruses, power surges and malware. Recovery services for logical device failures can sometimes be less expensive than those tied to physical failures, as disassembly is not required. However, in order to recover data from an external hard drive with logical failure, the root cause must first be discovered and addressed. At times, a logical recovery tool can be used to recover data, but at other times, as is the case with ransomware viruses, data may be encrypted and unable to retrieve without a data backup or succumbing to the demands of cybercriminals.
There aren’t always warning signs
When your hard drive begins to make noises like screeching or clicking, or it’s running slower than usual and giving you trouble opening files, it’s a safe bet to say you are in danger of your external hard drive calling it quits. The good news is that these signs can serve as a warning that may help you detect hard drive failure early on, before the damage has been done — giving you time to backup your data properly to avoid data loss. However warning signs do not always emerge before hard drive failure, which can mean losing important data without warning. Because hard drive failure can’t always be predicted, it’s important to plan ahead and be prepared for when it occurs. If you are lucky enough to get warning signs that your external hard drive is on the decline, it’s important to do something about it as soon as possible to mitigate data loss.
External hard drive loss can be prevented
An external hard drive is great for fast recovery if your primary drive fails. However, with the advent of ransomware and the risk of the drive being physically in the same location as your primary drive, other steps should be taken to prevent loss. Storing your data in a separate location is key.
Naturally, we are champions of cloud storage and go to great lengths to protect your data, but you can also take a snapshot of your data and store it at home periodically as well. Whatever the case, if your data is irreplaceable, we encourage you to take our advice and back it up in a secondary location.