Problems Encountered by Users with External Hard Drives or NAS Devices:
There are two kinds of external device that you can attach to your PC or network. One is the ordinary external hard drive and the other is a NAS (Network Storage Device) which is similar to a small RAID device in that it can hold more than one hard drive. Problems arising with these devices including conflicts between the firmware on the drives and in the instance of an external HDD a failure on the part of some of the components to continue operating in the way they should. A NAS device is unlikely to be moved around too much but an external HDD may suffer additional problems if it is being moved around a lot between a variety of computers in a variety of locations.
External Hard Drive Failings:
One of the first signs that your external HDD is failing (or is about to fail) is the clicking sound that emanates from the drive itself. This sounds like metal against metal and often signifies that one of the moving components contained within the drive has (or is) coming loose. More often than not this is the actuator arm (attached to the read/write heads) that allows the information you, as the user, want to be read and written to across the platters which themselves are prone to wear and tear because of their thinness and the thin coating of glass or ceramic material that can degrade.
External Hard Drive Electronics Conflicts :
Attached to both the external hard drive and the drives in a NAS setup are small circuit boards, like motherboards, that hold chips and resistors and the likes that are able to control the flow of information to and from the drive so that the information does not corrupt on the way from software to storage. These printed circuit boards (PCBs as they are known) are often the bridge between optimum performance of the drives and complete failure. They can be damaged by over zealous employees or owners moving them with little thought to their internal workings or because of a sudden surge of power from an electricity socket that is not protected by a surge protection unit.
External Hard Drives, NAS Devices and Their Firmware:
Both external HDDs and NAS devices (regardless of how many drives are contained within them) have firmware programs built in that hold a series of commands that tell the drives how to function. These commands are passed through the PCBs on the back of the drives (or each drive in the case of Network Assisted Storage device) and do so to maintain the balance between working too hard or not working enough. They also control the speeds at which the drives spin within their caddies; some spin at 3600, some at 5600, and some at 7200 revolutions per minute (RPM). Firmware failure can lead to a complete breakdown in communication between the drive(s) and the computer itself and as a result you, the user, may find that you cannot access any of the data saved on them. This is where we at Newcastle Data Recovery come in as we can help you retrieve the data from your drive(s) by being able to bypass the faulty firmware.
External Hard Drives, Networked Storage Devices and Operating System Failures:
Operating systems often require software or drivers to be installed if you are using particularly complicated pieces of hardware for storage. With the advent of plug ‘n’ play however the need for drivers is much less now and as a general rule of thumb a device such as an external HDD can simply be plugged into an available USB port. There may be times however when plugging in an external hard disk drive that has been attached to another computer causes the operating system not to respond and thus crashes the computer. If this is something that happens on a regular basis it may well be the case that moving the external HDD from one system to another has corrupted the file allocation table and has made it impossible for the operating system on your computer to read. Again we at Newcastle Data Recovery can help you recover the data even if your operating system will not recognise the hard drive or networked assisted storage device.