Portable Hard Drive Faults

In the last few days we’ve had many enquiries about problems with external hard drives – here are 3 of them.

Samsung M3 Portable Hard Drive Not Recognised

Bought a Samsung M3 portable 1TB external hard drive last August. Although it is under warranty, it can be replaced only but not recovered. Laptops and pc does not recognise the drive when inserted. I cannot recall that it has been dropped or handled roughly but may have received slight knocks with the laptop or pc. I have got mainly family photos, videos and possibly some documents stored in there.
Are these recoverable? What are the likely costs and what is the turnaround time. If I was to bring it in person, can the recovery be made while I wait?
The Drive is a Samsung but purchased online . Has Seagate warranty etc…

Iomega Hard Drive Doesn’t Come On

Hi. I wondered whether you would be able to help. We have used an Iomega hard drive for the last few years to store photo’s.
We haven’t transferred any photo’s for a while and I realised it would be more prudent to access the data from the hard drive and start to store them all in the cloud.
Unfortunately we cannot seem to access anything on the hard drive now, we are not aware of dropping or banging it and the light still comes on when it is plugged in but the whirring noise (I assume a motor?) doesnt seem to come on at all.
I wondered whether this was something you could help us with as there are some very sentimental photo’s on there we really need to retrieve?
If it helps the model is an Iomega LDHD-UP.

…and Another Samsung M3 Problem

I have a M3 Samsung portable hard disk that doesn’t work anymore. Unfortunately it doesn’t have the common SATA socket but the Samsung integrated PCB board. I would like to know if it is possible to recover the data and transfer them to a new hard drive. I leave in Partick, so I can easily pop in.

Our Response

There are lots of you out there having problems with your external portable hard drives. While the most popular cause of problems with these drives is them being dropped or knocked, it certainly isn’t the only cause of faults. (Click here if you want to know more about the different ways hard drives fail)

Hard Drive Warranties

In the first enquiry the user raises the interesting topic of hard drive warranties. It’s worth pointing out that NO manufacturer supplies a standard warranty that includes data recovery on their hard drives. If your hard drive breaks within the warranty period there shouldn’t be any difficultly in getting a new hard drive but you can forget about getting them to recover your files, as they will simply say it was your responsibility to back your data up. NB. Decent Home and Contents insurance does sometimes cover the cost of data recovery – take a look at the small print of your policy.

The second and third enquiries are also good examples of where hard drive warranties would allow the hard drives to be exchanged for new hard drives. It’s a little tricky to identify the cause of the fault in the second example, the light on the hard drive still comes on so we can rule out electronic failure of the Iomega/LenovoEMC external case, but the motor not starting could point to an electronics problem with the hard drive or a more serious mechanical issue such as stiction. Without taking a look at the hard drive it’s difficult to be more accurate in the assessment of the fault.

The third enquiry highlights a practice that many manufacturers are adopting, replacing the SATA port on the hard drive’s PCB board with an integrated USB port. On many occasions the USB port becomes disconnected from the hard drive’s PCB. Soldering the USB connector back onto the PCB is possible and must be handled with care as the heat from the operation can wreck surrounding chips and make the data on the drive irrecoverable. That said, sometimes the problem is not related to the USB interface: these hard drives also have firmware problems which result in loss of access to the hard drive. In these instances, we have to reprogram the hard drive to get it working again.

Do You Have A Hard Drive Fault ?

With regional data recovery centres around the UK including London, Manchester, Birmingham, Glasgow, Leeds, Liverpool, Northampton, Reading, Sheffield and Southampton why not contact a local office and speak to us? Or, you can always arrange for us to look at the problem with your hard drive using our free-of-charge countrywide collection service. Find out more at https://www.dataclinic.co.uk/dataclinic-locations/.