How come my external hard drive wont work anymore after I dropped it?

by on May 20, 2010

Q: My external hard drive got dropped and now windows no longer recognizes it. It still turns on. What can I do to try and recover my files from it?

One Response to “How come my external hard drive wont work anymore after I dropped it?”

    There are different things that might be damaged. Either the hard drive itself, or the hard drive’s enclosure. If the drive was powered up when it fell then the drive itself would have certainly sustained serious damage. Powered down drives usually fare a little better.

    First you should try running some hard drive diagnostic software. The manufacturer of your external drive should have some on their website.

    Next you should try switching the hard drive to a different enclosure or connecting it directly to the computer as if it was an internal hard drive. If that works, then just your enclosure was damaged.

    If that doesn’t work, then the drive itself has probably sustained damage from the fall.

    If the files are important enough, you can try a professional data recovery service. You can expect to pay a few hundred to probably a thousand dollars for this kind of service depending on what kind of shape the drive is really in.

    If that isn’t an option, you can try the freezer trick. Put the hard drive in a freezer bag, and then in the freezer for a few hours. Then hook it back up, if it works get all your files of as fast as you possibly can. If this does work, it usually only works once.

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