One of the more frightening experiences for a new computer user is when they can no longer see specific drives. That automatically means that they lack access to the files that were stored there.
Here is an outline of the steps that you can take in order to recover your files even when your external drive appears to be dead. Of course there are exceptions where you could lose data but for most people this method will help them keep their information.
First steps: understanding the problem
There is an assumption that every file that you use is somehow on your computer when indeed external drives can hold an incredible amount of data. This data is vulnerable because any damage to the external drive will inevitably touch on the condition of the files.
However the external drive can also be a good way to transfer large amounts of information from one computer to the next without compromising their integrity. In any case the main internal drive has a limited capacity so there will come a time when you will have to use an external drive.
As a general rule, you should always try to back up your files just in case something happens to one drive. Try to assess how badly the drive is damaged before proceeding. That will determine the quantity and quality of data that you are able to recover. If you hear a clicking or scraping noise that you have never heard before then it is a good idea to send it to a qualified recovery service technician because it may mean that the physical structure is damaged.
Procedure if there are no strange noises
In this case the physical state of the drive might be fine and the problem could be linked to your computer in some way. Start by trying an alternative USB port just to ensure that it is not a connectivity issue. If nothing works then you should try it on an alternative computer to see whether it connects. If none of those steps are able to bring you joy then you will have no choice but to open up the external hard drive. This is where you will find the internal hard drive. The user manual will give you precise steps to open each part.
When you are inside, try to examine whether there are any loose connections or dust. You should then remove the internal drive and connect it directly to your computer. This is done by installing it as a second drive or working with a SATA-USB adapter and enclosure.
These products are readily available on the market and shouldn’t cost no more than twenty bucks.
Where you notice that you have not succeeded, then definitely the issue is with the drive. This means that you will have to send it to a data recovery service. Some of the ones that are commonly known on the market include Ontrack and DriveSavers. Make sure that you inform them about the need to recover as much data as possible as they work or otherwise they may unilaterally decide to format the drive; thus losing all the information that it contains.