External Hard Drive

hard drive

Definition

An external hard drive, so knows as external HDD or portable hard disk, is a storage device which can be connected to different computers via USB cable or wireless connection for data storage, data backup or data transferring. An external hard drive usually has high storage capacities and it is convenient to use.


Main Features of External Hard Drive

Almost every computer comes with a hard disk drive which is used to storage Operating System, programs and other types of files. When hard disk drive is getting full, external hard drive may be useful because users can use it to back up data from hard disk drive. As a storage device which can be attached to computer, external hard drive has its own features:

1. High storage capacity

When selecting a storage device, you may take its storage capacity as consideration. An external hard drive usually has a high capacity so that you can use it to storage a large amount of data. In market, the storage capacities of external hard drive include 120GB, 160GB, 500GB, 1TB, 1.5TB, 2TB and 3 TB and more.

2. Small size

Although an external hard drive can have a high storage capacity, it has small size. Therefore, it is often convenient to take an external hard drive anywhere you like.

3. High speed

Usually, an external hard drive can work at a high speed. It has a fast data transferring speed. An external hard drive makes it easy and quickly to store or transfer large files like videos and audio files, etc.

4. Convenient and easy to use

An external hard drive can be connected to almost all computers through a USB cable or wireless connection without requirement of installing any drives, so it is very convenient to store or transfer data to an external hard drive. An external hard drive is also very easy to use. You only need to plug it to the USB port of your computer and system can recognize the external hard drive as a removable disk. And then, you can write or read data on the external hard drive easily.

5. Data security

Since an external hard drive usually has a large storage capacity, you may store lots of important data on it. Therefore, data security is very important. Today’s external hard drives usually have a good quality and store data in a safer way.

6. More other features

As one of the most important data storage media for users, external hard drive has more other features.

External Hard Drive Manufacturers and Capacities

Here are some popular brands of external hard drives: Seagate, Western Digital, Maxtor, Samsung, Toshiba, Patriot, Hitachi, BUSlink, iThink, Transcend, Kingston and more.

Different capacities of external hard drive include: 120GB, 160GB, 250GB, 500GB, 1TB, 1.5TB, 2TB, 3TB, etc.
If you need to buy an external hard drive, you had better buy some popular brands of external hard drives which have good quality.

Reasons Why You Need an External Hard Drive

As you know, nearly every computer comes with a hard disk for data storage. Then, why do you need to use an external hard drive? Well, here are some possible reasons that why you need to use an external hard drive:

1. For data backup

Of course, your computer usually has a hard disk for data storage. However, as you know, data stored on a hard disk is not always safe because you may mistakenly delete some important files or even format the hard disk. Even worse, you may be unable to access your hard disk when it has disk error. In order to protect important data from being lost due to any of reasons, you can use an external hard drive to back up important files. Thus, you can always get back data from external hard drive when you lose any data from the computer’s hard disk.

2. For extra space

As you know, every hard disk has a limited storage capacity. If the internal hard disk is getting full or has no enough free space for data storage, you can move some data to an external hard drive to free up disk space on the hard disk. Or you can right store data to an external hard drive.

3. To transfer data from one computer to another

If you want to transfer data from one computer to another but there is no Internet connection, you can use an external hard drive for data transferring.

Disadvantages of External Hard Drive

1. Data might be lost from an external hard drive due to various reasons

An external hard drive provides a convenient way for data storage and transferring, but it is not 100% safe to store data on an external hard drive. Therefore, one of disadvantage of external hard drive is that you may lose important data. For instance, when you mistakenly delete files from a hard disk, the deleted files will be moved to Recycle Bin. However, if you accidentally delete files off an external hard drive, the deleted data will be erased immediately without being moved to Recycle Bin. In addition, an external hard drive might be corrupted due to improper use, so you should often use your external hard drive properly in order to avoid unexpected external hard drive corruption.

2. You need to connect an external hard drive to computer before you can use it

Unlike memory card, external hard drive cannot be used in other electronic device. You need to plug an external hard drive to PC before you can write or read data.

Some Problems Might Occur on External HDD

An external hard drive is not life long, so you may run into some problems when it has been used for some time. Here are some common problems:

1. External hard drive is not accessible or readable
2. Cannot view some files on the external hard drive
3. External hard drive shows incorrect capacity
4. Windows system cannot recognize or detect external hard drive when connecting it to computer.
5. More other unknown issues on external hard drive.

If you meet any of issues above, probably there is something wrong with your external hard drive. Usually, such kind of error can be caused due to various reasons. In this situation, you should stop performing any operation on the external hard drive to avoid unexpected data loss.

The similar error can also occur on USB pen drive. The data recovery software also allows you to recover files from USB pen drive when you meet any of the problems.

Symptoms of External Hard Drive Problems

When there is problem on an external hard drive, you may receive different kinds of error messages. Here are the possible symptoms of external hard drive issues:

1. External hard drive is not formatted do you want to format it now?

When you connect your external hard drive to your computer, Windows can detect it as a removable disk. However, you cannot access the external hard drive because Windows system reports error message like "disk drive is not formatted do you want to format it now" or "you need to format disk drive before you can use it". Meanwhile, you may find that the file system of your external hard drive has changed to RAW.

2. External hard drive is not accessible.

The file or directory is corrupted and unreadable Another situation that you are unable to access your external hard drive is that when you double click on it, Windows system reports error message like "X: is not accessible. The file or directory is corrupted and unreadable".

3. I/O device error on external hard drive

You may also receive I/O device error message on your external hard drive when it is not accessible.

4. More other similar error message

Possible Reasons for External Hard Drive Error

When you receive different kinds of error message and cannot access an external hard drive, you may be quite upset. Usually, external hard drive error might be caused by following reasons:

1. External hard drive is infected with virus

Virus infection is one of the most common reasons for external hard drive error. When an external hard drive is attacked by virus, it may corrupt the data stored on the external hard drive, so your external hard drive will become inaccessible. In order to protect your external hard drive from being infected with virus, you should install anti-virus software on your computer and avoid use your external hard drive carefully.

2. There are bad sectors on the external hard drive

If the external hard drive contains bad sectors, it might be inaccessible. You can fix the bad sectors by running Windows built-in Error-checking tool. Besides, you can also full format the external hard drive.

3. Unplug external hard drive to PC unsafely

If you often unplug your external hard drive to PC unsafely, it may damage your external hard drive and lead it to be inaccessible.

4. Unexpected power failure during data transferring or writing

If your PC is powered off when you are transferring or writing data on the external hard drive, it may cause data corruption on the external. In this situation, your external hard drive might become unreadable. Therefore, you should avoid turning off your rebooting your PC during data transferring or data writing. Besides, you should not remove your external hard drive while data writing or transferring.

5. More other unknown reasons

The external hard drive issues might be caused by many other unknown reasons. Whatever, you should use your external hard drive properly to avoid such kind of error.


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External Resource

Free File Recovery > Howto Resource > What is hard disk drive and how to use it