Archive for the ‘Hard Drives’ Category

External Hard Drive Woes

1 August 2010

In the past, if you purchased an external hard drive, you would just plug it in and go.

These days, external drives offer wonderful encryption software – great if you really want to protect the data on the drive.

Sadly, I have seen cases where the install procedure of the software on the drive is so confusing that leads to user error with disastrous implications.

In one case, the hard drive was filled with data and then at a later stage when plugged in to a different computer, it offered to encrypt the drive. As a result, all the data on the drive was lost.

In a second case, the encryption software wiped in internal hard drive on a Mac! (and not on the intended external drive)

Fortunately, formatting a drive can be reversed and the data can be retrieved but not without huge headache. The best course of action would be to speak to the supplier of the drive and explain how their software lead to disastrous results. Usually, they will offer to take the drive and recover the data. There is also software available to recover the data if you do not want to send the drive away.

The best course of action is to ask someone with experience to setup any new drive, or just say NO to the encryption if you do not feel you need it.