external hard drive plugged into laptop

Keep the external enclosure!

There is a relatively new phenom in the hard drive industry. Hard Drive enclosures have become a crucial part of the recovery process with some external USB hard drives. If your external drive encrypts the data for you, then be sure to keep the enclosure with the drive when you send it in for repair/recovery and make sure you make a note to keep the enclosure intact and with the drive. If you are unsure whether or not your drive might be encrypted, be on the safe side and keep the enclosure.

For example, these popular drives will encrypt the data stored on them:

  • Western Digital My Book Essential
  • Western Digital My Book Elite
  • My Passport Essential
  • My Passport Essential SE
  • My Passport Essential Elite

Don’t assume the professional you’ve entrusted your drive to knows that the enclosure could make or break the recovery results. We have had several projects over the past 6 months that have required us to retrieve the enclosure from the client or the company that had the drive before being shipped to our lab.  Recently, an enclosure had been thrown in the dumpster and could not be retrieved.

To be on the safe side, if you need data recovery for an external hard drive the safest course of action is to simply send the enclosure along with the drive. The drive doesn’t need to be inside, just included in the box. If you’ve been told the data is not recoverable send it in for a second opinion. We’ve had several successful recoveries from drives that were declared unrecoverable from other data recovery companies.