In case something happened to a storage device, and it stopped working correctly, you might not be able to access your files anymore. Even if you don’t have a backup, we might still be able to help you. If you bring your computer or external drive to our office, we can use our software to see if the data is still available, and we can try to retrieve it.

This process might take a long time, depending on the extent of the damage to the device. So your device may have to stay with us for a little while. If the device that we retrieved the software from is not physically damaged, we wipe it and put the data back on it so you can use it like before. If there is physical damage to the device, and we are not able to put the data back, we save it under your name and student number on our server. In that case, we ask you to bring a device (for instance an external drive) with enough storage to transfer your files onto when you come and pick up your data. We save this data for a maximum of 2 months so please come and pick up your files before that time.

If you don’t have a device large enough to transfer the data onto we advise you to purchase (or borrow) an external drive. They are handy for making backups or to keep your computer from getting too full. There are some things to look out for when choosing an external drive, here is some more information on them.

External drives

Just like the drives in your computer, there are two different types of external drives, solid-state drive (SSD) or hard disk drives (HDD). The most important thing to know about the differences between these two is that the SSD is significantly faster and more damage resistant than an HDD, but the SSD is also more expensive.

The next important thing is the size of the external drive. This is very much connected to personal preference and budget. If you want a place to back up the files from your computer, the drive would preferably have to be at least the same size as the one inside your PC.

If you feel confused by all the technical specifications that the websites show it is always useful to look at reviews from people who have bought it before you. Also, sites where you can compare different models (for instance are a good way of finding more information.

If you have any doubts about purchasing an external drive or you want some further advice you are always welcome to stop by our office or send us an email.

Safely ejecting storage device
Safely ejecting storage device.

Some tips for prevention of damage on external drives are to always safely remove the device from your computer (see image). Also, it is essential to remove the cable from the device before storing it in your bag or somewhere else. The connection from the cable to the drive itself is very fragile.