Using the incorrect mains cable…

“Help, I’ve plugged the wrong power cable to my external hard disk drive. The power on the hard drive is labelled 12V and the plug is 19V. Now my hard drive is not working”. This is a common enquiry we see, whereby over-voltage causes damage to the external drive’s circuits or worse still, damage to the internal components. If you are lucky you will simply have fried the power supply for the IDE/SATA to USB adaptor and the data is safe.

Before worrying about expensive data recovery options, try testing the hard drive in another enclosure or better still, a caddy designed to run internal hard disk drives. Your local computer shop will sell both and they won’t break the bank! Run up the internal hard drive and hopefully your data will all be there. If not, you are now looking at data recovery services.

Just because the connector looks the same, don’t assume that any power lead will suffice. Make sure that you only use the power lead that came with your external hard drive. Power supplies have multiple rails, each of which carry a specific current, measured in amps. Different devices draw from different rails and whilst there are in built safeguards, in some instances we have seen hard drives catch fire!