External Hard Drive Data Recovery

There could be more than one reason why you might lose data from an external hard drive. But, the process of recovering external hard drive data aren’t easy always. Data Recovery has always been a complex process, and its success as well as method depends on the data loss situation. If it is due to a physical damage then you might need help of Data Recovery Services, if it is due to some logical problem, a Data Recovery Software can help.

In this article we’ll be explaining how you can recover files from external hard drive in context of logical issues.

What You Will Need?

1. You will need a professional Hard Drive Recovery Tool. Here we’ll be using Yodot Hard Drive Recovery Software to demonstrate how you can recover data from external hard drive in different situations. Best part is you can download the demo version to check if the software works or not, and if you’re satisfied go ahead and buy the software.

2. It is also possible to recover files for free using Command Prompt (not recommended). Keep reading till end to find method.

Before you go on, and read the full method of recovering external hard drive data; let’s clarify few issues when you will need to prepare for recovery process.

# Case 1: If External Hard Disk is not Detecting

All is good, unless your hard drive is not even detected by Computer or it shows the drive but hangs when you try to access the drive. To use any data recovery tool, the minimum requirement is your system should be able to access the drive. Now if it is undetected there could be either a hardware problem or logical. Here’s how you can verify that.

Method 1: Device Manager

1. Go to Device Manager and check if your external hard drive is listed there. If the drive is present in Device Manager, close the Device Manager window. Then, unplug your external hard drive from the current USB port and try plugging it through other ports of your computer. Also, try swapping your USB cable.

2. If you have any other working computer with you then try connecting the undetected external hard drive to that computer and see the system can detect the drive.

3. In Device Manager window, expand the Universal Serial Bus controller. If you see any yellow exclamation mark, then right-click on the respective driver and choose update driver software option. Next, opt for automatically search for driver software online… and wait. Finally, reboot your computer.

Method 2: Use cmd command to list volume

1. Go to Start, type cmd and hit Enter key. Then type these commands followed by pressing Enter button after each.

  • Diskpart
  • List volume

2. Note down the volume number of your external hard drive. Type select volume n (n is the volume number of your external hard drive). At last, type assign letter=L (L is the new drive letter)

Now, your machine should be able to detect the drive, if not there must be some hardware issue.

Warning: Unless your external hard drive is detected, you can’t employ Recovery Software.

# Case 2: Recover Deleted Files:

In most of the instances, files from an external hard drive get deleted accidentally. Accidentally pressing Delete button on the computer keyboard while files on the external hard drive are selected, leads to deletion of files from the drive.

In fact, this sort of deletion is not just a normal file deletion, as deleted files from external hard drive bypass the Recycle Bin. In other words, it is a permanent file deletion process; as you cannot find deleted files from external hard drive even in Recycle Bin.

So, to recover deleted files from external hard drive, you can try two things. One is the data backup; if you have saved any backup copy of deleted files then find it. In case, your external hard drive itself is the backup drive and you copied deleted files from your computer internal hard drive then the second option would be to look at the system drive for your deleted files.

If you cannot recover deleted files from external hard drive in both the ways then you need to try an efficient external hard drive data recovery software.

# Case 3: Recover Hard Drive Data after Format?

There is a misconception that data recovery is impossible after you format an external hard drive. But, this is not at all true. Formatting an external hard drive doesn’t erase all the data on the disk. Formatting just erases data on the address tables, creates internal address tables and tests the drive for bad sectors.

Thus, recovery of formatted external hard drive data is possible. So, if you have accidentally formatted an external hard drive, that happened to contain important files, give a try for programs that help you to recover the formatted external hard drive data.

A. How to Recover Files from External Hard Drive After Formatting?

Even if, your external hard drive is in inaccessible state, this ideal tool scans the entire disk bit by bit and retrieves your data without altering either your data or the external hard drive’s internal structure. The program provides you a handy yet effective interface and an excellent technical assistance to ease the external hard drive data recovery process.

The software runs seamlessly on all versions of Windows operated laptops and desktops. You can give it a try at free of cost. So, download the software and follow the below guide to recover lost, deleted, formatted, inaccessible data from your external hard drive.


How to Recover Files from an External Hard Drive?

Follow these steps to recover files from your external hard drive at all data loss or deletion scenarios.

Step 1: Connect your external hard drive to a working Windows computer.

Step 2: Install and run Yodot Hard Drive Recovery software on the computer, which you have connected the external hard drive.

Step 3: On the main screen, choose Partition Recovery or Formatted/Reformatted Recovery option based on your data loss situation.

Main Screen

Step 4: Select your external hard drive from the list of detected drives and go Next.

Select External Hard Drive

Step 5: Mark all found partitions and click on Next button.

Mark Partitions

Step 6: Now, select the file types you want to recover. If you wish to recover entire data from the external hard drive irrespective of their file type, then click on Skip button.

Select File Types to Recover

Step 7: After a quick scan, recovered data from the external hard drive will be listed in File Type View and Data View.

View Recovered Data

Step 8: Select and Preview your required file to verify the recovery process.

Preview Files

Step 9: At last, save recovered data on a safe location (not on the external hard drive).

Save Files

B. How to Recover Files from External Hard Drive Using Command Prompt?

When your external hard drive data is lost or in the inaccessible state due to virus attack, damage of external hard disk or any other issue then, you can try Command Prompt first to recover files from the external hard drive.

Here is how to recover files from external hard drive using Command Prompt:

  • First, right-click on cmd. exe and choose Run as administrator
  • Next, type chkdsk D: /r and hit Enter key. (Replace D with the drive letter of your external hard drive)
  • Type Y and press Enter
  • Type D again and hit Enter button (Replace D with the drive letter of your external hard drive)
  • Type attrib -h -r -s /s /d *.* and hit Enter button

C. How to Recover Files from External Hard Drive Without Formatting?

Sometimes, your external hard drive gives “You need to format the disk in drive” error message as soon as you plug it into computer. In this situation, to recover files from external hard drive, you need to run antivirus scan on the affected portable drive.

If that fails to fix your issue, then go to Start menu > choose All Programs and Accessories > right-click on Command Prompt > opt for Run as administrator > Type chkdsk / r D: (Replace D with the drive letter of your external hard drive) > press Enter button.

This fixes issues with your external hard drive including bad sectors, thus you can access the drive as before.

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