External hard drives are used as a secondary form of storage and are considered to be a reliable backup method. However, like all other storage devices, external hard drives are prone to data loss.
However, in this post-pandemic scenario while most of the people are working from home losing data and recovering is quite a challenge. In this article, we will help you learn common causes for data loss and show you how to recover data from an external hard drive disk (HDD) easily.
Before getting into the specifics of data recovery, let’s talk about how data loss occurs on external hard drives.
How Data Loss Occurs on External Hard Drive?
Here are a few reasons listed for losing the data that most commonly anyone can encounter on an external hard drive on daily basis:
- Deleting the file accidentally or formatting.
- Corrupt file systems can lead to data loss.
- Unexpected system failure or application failure.
- Partition structure might be damaged or lost.
- Damage due to power failure or surge.
- Virus attack or other unknown reasons.
What Happens When You Delete Data From The External Hard Drive?
When a file gets deleted, Windows removes the pointer and marks those sectors which used to contain the file data as free space. From the file system’s point of view, the file is no longer present on your external hard drive and the sectors containing data are marked as free space ready to be overwritten. Hence it is important to immediately stop using the hard drive not only to ensure that the overwritten and also increase the chances of external hard drive data recovery.
How to Recover Data From an External Hard Drive in 3 Ways
Without any further delay, let’s take a closer look at how to recover your data from the external hard drive. I have collected 3 reliable fixes that will help you recover the external hard drive more effectively.
- Best way to recover data from external hard drive ( Works on any data loss scenario)
- Run CHKDSK ( Works with only corrupt hard drive)
- Reinstall Device drivers ( Works with undetected hard drive)
Method 1: Restore External Hard Drive Data Using Data Recovery Software
When we think of data recovery software, there are plenty of third party data recovery applications that will help you retrieve the lost data. Now the question is which hard drive recovery software to use?
As long as you select the right recovery application, there’s a good chance that you’ll be able to reunite with your data.Before writing this article i tried various data recovery tools to recover the data, I found this application called Remo Recover by Remo Software very effective and simple.
This Remo Hard Drive Recovery software has made the complex data recovery into a simple 3 step process.
Steps to Recover Data from External Hard Drive Using Remo Recover
- Launch the tool, you will have three options- Recover Files, Recover Photos and Recover Partitions. Click on Recover Partitions, select the drive from which you want to recover data and click on Scan.
- After completion of the scanning process, recovered hard drive data will be displayed in Data View and File Type View.
- Preview the recovered data to check the success rate of hard drive data recovery.
- Save recovery session to rule out the need to rescan drive.
Select a different drive to save the recorded files instead of the original one.
Method 2: Run CHKDSK Command to Recover Files From Corrupt External Hard Drive
Note: This method will help you recover data if you have a corrupt or damaged hard drive.
All Windows computers will have an in-built disk-checking utility called CHKDSK that scans and repairs your hard drive, even if it’s an external HDD. It will verify the file system integrity of the volume and attempt to fix logical file system errors.
- In the search box on the taskbar, type “cmd”. From the search results, right-click on “Command Prompt” and select “Run as administrator”.
- In the Command console, enter the following command and press Enter: chkdsk F: /f (Just make sure you replace “F” with the assigned letter attributed to your external HDD.
- Scanning might take a while, depending on the size of the external hard drive.
- After the scan is complete, close the CMD console and then reboot your computer to check whether the drive is functioning again.
Method 3: Recover data from undetected hard drive
Note: If you have an external hard drive which is not detected you can use this method to easily fix the issue and access the data.
All the components on your computer communicate with the operating system using the drivers. A faulty or corrupted driver can make your external hard drive inaccessible, you can easily install the driver using the Device Manager utility in Windows.
- Launch the Run application using Windows Key + R, type devmgmt.msc and hit Enter.
- Expand the Disk drives and look for your external hard drive. If you are not able to locate it, search under the Portable devices section.
- Right-click on it and choose Uninstall device.
- Reboot your computer, after the driver is uninstalled. Windows will reinstall the driver automatically.
So, the above-mentioned solutions in the article can deliver great results, saving your day dealing with recovering the lost data. If the data is still not recovered it means your external hard drive might have some issue or might have physical damage. The only option you have is to use a data recovery service.
Of course, the best way to ensure 100% successful recovery is to backup all your important data on a regular basis and keep the backup data on safe storage spaces like cloud storage. This way, you’ll be able to access the file whenever you need and you won’t have to worry about losing the data.