How to Recover Data from External Hard Drives on Windows OS?


Recover Data from External Hard Drives store data that users do not need on a regular basis, but the data in them is equally important. If an external hard drive becomes inaccessible or gets corrupt, then it becomes extremely difficult to access the data in it. These external hard drives are extra equipment that is plugged into systems. Since we are constantly plugging them and taking them with us wherever we go, they are more prone to corruption than internal. The first thing is to do is to understand why the hard drive got corrupt in the first place. Here are some of the reasons why external hard drive can get corrupt or inaccessible

  • Read/Write crash

If the hard drive was suddenly ejected while it was reading or writing data, then it could lead to corruption. Apart from that, there can also be physical damage to the read and write head of the external hard drive. It is the small, tangible part of the drive which is responsible for all the read and writes operations and if it gets damaged, then no data can be accessed from the drive.

  • Improper Connectivity

Sometimes, just because the external hard drive has not been connected properly to the systems, users can get an error that the drive is not found, or it’s not accessible. That is why the first thing to do when your drive is not getting discovered by the system is to disconnect it and try it again.

  • File System corruption

External hard disks have NTFS, FAT or exFAT file systems, and if they go corrupt, files and documents on the drive can get inaccessible. They are still present on the drive, but because the file system has got corrupt, the files cannot be accessed by the user.

  • Physical Damage

If the hard drive was dropped or mishandled in any way, then it could lead to data damage as well. While they might look sturdy, hard drives can become unusable after a single drop.

  • Cable damaged

Since the hard drive cable is the only way to connect your external hard drive to the system, any damage it could render your hard drive useless. To check, try using another cable and see if it works. Most probably, you would have to get a new hard drive in this case.

  • Bad sectors

Because of the large number of reading and write operations and long term usage, there can be bad sectors in the external hard drives

  • Hard drive needs formatting error

Most common error faced by the users is “Hard drive is inaccessible” or “Hard drive needs formatting”.

Another common and a more predictable reason are hard drives is a virus or a malware attack. That is why you should never access your hard drive through unknown systems and always have an antivirus handy.

How to Resolve Hard Drive Inaccessible Error

Resolve Hard Drive Inaccessible Error

  • Check if the disk is recognizable

Before you follow any of the steps, it’s important to check if the external hard disk is even getting recognized by the system. For this, follow the below steps-

  1. Open Run by clicking on Windows Key + R together
  2. In the run window, type diskmgmt.msc to  open Disk Management Window
  3. In this Window, see if your external hard disk is listed if it’s not then there is possibly a hardware issue
  • Modifying Permissions

If you are using Windows 7 and above and you face an error like “Hard Drive is not accessible. Access is denied” every time you connect the hard drive to the system, then this manual method can help you out.

  1. Go to My Computer and right click on the inaccessible hard drive
  2. Now click on the Properties option
  3. In the new window, go to the Security tab and click on the Advanced button at the bottom
  4. Go to the Owner tab and click on the Edit option
  5. Modify the permissions in the new Windows and check mark on all the options
  • Use CHKDSK command

Windows has the any-built tool to check any errors in the hard drives. To use it, follow the steps below

  1. Go to the Start Menu and type CMD to open the command prompt
  2. In the command prompt, type CHKDSK /r H: where H is the letter of the drive
  3. If there are any errors in the hard disk, they will be displayed.
  • Open Windows in Safe Mode

When you open Windows in Safe Mode, all the extra software running in the background are disabled so that you can check if any other app was the reason behind this error.

  • Use a third party software

If you haven’t been able to fix the hard drive issue even after following the methods above and you need to recover data urgently, then your best bet is a third party software. But at the same time, it’s important to choose an efficient software because a wrong choice could make you lose your data forever.

We recommend Stellar Phoenix Windows Data Recovery software which is available for Windows and it can recover data from any inaccessible hard drive. It also supports other storage devices including USBs, CD drives, memory cards and digital cameras.

Recover Data from External Hard Drives, follow the steps below

  • Download and install Stellar Phoenix Data Recovery Software and choose what you want to recover and click on Scan “Next” button.

recover data from hard drive (1)

  • After clicking on “Next” button, you will see the option to choose the drive for recovering your data. Just select the drive from which you want to perform data recovery and click on “Scan” button.

recover data from hard drive (2)

  • Once you click on Scan button software will start the scanning process and shows you the preview of all your recoverable files.
  • Select the files you want to recover and click on Recover Button.

Final Verdict: So, There is the best way to Recover Data from External Hard Drives 2017. Hard drive errors are pretty common, and it is important to protect your data when situations like this happen. That is why you should always have Stellar Phoenix Data Recovery with you.

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