How to Recover Files from External Hard Drive? Proven Ways to Get Your Data Back

The use of external devices has made it simple and super easy for us to carry a huge amount of data in our pockets. More importantly, you can easily connect them to a wide range of devices to access or transfer data. Due to this convenience, we all rely on these devices and often forget to consider that we can lose the data stored on them.

Though people are not much aware of how to recover files from external hard drives, this article enables you to perform a quick external hard drive recovery using proven methods, as discussed below.

Part 1. 5 Potential Ways to Perform a Quick External Hard Disk Recovery

1. Recover Deleted Files from External Hard Drive Using Recoverit – The Most Recommended Method

The very first and the most trusted method you can use to get your lost or deleted data back on your external hard drives is nothing but the use of Wondershare Recoverit Data Recovery. It does not matter whether you want to recover documents, audio, images, videos, or emails; Recoverit has got you covered.

You will be surprised to see that this software can recover your data from more than 2000 storage devices, including external hard disks. Apart from that, you can recover files in over 1000 file formats. More interestingly, the availability of 500+ data recovery scenarios add more value to the reputation of this utility. Moreover, Recoverit comes with a 95% successful recovery rate.

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Tech Specs:

Let’s have a look at the steps to follow to recover files from external hard drives.

Step 1: Visit the website of Wondershare Recoverit to download this tool on your device. Once done, install it using the guidelines appearing on your screen.

How to Recover Files from External Hard Drive? Proven Ways to Get Your Data Back

Step 2: Now, you have Recoverit installed on your computer. Go to the section “Hard Drives and Locations” from the left side of the main interface, as shown below. Then, choose the disk from the External Devices part. Please ensure that the external device has been connected to your computer and can be recognized successfully.

Step 3: The software will start searching for the lost files from the chosen external hard disk. The scanning progress will be displayed on the bottom of the tool’s screen, as shown below.

Note: If you want to stop or resume the scanning process, you can do that at any time.

Step 4: Once the tool completes the scanning process or you stop it, you can preview the files you want to recover. This way, you will make sure that Recoverit has done the right job.

How to Recover Files from External Hard Drive? Proven Ways to Get Your Data Back

Step 5: Now, hit the “Recover” button located in the bottom-right corner to recover deleted files from external hard drives. Then, choose a particular location on your system, and save it accordingly.

Note: Don’t forget to watch this video to see how you can recover deleted or lost data quickly and safely using Wondershare Recoverit.

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2. Use CMD to Perform External Hard Drive Recovery

CMD is an effective tool integrated into the Windows operating system that can perform data recovery. It is used to take input commands from the user and perform advanced actions based on the entered commands. Let’s look at the steps you need to follow when performing an external hard drive recovery with CMD.

Step 1: Go to the search menu of your Windows computer. Type “cmd” in the search bar and open it right away.

How to Recover Files from External Hard Drive? Proven Ways to Get Your Data Back

Step 2: Now, put the “ATTRIB -H -R -S /S /D X:*.*” command in CMD and hit the “Enter” key from your system’s keyboard, as shown below.

Important Note: You can replace the character “X” from the above command with the actual name of your external hard disk. Otherwise, you will not be able to run this command on CMD.

3. Restore a Previous Version

If any hardware component of your computer fails to perform its task or your system crashes all of a sudden, it will lead to a data loss from your external hard disk. The good news is that you can recover data in such cases using the “File History” function. If you want to recover deleted files from external hard drives from the previous version, follow the steps mentioned below.

Step 1: Go to the folder on your external drive where your files were deleted or lost.

Step 2: Then right-click on the folder you choose, and tap on the “Properties” option.

Step 3: Now, on the Properties window, enter the tab “Previous Versions.”

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Step 4: It is time to choose the specific versions you wish to restore.

Step 5: Hit the “Restore” button, and you are done with recovering files from an external hard disk.

4. Show Hidden Files

Sometimes, you hide your important files on external disks, and when you do not see them on the drive, you think that they are either lost or deleted. In such cases, you can show hidden files to get them back. For this, follow the steps below.

Step 1: Go to the search menu on your Windows computer, type “Control Panel,” and open it.

Step 2: Now, select “Small icons” from the dropdown list.

Step 3: Tap on the “Folder Options.”

Step 4: Enter the “View” tab inside the Folders Options and choose the “Show hidden files, folders, and drives” option, as shown below.

Step 5: It is time to tap on the “Apply” button, hit “OK,” and you are done.

5. Benefit from Data Recovery Services

If you have tried all the methods listed above and did not get fruitful results, try hiring data recovery services to get guaranteed results. Remember, these services will cost you high because, this time, professional data recovery experts will use their expertise to get your data back.

Thousands of similar service providers are available these days, but trusting a random one is not a good idea. A few tips you must keep in mind when hiring data recovery services are listed below.

  • First of all, focus on cost analysis to find affordable yet reliable data recovery services that do not burden your pocket.
  • Choose the service that operates on a “no recovery, no charges” policy. This way, you get a guarantee of either getting your data back or no loss of money.
  • Once you find a trusted service provider, take your external hard drive to them, explain to them the real problem, and ask for an exact quote. It is better to get quotes from multiple service providers. Doing this will help you make a worthy decision.
  • It is time to make the final decision and hire professional data recovery services.
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Part 2. The Top 7 Reasons Behind Losing Your Data from the External Drives

Before going into the specifics of how to recover deleted files from external hard drives, you must be familiar with why exactly it happens. Let’s look at the potential reasons that cause data loss from the external hard disks.

1. Environmental Problems

If you keep your external hard drive in a place with excessive moisture or heat, you are likely to lose the data stored on that device. If this is the case, you can consult data recovery technicians to resolve this issue.

2. Physical Damage

Rough use of external hard disks often causes data loss. If you mishandle these storage devices without proper maintenance, they start producing a grinding or clicking sound. It clearly indicates that the platter is damaged.

3. Formatted/Reformatted Drives

If your external hard drive is formatted accidentally or unintentionally, you will lose all the data. To avoid these scenarios, it is very important to keep a backup of your data. Doing this will keep your data protected in case of data loss.

4. Hardware Issues

The hardware problems, like overheating and power outages, are another leading reason causing data loss from external hard drives.

5. Accidental Deletion

If the data files are deleted accidentally from your external disk, it will not make your drive dead. You will be happy to hear that you can recover data very easily in such scenarios.

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6. Virus Attacks

Virus or malware attacks are one of the most unwanted situations that lead to obvious data loss. These attacks can either modify your data or delete it completely from your external hard disk.

7. Corrupted File Systems

You may lose the data stored on your external drive if file systems are corrupted due to any reason. Therefore, keep a close eye on this factor all the time.

Final Words

Though external hard drives help us a lot when it comes to carrying a huge amount of data easily, they are sensitive to data loss problems. If you are experiencing any similar issues, the above discussion has the answers to your queries.

If you want to recover deleted files from external hard drives, you must try Wondershare Recoverit Data Recovery. It is an incredible tool to perform a quick, 100% secure, and effective external hard drive recovery. Both Mac and Windows versions of Recoverit are readily accessible. A free trial version is available to get familiar with its basic functionalities.