How to Restore Data from External Hard Drive

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restore data from external hard drive

External hard drives have become an essential component of our life. It allows us to transport large amounts of data quickly and conveniently. However, many users do not understand how to recover files from hard disks in the event of data loss. This manual is intended to provide you with the knowledge and solutions needed to effectively restore data from external hard drive.

With my extensive experience in backup and recovery as well as working at IBM, I have encountered several types of hard drive failures. Through this article, I will share my feedback from first-hand testing of the recovery tool and take you through common issues and powerful solutions for external hard drive data recovery.

Before you Restore Data from External Hard Drive

Before entering into data recovery, it is important to understand the reasons behind the external hard drive failure. Hurrying to utilize any recovery solution without sufficient information might exacerbate the problem and result in irreversible data loss. You may boost your chances of success by learning about how the hard drive works and the typical causes of failure before beginning the recovery procedure. 

When you have a problem with your external hard drive, the most crucial thing to do is cease using it right away. Further usage of the disk may result in data being erased, making recovery much more difficult. By responding promptly, you can avoid more injury and improve your chances of a good recovery.

Common Reasons for Hard Drive Failure

#1 Logical Problems

Locking issues are frequently caused by file system errors or damaged data that prevent access to stored data. These issues might arise as a result of an emergency disconnection during data transfer. Power rises or incorrect file system activities. Additional data recovery software capable of navigating complicated file systems is required to recover from locking issues. Lost files can be recovered at a high rate if these issues are addressed early and with proper tools before new data is overwritten. 

#2 Hard Drive Isn’t Spinning

Another type of failure occurs when the hard drive refuses to rotate. This often occurs due to the voltage that explodes the special diode inside the drive. However, in many cases, changing the printed circuit board can solve the problem without opening the drive box.

#3 Clicking or Beeping Noises

Clicks or bits are strong indicators of severe hard drive damage. These sounds occur when the drive fails to send the read/write head back to the home position or is stuck on the tile causing severe scratches. Such damage often leads to irreparable data loss. In some cases, the hard drive may emit bits when attempting to rotate the plate but fail to do so. This may be caused by what is known as sticking. When the head and tile are stuck together, professional hard drive recovery services with well-installed, dust-free labs can solve these problems, but they often have higher costs.

#4 Hard Drive Inaccessible

When your computer recognizes the hard drive, but you can’t access the file or boot in the operating system, it may be caused by a corrupted file system. The recovery tool can be used to recover data from inaccessible hard drives and identify the corruption of increased files.

#5 Hard Drive Not Detected

If your computer fails to detect a hard drive that works well, it may indicate compatibility issues between your hard drive and your mainland. Strange server devices or older hardware are at risk for such problems. In some cases, a manual hard disk recovery fix can help solve this problem.

#6 Malware Infection

Malware infection may lead to data loss. While virus deletion is a rare occurrence today, malware has emerged as a major threat, critical data encryption and demanding revenge for decryption. Using hard drive data recovery software is a powerful solution to combat malware infection.

#7 Data Corruption

Data damage caused by software errors or user errors may make the file unreadable. Some corrupted files can be repaired using available tools and techniques, but this is not always possible.

#8 Physical Hard Drive Destruction

Even the most sophisticated hard drive can suffer physical damage, resulting in complete failure. Repairing physically damaged hard drives is challenging and requires the right professionals and equipment.

How to Restore Data from External Hard Drive

Now we’re going to explore recovery methods for external hard drives experiencing one of the most common types of disk failure mentioned above. I’m going to give you detailed steps for two options: using hard drive recovery software and finding professional data recovery services.

Option 1: Restore Data from External Hard Drive Using Software

For reasonably damaged hard drives, data recovery software is the best choice. One recommended tool is WinfrGUI. The easy-to-use graphical interface for Windows file recovery is developed by Microsoft. WinfrGUI makes the recovery process easier even for users with limited technical expertise to recover data from external hard drives using WinfrGUI. Follow these steps:

  • Download and install WinfrGUI: Download and install WinfrGUI on a separate hard drive from the one you want to recover data from.
  • Start WinfrGUI and choose the drive: Open Winfr GUI and select the external hard drive you want to recover data from. Start the scan process by clicking on the specified button.
  • Waiting for the scan to be completed: It depends on the size and speed of your drive. The scan process may take a long time. Have patience while WinfrGUI scans missing data.
  • Analysis of scan results: Once the scan is complete, use WinfrGUI’s filters and search functions to analyze the results. Specify and select the files you want to recover from the list of lost data.
  • Start Recovery: By selecting your desired file, please start the recovery process by clicking the appropriate button. Select a suitable target for the recovered file.

By following these simple steps, WinfrGUI enables smooth data recovery for Windows users with a costly solution to find lost files from external hard drives.

>>Read more: Recover Files emptied from Recycle Bin: 4 Ways

Option 2: Hard Drive Recovery Service

For situations requiring professional expertise such as physically damaged hard drives, a data recovery service center such as SalvageData can provide the necessary assistance. The working process for most data recovering centers usually involves initiating work orders, packing and shipping your media, being calculated, expert pricing approvals, and waiting for the recovered information to be delivered safely on the appropriate media.

Contrary to common belief, professional data recovery services are inexpensive. Most reputable companies charge on the data that has been recovered and offer a “no data, no fees” warranty. Make sure you only pay for successful recoveries.

Option 3: Edit Hard Drive Recovery Manually

In case of data loss caused by file system corruption, manual hard drive recovery corrections are usually effective. While the comprehensive list of corrections goes beyond the scope of this article, I will highlight three reliable corrections:

Fix 1: CHKDSK command for Windows users

  • Enter “cmd” in the search box on the taskbar and select “Run as Administrator”.
  • Enter the command “chkdsk X: / f” (replace X with the specified letter on the hard drive you want to edit) and press Enter.
  • Soon, CHKDSK will be done.

Fix 2: First aid in Disk Utility for Mac users

  • Go to Finder > Application > Utilities and enable Disk Utility
  • Select the hard drive you want to repair from the list and click on the first help button.
  • Confirm that you want First Aid to check for partition errors.

Modification 3: Reinstalling the driver

  • Enter “Device Manager” to search in the taskbar and select Device Manager.
  • Set the location of your external hard drive, which is normally in the portable device section.
  • Right-click on the hard drive and select Uninstall device
  • Restart your computer and wait for the correct driver to be reinstalled automatically.

By following these manual HDD recovery fixes, you can solve the data loss caused by file system corruption.


To conclude, external hard drive data recovery is possible with the right knowledge and tools. By understanding the type of hard drive failure and using the right recovery methods, you can increase your chances of recovering lost data. Whether you choose to use data restoration software, find professional service, or try to fix it manually. It is important to do it quickly and carefully to avoid damaging your valuable data.