How to Fix an External Hard Drive

With laptops and PCs getting smaller and lighter, storage space has never been so tight. At the same time, image, audio and video files are getting bigger all the time. External hard drives offer the answer, offering cheap and spacious storage.

An external hard drive is separate to your main machine, and has its own power supply. Typically, they are just regular SATA or IDE hard drives stored in a plastic or metal case, with a USB or Firewire interface adapter. In short, external HDDs give you plenty of cheap storage at an affordable cost. However, there is a downside – external hard drives are susceptible to physical damage from knocks, bumps, heat and moisture. In these instances, we would advise you not to attempt to fix your external hard drive at home, but instead consult an expert in hard drive data recovery. Here, it will be opened up in a sanitised environment, free of dust and moisture, by people who are experts in their field.

There may be instances, though, when you have kept your external hard drive in optimal conditions, and not bumped, knocked or dropped it, and you still can’t access it. This means that your device has become corrupted, and can be down to a number of factors. It could be due to an improper action, such as disconnecting without ejecting beforehand. Your device could have been the victim of a ransomware attack, with its contents encrypted or wiped. Or, there could be bad sectors present. Whatever the cause of the corruption, there are a few things you can do to recover your data..

The first thing you should do is try running chkdsk. Once you’ve connected your external hard disk drive to your computer or laptop, note down the drive’s letter, click the ‘Start’ button, type ‘cmd’, and run as an administrator. Type chkdsk x: /f, where ‘x’ is your driver’s letter. Press enter, and see if this repairs the drive’s corruption. If this doesn’t work, you can try using one of the many pieces of free data recovery software. Recuva is great for recovering files that have accidentally been deleted, and its traffic light system shows you the integrity of the data that can be recovered. EaseUS is perhaps the best known data recovery tool, and is the best tool to use if you’ve accidentally deleted a partition on your external hard drive. 

hard drive data recovery, hard drive repair software