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How to Recover a Crashed External Hard Drive

If your external hard drive fails, it’s critical to figure out how to salvage the information it contains. This is particularly vital when the drive holds a large amount of significant data.

There are two methods for doing this. Backing up your data with a backup tool or using data recovery software to scan the drive for lost information is one option.

1. Use Disk Drill

If your external hard drive has crashed and you can’t access it without formatting, a data recovery program like Disk Drill is recommended to recover lost files. It’s an user-friendly and powerful application that works with almost all major file systems such as FAT, NTFS, EXT3 and HFS to locate and recover deleted documents.

Disk Drill’s free version allows for up to 500 MB of recovery, but if you need more space it is recommended that you upgrade to either Pro or Enterprise editions for optimal results.

Once the software has been downloaded and installed, it will prompt you to set a few basic preferences. After that, source selection can be done which displays all connected storage devices with their partitions organized by date, type and size. You have the ability to filter these results according to various criteria such as priority of access or file size.

Disk Drill will then perform an intensive scan of your selected drive to recover files. It runs all its scanning processes in the optimal order for optimal results, but you have the option to manually select which ones you wish to run.

It also features a Drive Backup feature that creates byte-to-byte backups of both the entire disk and individual partitions. This can be extremely beneficial when trying to recover data from a damaged external hard drive, giving you peace of mind knowing your backup is secure.

The program supports recovering data from all types of media, such as USB drives, memory cards, cameras and other portable devices. It works with file systems such as NTFS, FAT/FAT32/exFAT and EXT3/EXT4. Furthermore, it can restore photos, videos and other files stored in raw format – a vital requirement for many photographers.

2. Use Diskpart

A crashed external hard drive can be caused by a variety of reasons. It could have been damaged due to virus attack or physical or logical malfunctioning. If this is the case, data can still be recovered using Diskpart and other software programs.

To begin, connect the external hard drive to your computer via USB cable and port. Next, launch a Command Prompt window and type diskpart into it.

After a few seconds, you should see a list of all drives connected to your computer. From here, you can run various commands to perform various operations on the drive.

One of the best ways to accomplish this task is through Diskpart, a Windows utility that enables you to manage disks, partitions and volumes within Windows directly from the Command Prompt.

Diskpart can be used to modify volume sizes, create new ones, and manage unallocated space on a disk. Furthermore, it has the capacity to delete volumes or recover lost partitions.

It is essential to exercise caution when performing these steps. Make sure you select the correct disk or partition and file system.

By doing this, you will ensure all data is saved safely and correctly. Furthermore, it will save you time and energy to recover data from a crashed external hard drive.

To save you time, you can also try using a reliable data recovery software to scan the damaged or corrupted external hard drive. It will scan all files and folders on the device and then restore them onto your computer.

Alternately, you can reformat your disk using Diskpart to get rid of damaged data on it. Unfortunately, reformatting will erase all information on it so it’s recommended to back up any important files before beginning this process.

3. Use CheckDisk

A crash on your external hard drive can be a devastating issue, leading to data loss. Fortunately, there are steps you can take to recover those irreplaceable files.

Before anything else, try to diagnose the issue and identify its source. If you can’t figure out what’s wrong with your external hard drive, data recovery software may be necessary.

Check Disk is a free utility included with Windows that can help recover deleted files from an external hard drive. It scans the entire surface for bad sectors and fixes them if possible, so that your lost items can be restored.

If the command fails, you can also use the chkdsk /r flag to scan the disk for errors and repair them manually. It may take some time, but once completed, you should be able to recover all of your files.

Another option is running the system file checker, which can help fix any corrupted files on your system. Generally, this process takes an hour but should allow you to access your files again after that.

You can also use the check disk command if you believe your computer has become infected with malware. Viruses often exhibit unusual behaviors in a computer’s system, such as freezing and refusing to open its hard drive.

4. Use Microsoft Defender Offline Scan

Microsoft Defender Offline Scan is an effective tool that can help recover a crashed external hard drive. It operates within a secure environment, eliminating malware without impacting the operating system. It’s ideal for clearing infections left behind by other antivirus software and should only be used when regular full scans have failed to eliminate it completely.

Microsoft Defender Offline can be downloaded from the Windows Store and used to create a bootable USB drive, CD, or DVD for use on your PC. Before beginning to boot up the drive, make sure it’s clean and free of malware as any programs running in the background may interfere with media creation.

Once you’re ready to run the scan, boot from a USB drive, CD or DVD. If your computer doesn’t automatically boot from the device, press a key or modify your UEFI firmware or BIOS settings accordingly.

Once the scan is complete, your computer will restart and all of your files should have been restored. Please remember to save any open documents or folders before beginning an offline scan for security purposes.

The offline scan takes around 15 minutes to complete and may be interrupted if any active antivirus applications are running. Once complete, restart your endpoint and the normal Windows user interface will be restored.

Windows Defender Offline Scan is not the only way to recover deleted files from a crashed drive. Disk Drill or CheckDisk are other tools available which may repair bad sectors and restore deleted files from an affected drive; however, these solutions have their limitations and should only be used for minor or simple data loss cases. For more complex cases, data recovery services with experienced specialists who possess special equipment for recovering lost or deleted data should be considered instead.

5. Use CheckDisk / ScanNow

If your external hard drive stops working or is not visible in Windows, you may need to recover data from it. Fortunately, there are several methods available for getting back your files.

First, use Windows repair tools to correct the errors that caused your issue. Start this PC, right-click on the drive with bad sectors, and choose Properties from the menu.

Next, you can utilize Windows System File Checker (SFC) to recover files and folders damaged due to corruption. This powerful tool helps fix corrupted system files quickly and efficiently.

You can also use the CHKDSK command to run a scan on your external hard drive in order to check for errors and fix them. Please be aware that this scan may take some time depending on the size of your external drive.

To run CHKDSK on Windows, you must launch the command prompt as an administrator (usually found as the first option in your search bar).

Once you launch the command prompt, type in “chkdsk c:” and hit Enter. You should see the results of your scan within a few minutes.

Fixing disk errors on an external hard drive allows for access without formatting it, though formatting it is recommended if recovering data from it; doing so ensures that no data is accidentally erased during the process.