The Ultimate Guide To External Hard Drive Recovery

2023-05-05 19:44:31
26310 views, 5 min read

An external hard drive is a portable storage device that you can connect to your computer via USB, Thunderbolt, or FireWire. This device makes it easy to transfer and store large files, which could be anything from documents, music, photos, and videos. External hard drives differ from internal hard drives in that they are not built into a computer but can be connected externally. Despite being a reliable means of storage, however, external hard drives are not immune to data loss. This article aims to provide an ultimate guide to external hard drive recovery, including the common causes of data loss, the possibility of recovering data, and the best methods and tools for data recovery.

Part 1. What Is An External Hard Drive And How Does It Work?

external hard drive

An external hard drive is a portable storage device that is connected externally to a computer. It can be either a solid-state drive (SSD) or a hard disk drive (HDD), both of which have different ways of storing data. An SSD uses flash memory to store data, while an HDD uses magnetic disks. The way an external hard drive works is that it reads and writes data to and from the computer through the USB, Thunderbolt, or FireWire port. This allows for easy file transfers and storage, making it a reliable means of storing large files.

Part 2. How Does External Hard Drive Differ From a Regular Hard Drive?

 External Hard Drive vs a Regular Hard Drive

An external hard drive is different from a regular hard drive in that it is portable. A regular hard drive is usually built into a computer and cannot be removed easily. An external hard drive, on the other hand, can be connected and disconnected from a computer as needed. Another difference is that an external hard drive can be used to store data from multiple computers, whereas a regular hard drive can only store data from the computer it is built into. Finally, an external hard drive is usually more expensive than a regular hard drive due to its portability and convenience.

Part 3.Common Causes Of Data Loss On An External Hard Drive

 External Hard Drive vs a Regular Hard Drive

There are several common causes of data loss on an external hard drive, including:

Physical damage: External hard drives can be susceptible to physical damage, such as drops, shocks, or exposure to water, which can result in data loss.

Virus or malware infection: Malware or viruses can infect external hard drives and cause data loss or corruption.

Accidental deletion: Accidentally deleting important files or formatting the external hard drive can result in data loss.

Power surges or outages: Power surges or outages can damage the external hard drive and result in data loss.

Software or hardware malfunction: Malfunctions in the external hard drive's hardware or software can cause data loss or corruption.

File system corruption: Corruption of the file system on the external hard drive can cause data loss or make it difficult to access files.

Theft or loss: If the external hard drive is stolen or lost, the data stored on it may also be lost.

Part 4.Is It Possible For External Hard Drive Recovery?

Yes, it is possible to recover data from an external hard drive. Depending on the cause of the data loss, there are several methods and tools that can be used to recover lost data. However, it is important to note that in some cases, recovering data can be difficult or even impossible. For example, if the drive is physically damaged, it may be difficult to retrieve data from it. Additionally, if the data has been overwritten or if the drive has been formatted, it may be impossible to recover the lost data.

Part 5.How To Retrieve Data And Recover Deleted Files From External Hard Drive?

If you have lost data or accidentally deleted files from your external hard drive, there are several steps you can take to try to retrieve and recover them:

Stop using the external hard drive: If you suspect that your data has been lost or deleted, stop using the external hard drive immediately. Continued use of the drive can overwrite the lost or deleted data, making it more difficult or impossible to recover.

Use data recovery software: There are several data recovery software options available that can scan your external hard drive for lost or deleted files and attempt to recover them. Some popular data recovery software options include AnyRecover .


Key Features:

  • File Recovery: recover over 1000 types of file formats, including photos, videos, documents, and audio files.
  • Preview Function: The software offers a preview function that allows users to preview recoverable data before they make any purchases.
  • Quick Scan and Deep Scan: Quick Scan is used for scanning for recently deleted files, while Deep Scan is used for scanning for more difficult to recover files.
  • Partition Recovery: AnyRecover has a partition recovery feature that allows users to recover data from deleted or lost partitions.
  • Virus Attack Recovery: making it a useful tool for users who have been affected by malware or other types of computer viruses.
  • User-friendly Interface: it is easy for users to navigate and recover lost files.
  • Partition Recovery: allows users to recover data from deleted or lost partitions.
  • Compatibility: Windows&Mac&Android and iPhone operating systems
Try It Free

Consult a professional data recovery service: If the data on your external hard drive is critical and cannot be recovered using software, consider consulting a professional data recovery service. These services have specialized tools and expertise to recover data from damaged or corrupted external hard drives.

Restore from backup: If you have backed up your data, you can restore it from the backup to recover lost or deleted files.

Check the Recycle Bin or Trash: If you have accidentally deleted files from your external hard drive, check the Recycle Bin (Windows) or Trash (Mac) to see if the files are still there. If they are, you can restore them to their original location.

Part 6.Top 1 Free Software For Data Recovery From External Hard Drive

There are many data recovery software options available, but AnyRecover is a highly rated and effective tool for recovering data from external hard drives. AnyRecover can recover various file types, including documents, photos, videos, and audio files, and it supports all major file systems, including NTFS, FAT, APFS, HFS+, and more.


Too bad 99% of the ‘pictures’ were images from a map Waste of time and money.

From Google


it's just perfect,I could die with it recovering all the data I deleted.

From Koch


It shown my deleted file but I was unable to recover that.

From Jay639

AnyRecover offers a free version that allows you to scan your external hard drive and preview recoverable files before purchasing a license to recover the files. The free version of AnyRecover supports up to 3 file recoveries. AnyRecover also has a user-friendly interface and step-by-step instructions to guide you through the recovery process.

To use AnyRecover for data recovery from your external hard drive:

Step 1 Download and install AnyRecover on your computer. And Connect your external hard drive to your computer.

Step 2Launch AnyRecover and select the external hard drive as the location you want to recover data from.

Step 3Click on the "Start" button to initiate the scanning process.

Step 4Once the scan is complete, AnyRecover will display a list of recoverable files. Preview the files to ensure they are recoverable.

Step 5Select the files you want to recover and click on the "Recover" button to save them to a safe location on your computer.


An external hard drive is a reliable means of storing large files, but it is not immune to data loss. There are several common causes of data loss on an external hard drive, including physical damage, accidental deletion, malware and viruses, and power surges. However, it is possible to recover lost data from an external hard drive using data recovery software such as Recuva. It is important to note that the sooner the data recovery software is used, the higher the chances of recovering lost data. By following the tips and methods outlined in this article, you can effectively retrieve data and recover deleted files from an external hard drive.

Simon Marcus
Simon Marcus
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