External Hard Drive Failure Recovery: 3 Essential Methods

Discover essential methods for external hard drive failure recovery to retrieve your valuable data and restore functionality to your storage device. Explore expert techniques and tools for effective data recovery, ensuring the protection and preservation of your digital assets.


By Sebastian Updated on April 7, 2024

Share this: instagram reddit

External hard drives are convenient storage solutions, but they're prone to failure due to various reasons. When faced with external hard drive failure recovery, it's essential to have reliable recovery methods at your disposal. In this guide, we'll delve into the reasons behind external hard drive failures and provide detailed instructions on how to recover your data using different tools and techniques. Whether it's due to physical damage, logical errors, or software issues, understanding the causes of external hard drive failure is the first step toward effective recovery. And it will help users navigate through external hard drive failures with confidence.

Reasons for External Hard Drive Failure

Understanding the reasons behind external hard drive failure is crucial for implementing effective recovery strategies. Several factors can contribute to the malfunctioning of external hard drives, ranging from physical damage to software issues. By identifying these reasons, users can take proactive measures to prevent failures and safeguard their data.

• Physical Damage: Dropping the hard drive, exposure to extreme temperatures, or water damage can physically harm the device.
• Logical Errors: File system corruption, partition table damage, or bad sectors can lead to data loss and drive malfunction.
• Power Surges: Sudden power outages or fluctuations can damage the circuitry of the hard drive, causing it to fail.
• Firmware Issues: Incompatibility with the system, outdated firmware, or firmware corruption can render the hard drive inaccessible.
• Software Corruption: Malware infections, improper ejection of the drive, or software conflicts can corrupt the data stored on the external hard drive.

Now that we've explored the common reasons behind external hard drive failures, it's time to focus on solutions. In the following sections, we'll outline effective methods and tools to make external hard drive failure recovery. we'll provide step-by-step instructions to help you recover your valuable data and restore functionality to your external hard drive.

Solution 1: Recover External Hard Drive Data With Backup Software

If your external hard drive can show up in Windows Disk Management when connecting, even if it becomes RAW, unreadable, or has weird symptoms, you can still use strong recovery software to easily get your data back, no matter what external hard drive failure it has been through.

Here, we suggest giving AOMEI Backupper Standard a try. It makes recovering data easy with its simple layout and advanced options. It keeps your important files safe while helping you recover them. Whether you need to restore your system or find lost files, AOMEI Backupper has everything you need to get your data back.

AOMEI Backupper
Easy Backup and Restore Software for External Hard Drive
  • Recover Everything: It assists in finding lost files from accidental deletion, formatting, emptying the Recycle Bin, system crashes, and viruses.

  • Recover Different File Types: Restore a variety of data, such as system backups, pictures, videos, and files in any format, including zip files.

  • Works with Many Windows Versions: This tool works with all Windows versions, from Windows 11 and 10 to older versions like 8, 7, XP, and Vista.

Now, here's how to recover data from an external hard drive. If you want to keep your files safe, you can also create a recovery disk for your external hard drive.

Keep in mind: AOMEI Backupper recovery only works with AOMEI Backupper backups. It means you'll need to have at least one file backup created by AOMEI Backupper to restore your lost data. That way, you can recover your files if needed.

1: Install and launch AOMEI Backupper Standard, then select Restore >> Select Task. The Select Image File option is available to manually select the image file for restoration.

Select Task

2: Select the file backup for recovery, then click Next. Continue to choose specific files or folders from the list tree, and tap Next.

Select Image

3: Set a saving path to recover your files. Two given options are Restore to the original location and Restore to a new location. You can choose Replace existing files. Lastly, click Start Restore to begin the task.

Restore to Original Location

If you want to see a more detailed guide to teach you how to do it, check out: How to Do Files and Folders Restore.

However, if you need to directly restore the backup image onto another computer that has different hardware, we recommend using the professional version. It comes with a feature called Universal Restore, which ensures a bootable OS after system recovery.

Solution 2: Run the CHKDSK for External Hard Drive Failure Repair

When encountering external hard drive failure, running the CHKDSK (Check Disk) utility can often be a useful first step in diagnosing and repairing the issue. This built-in Windows tool scans the drive for errors and attempts to fix any issues it finds. In this section, we'll explore how to run CHKDSK for external hard drive failure repair, providing a comprehensive guide to help you troubleshoot and resolve common disk errors.

1. Press the Windows key, and type cmd in the search bar.

2. Input chkdsk F: /f /r and press Enter. (Replace F with the letter assigned to your external hard drive./f tells chkdsk to fix any errors it finds; /r helps it find and repair bad parts of the drive to recover readable data.)


3. Input exit to exit Command Prompt.

Solution 3: Update/Reinstall the External Hard Drive

If your external hard drive isn't working right, it could be because its drivers are outdated or corrupted. By updating or reinstalling the drivers, you can often make the external hard drive failure recovery and get your hard drive working again. Follow these steps to update or reinstall the drivers and troubleshoot the issue.

Update Device Driver:

1: Start by clicking on Start and then selecting Device Manager.

2: Next, navigate to Disk Drives, find your drive, and click on it.

3: Then, choose the option to Update Driver and select Search automatically for updated driver software.

Update Driver

Reinstall Device Drive:

1: Go to Disk Drives >> Uninstall Device Instead.

2: Afterward, restart your computer and see if the driver is automatically reinstalled.

FAQs about External Hard Drive Failure Recovery

Q: Can I recover data from a physically damaged external hard drive?

A: It really depends on the situation whether it can be recognized and read. If the answer is yes, you can still try AOMEI Backupper Standard to restore your data. If not, seeking help from official physical stores could be better.

Q: How long does data recovery take?

A: The time required for data recovery varies depending on the extent of damage and the size of the drive.

Q: Can I recover files lost because of viruses or malicious plug-ins?

A: Yes, you can use AOMEI Backupper to recover deleted files as long as you have the copy image before they were infected and lost.

Bottom Line

Recovering data from external hard drive failure is crucial to protect your valuable data. With the methods outlined in this guide, you can effectively recover your data and restore functionality to your external hard drive. Remember to act swiftly and cautiously to minimize data loss, and consider using reliable data recovery software like AOMEI Backupper for comprehensive recovery solutions. It also creates a Windows 8.1 image backup, so why not give it a shot?

Sebastian · Editor
Sebastian, a professional editor at AOMEI, brings personal product experience and a user-focused mindset to solve data protection issues. With valuable technical insights and a dedication to user experience, he simplifies complex concepts and provides reliable solutions. Sebastian's expertise and skills make him an invaluable resource for readers seeking technical guidance.