Guide: How to Recover Data from WD External Hard Drive?

How to recover data from WD external hard disk? You could get guided with several practicable methods in this tutorial.


By Lora / Updated on April 3, 2024

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About to retrieve data from WD external hard drive

Western Digital (WD), abbreviated as WD, is an external hard drive manufactured by Western Digital Corporation.

It is generally used to store photos, videos, documents, data files, and other types of data. It is noted for its large capacity and rapid data transmission speed.

However, no type of device can escape from data loss. Some users reported that they met partition loss on the WD My Book series. If you have the same problem, you could get help to carry out Western Digital My Book partition recovery.

In this article, you will learn about how to recover data from WD external hard disk. Before you adopt the methods, let's first take a look at what causes the data loss of the external hard drive.

Causes of Western Digital hard disk data loss

WD external hard drives are used by the majority of users as a device for storing important data. Therefore, once the data is lost, this is definitely an upsetting problem for most people. Below several of the most common reasons for WD external hard drive data loss are listed: 

Accidentally deleted data file. 
Mistakenly formatted disk/partition. 
The file system on the drive is damaged. 
Malicious virus attack.
Improper external hard disk ejection.
Sudden power failure. 
The hard drive is corrupted/damaged.

Of the above reasons for data loss, human error is the primary cause of data loss. The best way to reduce human error is to back up data regularly, so as to reduce the risk of data loss.

How to recover data from WD external hard disk?


Once data is lost, how to recover data from Western Digital external hard drive? In the Windows system, the deleted data will be placed in an inaccessible space, which means that your data has not been permanently deleted.

 If you want to restore data from the external hard disk, please stop using the external hard disk immediately. Otherwise, once new data overwrites the previous data, you will not be able to recover it.

Method 1. Retrieve data from WD external hard drive in Windows 10

How to recover data from WD external hard disk? Using a free & easy tool to solve the problem on an external hard disk is a better bet.

For Windows 10 users, freeware WinfrGUI could be utilized. It fully invokes the function of Windows File Recovery and provides users with a graphical user interface.

You could also get help to perform external hard drive partition recovery if you meet partition loss. Now install WinfrGUI and follow the steps below to perform data recovery.

Download Freeware Win 10 2004 and above
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This tool can only apply to Windows 10 and later. 
Fully invoking Windows File Recovery's function, it offers NO 100% success rate in data recovery. 
The source drive could not be the same as the target place to save your recovered files. 
Choose a scanning mode according to your File System and data loss scenarios.

Step 1. Start WinfrGUI, select the external hard drive partition where you have deleted files, then choose another place to store the recovered files. Check your File System by putting your mouse on the "!" icon.


Step 2. Choose a scanning mode. Deep Scan could be used on an external hard drive with a non-NTFS File System.   Check Advanced Settings if you need to narrow the scanning range.  


Step 3. Click Start Recovery and get your deleted files back easily and 100% free.  


Thus you could restore data from Western Digital hard disk. 

Method 2. Recover data from WD external hard disk in Windows 7/8/10/11

If the tool introduced above cannot help you, or you are using Windows OS under Windows 10, then you might need help from a professional Windows data recovery software.

To get back data from WD external hard drives efficiently, using MyRecover is a good choice. It uses advanced scanning methods to search for the data and fragments on your disks.

With it you hardly need to do anything but just a few simple clicks, thus you can complete the data recovery from the WD external hard drive.


Recover data from WD external hard disk with its formats/filenames/directories kept

  • Apply to various data loss situations, accidental deletion, disk formatting, virus attack, system crash, etc.
  • Restore over 200 types of data, pictures, videos, audios, texts, documents, etc.
  • Scan and detect data at a very fast speed and a high recovery rate.
Download SoftwareWin 11/10/8/7/Server
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Step 1. Launch the program > connect your WD external hard disk to the PC > hover the mouse over the drive, and click Scan.


Step 2.  Target the files you need using the filters: Type, Size, Path, etc.


Step 3. Select the data you need > Recover x files.


Using this tool, it will also be a very easy task to recover permanently deleted files in Windows 11/10/8/7.


Method 3. Get back WD external hard drive data without using software

How to recover data from Western Digital external hard drive with an in-built tool? If you are looking for a way to recover data from WD external hard drive without software, you could also recover data from hard drive using CMD.

But attention please, using this tool requires users to use commands, which is pretty difficult and dangerous. Now please follow the advanced steps to carry out WD external hard disk data recovery.

The command "attrib" is used to remove or add attributions to the hidden files, thus getting them shown and "recovered". So this method is not foolproof.

Step 1. Input “cmd” in the search bar beside the “Start” menu. Click “Run as administrator”.


Step 2. Input the command “ATTRIB -H -R -S /S /D X:*.*” and press Enter. Here the “X” refers to the drive letter of your external hard drive.


Now, you could have your data recovered from the WD external hard disk.

Method 4. Recover data from WD external hard disk not recognized

If the device is not recognized by the computer when you try to connect the Western Digital external hard drive to the computer to recover data, what to do?

There are three reasons for the device not being recognized:

The device is damaged. 
The disk driver needs to be updated. 
Drive letter conflict/missing.

You could use Disk Management to find out what’s wrong with your device.

Case 1. Damaged device

To recover corrupted hard drive, first, you need to check out the status of your hard drive. Here are some steps you need to take to see if your device is damaged/corrupted.

◆ First, check if the charging cable and the USB port on your computer are in good working order. Try different cables and ports.

◆ Try connecting the WD to another computer and see if it can be identified.

◆ Tab on “Win+R” to start “Run”. Input “diskmgmt.msc” to start Disk Management. See if the WD is shown or not.

If corrupted, maybe you need to restore the hard drive safely and without losing data.

If you are sure that all the USB ports of the computer are in good condition, but the WD is still invisible in the disk management window, and even it cannot be recognized when plugged into other computers, it can be affirmed that the WD is damaged.

You could contact professional technicians to help you repair it.

Case 2. The device needs to be updated

If the hard disk drive is not updated in time, there are chances that the hard disk may not be recognized. You could update the driver to solve it.

Step 1. Right-click on the “Start” menu, and choose “Device Manager”.

Step 2. Go to “Disk Drives” and right-click on the WD external hard drive, choose “Update Driver”.


Step 3. Click “Search automatically for drivers”.


Step 4. After the hard drive is automatically updated, you can see the Western Digital external hard drive in This PC.


Case 3. Drive letter missing

If your computer cannot recognize the WD external hard disk, but you could see it in the Disk Management, it is likely to have something to do with the Drive letter. You could assign a letter or change it to address this problem.

Step 1. Right-click on the “Start” menu and choose “Disk Management”.

Step 2. Locate your WD external hard disk, right-click on it and select “Change Drive Letter and Paths”.


Step 3. Assign a new letter to the WD external hard disk and click “OK”.


Then see if it is recognized in “This PC”. Then you could follow the first two methods to retrieve data from WD external hard drive according to your specific needs and preferences.

To sum up

This tutorial may assist you in resolving the problem: “How to recover data from WD external hard disk”. When faced with this scenario, you could consider utilizing Data Recovery Software to extract your data, and CMD might be of help.

You could also get guided to recover data from WD external hard drive not recognized in this post.

It is highly recommended to use Data Backup Software to generate a copy to protect your valuable data. AOMEI Backupper can be of great help - its amazing features, like "Disk Backup", "System Backup", "Files Backup", etc., facilitate users to protect their precious data.

Lora · Editor
Lora is an editor of AOMEI Technology. She is also a tester and editor of AOMEI Data Recovery Tools. -- "Keep testing, write the most useful tutorials for helping people recover the lost data for Windows and phones" is the most meaningful thing for her. Dedicated to creating helpful tutorials, she hopes her tutorial can assist users to effortlessly solve data loss problems on their personal computers and mobile phones.