Fix: I Accidentally Formatted My Seagate External Hard Drive

“I accidentally formatted my Seagate external hard drive, how to fix?” Don’t worry, solutions will help you perform Seagate external hard drive recovery.


By Lora / Updated on April 23, 2024

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“How do I recover a formatted Seagate external hard drive?”

Disk formatting is a useful operation: it sets up a hard drive before use, refreshes a corrupted or unhealthy hard drive to bring it back to normal use, and also wipes all contents on the disk before selling or recycling.

But when the disk is in use, disk formatting turns into dangerous processing.


I accidentally formatted my Seagate external hard drive


Is it possible to get erased data from a Seagate hard disk? I formatted the hard disk by mistake.


- Question from Quora


It leads to severe data loss – all data on it will be wiped, and common users get nowhere to recover their valuable files.

If you are confronted with a similar dilemma, you perhaps will be eagerly asking: is it possible to recover data from formatted hard drive?

Can a hard drive be recovered after formatting?

Simply put, it depends on whether you have quick formatted it or not. You could only recover data from a quick formatted external hard drive/internal hard drive.


What is a quick format? Does quick format delete files?

When you execute a quick format to a hard drive, it merely wipes the data on it, and at the same time, creates a file system for better disk management.

The flip side would be a complete format.

A complete format, in addition to deleting data, writes zeros to the hard drive to erase the entire disk.

The crucial idea is that data may be recovered as long as it has not been overwritten yet.


Troubleshoot: I accidentally formatted my Seagate external hard drive

Then, how to recover accidentally formatted hard drive? In general, you could turn to your backups; if not, choosing Windows data recovery software to help you undo quick format will be easier.

Fix 3. Utilize Windows data recovery software to achieve Seagate external hard drive recovery

Users reported that “I accidentally formatted my Seagate external hard drive.” And they are in great need of feasible ways to save their data.

No backups? Using commands is way too difficult? Don’t panic, it is not impossible to perform Seagate external hard drive recovery.

Let reliable Windows data recovery software help you. Using MyRecover, you could make it effortlessly, and meanwhile, save your time and labor.

It is specially designed for Windows users to restore deleted and missing files from internal/external HDD/SSD/USB flash drive/memory card, etc., within a short time.

Powerful Hard Drive Recovery Software
  • Scan and recover deleted files in their original formats/filenames/directories.
  • Over 200+ file types are supported, including photos, videos, office files, compressed files, etc.
  • Compatible with multiple operating systems: Windows 11, 10, 8, 7 SP1 & Server.
  • Support NTFS/exFAT/FAT32/ReFS, etc.

Now follow the guide to restore data from a formatted Seagate external hard drive in 3 steps.

Step 1. Install and run the software > connect your Seagate external storage device to the PC (if you are using a Seagate external hard drive) > hover the mouse over the drive and click Scan to scan.


Step 2. Quick Scan searches for deleted files from NTFS drives, while Deep Scan looks for missing files, applying to all file systems.

To locate deleted files faster, you can try inputting filename in the Search box,  or use the Filter feature to find them.


Step 3. Go to Deleted files to select the deleted data or go to Other missing files and select what you need > click Recover x files.


The question of how to recover accidentally formatted hard drives will be easily settled by this powerful tool. With this application, it will also be an easy task to recover deleted data from Laptop hard disks.

Fix 2. Recover data from formatted Seagate external hard drive via backups

To deal with an external hard drive, normal methods like restoring previous versions of files are not viable. But you could seek help from a backup.

Seagate Toolkit – an official tool designed by Seagate is a viable option. Users could use it to access, back up, as well as restore data when necessary.

⚠️Notes: This tool's support for Windows 7, 8, and 8.1 will terminate in mid-2022. Users with former versions (under Windows 10) of Windows might as well move on to the next method.

Step 1. Start Toolkit > click Restore.


Step 2. Select backup plans to restore your data.


Step 3. Specify the file directory > choose files you need > click Next.


Step 4. Specify the target place to save the recovered files/save it in the original location > Click Restore.


Restoring from a Seagate backup, you could achieve a Seagate external hard drive recovery.

Fix 3. Restore files from formatted Seagate hard drive via Windows File Recovery

If unfortunately, there are no backups with you, commands can be a choice. Commands assist users to manage their drives with disk-level operations. E.g., the Recover command in CMD could help restore deleted files.

But it requires an exact file path and name, which is not suitable for a formatted hard drive. Instead of it, we are going to use Windows File Recovery.

It is a command-line app that scans files from healthy/corrupted/formatted hard drives. However, please note that it is pretty difficult due to complex recovery modes, switches, and command-line interface. Check the Windows File Recovery use guide to help.

  • It only applies to machines using Windows 10, version 2004 (Build 19041), or later.

  • Store your recovered files in another drive.

Step 1. Connect the Seagate external hard drive properly > go to This PC > right-click on the Seagate drive > click Properties and check the file system.


Step 2. Choose a recovery mode according to the file system and how your data was lost.

File system Scenarios mode
NTFS Deleted recently Regular
NTFS Deleted for a while Extensive
NTFS Formatted disk Extensive
NTFS corrupted disk Extensive
FAT and exFAT Any Extensive

Step 3. Select switches to narrow the scanning range.

Switches Meaning Supported mode(s)
/n Filter the scan range: scans for a specific file with its file name/path/type, etc. All
/y: Recovers specific extension groups. Signature
/k Recovers system files. NTFS Segment​​​​​
/segment Segment mode; recovers files under NTFS drives using file record segments. Segment
/signature Signature mode; recovers files under all file system types using file headers. Signature
/u Recovers undeleted files, for example, from the Recycle Bin. NTFS Segment

Step 4. Go to Microsoft Store > click Get to install Windows File Recovery > run the app.


Step 5. Input the command:

winfr source-drive: destination-drive: [/mode] [/switches]

winfr F: D: /extensive /n *.jpg


This command helps you recover all jpg files from an external hard drive to the local D: drive.

When meeting any errors or problems, check the Windows File Recovery troubleshooting tutorial to fix them.

FAQ about Seagate external hard drive recovery


If you are wondering and asking “I accidentally formatted my Seagate external hard drive”, you might as well seek help from this detailed tutorial.

Several practicable means to realize data recovery from Seagate external hard drive can solve your problems. Extra info is ready to assist you as well.

How do I find hidden files on my Seagate external hard drive?

Viruses could hide your files maliciously.

If you have got hidden files and want to unhide them now, please start This PC > head over to the exact folder which contains the hidden files > View > Options > View > Advanced settings.

Toggle the option to Show hidden files, folders, and drives.


How does Seagate rescue work?

Seagate offers Rescue Data Recovery Services for its users. Some products cover the data recovery service plan. Without it, it might cost you $500-$2000, depending on how severe is the data loss situation.

Check the process:

  1. Contact Seagate support.
  2. Send the Seagate hard drive to the lab.
  3. The data recovery process takes 15 business days.
  4. If failed, it will be returned or destroyed.
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.