How to Recover Data from Unreadable External Hard Drive Fast

Wonder how to recover data from unreadable external hard drive? On this page, a feasible data recovery method and some ways to repair external hard drive are provided.


By Zoey / Updated on April 2, 2024

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The external hard drive is an invaluable device for storing and backing up data, making it an excellent choice for data storage and sharing purposes. However, there are instances when an external hard drive becomes corrupted and unreadable, resulting in the loss of files, images, music, videos, and other media.

While this situation can be distressing, understanding how to recover data from unreadable hard drives can help you a lot. This article will delve into the intricacies of recovering data from an unreadable hard drive.

Common Causes of Unreadable External Hard Drives

Due to the delicate nature of portable external hard drives, they are prone to damage that often goes unnoticed. As a result, various issues can arise, with the most common being corruption and unreadable of the external drive. When this occurs, your operating system fails to read or access the drive, displaying an error message indicating file corruption or inaccessibility.

You may wonder why your external hard drive is showing signs of corruption and inaccessibility. Multiple factors can contribute to the unreadable state of the drive. In this section, we will explore some of the primary causes of disk corruption:

  • Virus Attack: Infection from a virus or malware can occur due to unsafe browsing habits or downloading files from untrustworthy sources. Such an incident can compromise the file system of your external hard drive, converting it to a RAW format.
  • Power Failure: Unexpected power outages can negatively impact both your computer and the connected external disks, resulting in file corruption.
  • Malfunctioning Ports: It is crucial to ensure that both the USB ports on your PC and the external drive are functioning correctly when connecting the device. Failure to do so can lead to the corruption of your external drive.
  • Mishandling: Mishandling the external hard drive during removal from the PC, especially without utilizing the "safely remove hardware" option, is a common cause of corruption and inaccessibility. Accidental physical damage to the device can also make it challenging for the system to access the data stored within.

Recover Data from Unreadable External Hard Drive Effortlessly

Looking for effective methods for how to recover files from unreadable external hard drives? Your search ends here! This comprehensive article will provide you with detailed guidance on recovering data from an unreadable hard drive.

Experiencing the frustration of being unable to access critical data stored on your external hard drive can be daunting. But fear not, as MyRecover is here to help.

As a professional data recovery tool, MyRecover provides powerful features to recover data from unreadable, corrupted, damaged external hard drives.

Main features of MyRecover

  • Recover data from RAW drives, unreadable drives, corrupted drives, formatted drives, and more situations.
  • Support more than 200 types of data to recover, including files, folders, pictures, videos, audio, emails, etc.
  • Work perfectly in Windows 11, 10, 8, 7, and Windows Server 2022, 2019, 2016, 2012, etc.
  • Keep recovered files with their original filename, path, quality, and format.

Download and install the MyRecover application on your computer, then you can follow the easy steps here to recover data from unreadable external hard drive.

Download Software Windows 11/10/8/7/Server
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1. Connect your unreadable external hard drive to your computer and hover the mouse over it here. Click Scan to let it be scanned.

External Hard Drive Start Scan

2. MyRecover will find all your deleted data files and missing files from the unreadable external hard drive with via Quick Scan and Deep Scan automatically.

External Hard Drive Scanning

3. Choose the data that you want to recover from the unreadable external hard drive, then click on Recover x files. Select a safe location for your data.

External Hard Drive Recover Files

Even if your hard drive is damaged beyond the capabilities of data recovery software, you can still retrieve your valuable information with the assistance of a data recovery service. These services specialize in recovering data from external hard drives from any situation like recovering corrupted hard drive, unreadable or damaged hard drive, etc. giving you a chance to retrieve files you thought were lost forever.

How to Fix Unreadable External Hard Drive Easily

After knowing how to recover unreadable external hard drive with an easy-to-use recovery tool, there are also some effective ways to repair unreadable external hard drive. Refer to the following contents to fix your unreadable drive right now.

Solution 1. Utilize the CMD Prompt Utility to Run the CHKDSK Command

By running the CHKDSK command through the CMD prompt, you can assess the condition, file system, and format information of your drive, identifying any physical or logical faults. Follow these steps:

1. Open the command prompt by searching for "cmd" in the start menu, preferably opening it as an administrator.

2. Enter the command "chkdsk d: /f /r". Replace d: with the drive letter of your unreadable external hard drive.

/f aims to fix any errors.
/r aims to fix any errors on the drive, and search for bad sectors and mark the space as usuable.
/x aims to dismount the corrupted drive forcibly.

If there is not any parameter, the command only show the drive status and will not fix it.



Solution 2. Update the Device Driver

Outdated device drivers can contribute to the inaccessibility of external devices. To update the driver, you can utilize the Device Manager function in Windows. Here's how to proceed:

1. Open the Device Manager and locate the external hard drive driver under "Universal Serial Bus Controllers."

2. Double-click on the driver and select the "Update driver" option. Wait for the manager to determine if there is a faulty driver and proceed accordingly.

External Hard Drive Update Driver


Solution 3. Format the Unreadable Drive

Please note that this step should only be taken if your device's file system has become RAW, and you do not intend to retrieve the data stored within. Follow these steps:

1. Open "This PC" and select your external drive from the available disk list.

2. Right-click on the drive and choose the "Format" option. If the file system is RAW, switch it to NTFS and click OK.

Quick Format Option


Preventing Data Loss from Hard Drives: Best Practices

To avoid data loss from your hard drive, consider implementing the following tips:

  • If you hear unusual noises like clicking or grinding sounds from your device, immediately cease using it. Prioritize creating a byte-level backup with professional backup service like AOMEI Backupper to preserve deleted files.
  • Use reliable antivirus software to safeguard your machine from malware, as viruses and malware infections can lead to data loss.
  • Regularly back up your data to ensure the protection of your information. This proactive measure may enable you to restore files from backup easily, if not all, of your data without the need for specialized software or professional data recovery services.
  • Keep your storage device away from extreme heat and high humidity, as these conditions can cause damage.
  • Exercise caution when performing potentially destructive actions, such as deleting files or formatting partitions. Verifying the accuracy of your actions will prevent inadvertent data loss that could have been easily avoided.


Recovering data without backup can be quite difficult. Fortunately, there are ways to resolve this issue without losing data. By following the techniques outlined in this article, you can recover data from unreadable external hard drives and repair corrupted drives without formatting your valuable data.

Additionally, we have introduced MyRecover, an exceptional data recovery tool that ensures the effective restoration of data from any corrupted external drive. So, if your external device has become unreadable, rest assured that this reliable program has got your back.

Zoey · Editor
Zoey works as an English editor of AOMEI Technology. She provides tech information about backup and restore, mobile data transfer, and so on for AOMEI. She hopes that her articles will be greatly helpful for users. She is fond of music, film, and photography.