WD Data Recovery: Recover Data from WD External Hard Drive

Check this tutorial of WD data recovery and recover files from Western Digital external hard drives in different ways.


By Lora / Updated on April 3, 2024

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"How can I recover my data from my WD external hard drive?"

WD, also known as Western Digital, has manufactured many excellent data storage devices, providing data storage solutions for all users around the world, including internal hard drives and external ones.

During use, however, unexpected accidents might happen. Data loss such as accidental deletion, disk formatting, virus attack, etc., are inevitable to some degree.


WD Elements deleted everything, how to recover it


I need help finding a trustworthy program to recover files lost on my WD elements external drive. I used it recently and all was there. Any ideas on getting it all back?


- Question from Tom’sHardware


This user reported that the WD external hard drive deleted the files, which is also witnessed on SD cards: some users had met the SD card deleting files by itself issue.

And now, this user is seeking help to perform Western Digital data recovery urgently. Check this tutorial if you have the same problem.

Why do files disappear from external hard drive?

Let’s start with the reasons why data get lost from WD external hard drives.

Deletion. You might have accidentally deleted partitions or files/folders, causing a direct data loss.

■ Disk formatting. Formatting a disk will wipe all the contents on the external hard disks, regardless of a quick format or a full format.


■ Virus attack. Visiting fishing sites or malware will put your hard drives in danger. Viruses will modify, hide, delete, or encrypt your files.

■ System crash. An unexpected shutdown might interrupt the data writing process, causing data loss.

■ Physical damage. Clicking sounds and frequent freeze might indicate physical damage to the disk, head assembly, or other delicate parts, making data inaccessible.

Does WD provide data recovery?


Many storage device manufacturers provide data recovery measures to assist users to deal with data loss.

E.g., Seagate has offered a data rescue service for users in case you have accidentally formatted the Seagate external hard drive or met other data loss situations.

There is no exception for WD. WD provides data recovery plans for users. Users could purchase a plan for certain eligible products, and then any data loss within the plan duration (usually 2-3 years) will be settled after claiming.

Does Western Digital warranty cover data recovery?

The warranty does not cover a data recovery plan. You need to add an extra plan when purchasing the device. And only certain products are provided with the data recovery plan.

Without a plan, you might be charged $500-$2000 depending on the extent of the damage.

If your Western Digital external hard drive is out of the plan list, you haven’t bought one, or you want to recover data free, how to recover files from Western Digital external hard drive?

Check the solution part below.


Guide: WD data recovery

For an external hard disk, you won’t be able to utilize Windows backup tools that only back up local data, but you could still get 2 approaches to achieve Western Digital hard drive data recovery.

Method 1. Recover files from Western Digital external hard drive via Windows File Recovery

Commands are useful for people who are familiar with them. Like the Recover commands in CMD could restore readable info from a corrupted hard drive. But that does not fit you when you need to recover plenty of files.

Microsoft has developed a command-line tool for file recovery – Windows File Recovery. It is available for devices above Windows 10, aiming at recovering missing files from healthy/corrupted/formatted hard disks.

It uses recovery modes and switches to scan your files. Check the “How to use Windows File Recovery” to learn more info about this tool.

It only supports Windows 10, version 2004 (Build 19041), or later.

Step 1. Connect the WD external hard disk properly > go to This PC > right-click the SD card > click Properties.


Step 2. Choose a recovery mode. If you are using a non-NTFS WD drive, please choose Extensive mode.

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. Use switches to target the files.

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.


Step 5.Input the command:

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

Source drive: the WD external hard disk.

Destination drive: another drive to store the recovered files.

E.g., input winfr F: D: /extensive /n *.jpg


This command will scan the F: drive and recover all jpg files to the D: drive. Filenames and paths will be lost.

Seek help in the Windows File Recovery troubleshooting tutorial to fix the errors you meet.

If you need an easier tool that can restore deleted files with filename and path kept, check the next part.

Method 2. Achieve WD data recovery in 3 steps without commands

“It will be preferable if difficult commands could be avoided.” You might think in this way. Luckily, it is indeed feasible to achieve Western Digital data recovery without any commands.

In this case, you need professional and reliable Windows data recovery software to help you. Many tools could recover data for you but seldom can keep your file path, filename, and quality intact.

MyRecover is a tool that can meet your demands. Using it, you could restore deleted and missing files from internal/external HDD/SSD/USB/memory cards, etc.

Recover files from Western Digital external hard drive easily

No matter what you need, it will scan and recover for you – it supports 200+ types of data, including photos, videos, office files, zip files, etc.

■ What’s more, you could select 30 MB of files to restore free each time.

■ Using the advanced scanning methods, it searches for your data very quickly, and data recovery while scanning is feasible, no need to wait for a whole scanning result.


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Now follow the instructions to achieve WD data recovery in 3 steps.

Step 1. Install and run the software > connect your WD external storage media device to the PC > hover the mouse over the external hard disk > click Scan.


Step 2. Target your needed files by filename, size, path, and other filters.


Step 3. Go to Deleted files to select the deleted data you need > click Recover x files. If failed in locating your data, please go to Other missing files and reach for file types, e.g., Images.


In a very short time, you could recover files from Western Digital external hard drive with ease. Also, it is feasible to recover data from formatted hard drives using this application.


Helpful info and methods of WD data recovery are covered in this post to offer you a detailed guide. For more related info, questions and answers are ready as well.

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.