How To Recover Data From an External Hard Drive

In today’s digital world, our external hard drives act as treasure chests, protecting our most precious memories and important data. But this treasure can make us panic if our files are suddenly lost due to accidental deletion, formatting mishaps, or unexpected drive errors.

But fear not, we have got you covered, as in this article we will dive into the process of exploring the possible methods of external hard drive recovery. Let’s embark on this journey to unblock and unlock the secrets of digital store retrieval.

How To Recover Data From an External Hard Drive

Understanding External Hard Drive Data Loss

There are various reasons for data loss in external hard drives, which are listed below:-

  • Accidental Deletion or Formatting: When suddenly we click on the wrong button and all our work and files just get vanish. This can literally wipe out crucial data.
  • System or Hardware Errors: Unexpected system crashes, application failures and even faulty hardware lead to data loss.
  • Virus and Malware Attacks: When the system is attacked by viruses or malware, then the files become inaccessible leading to data corruption or data loss.
  • Power Surges and Physical Damage: Physical mishaps like the spilling of water sudden power surge, also harm the drive which ultimately leads to data loss.

Is Recycle Bin Recovery Possible?

When you delete a file from your external hard drive, you might wonder where it vanishes, or if it’s recoverable or not. The answer is Yes, It is! The files can be recovered from the recycle bin the same way as recovered from your system’s recycle bin, because external hard drives have its own hidden Recycle Bin folders.

However, some files bypass the Recycle Bin due to Shift + Delete action or other such reasons. In such cases, relying solely on the Recycle Bin would not be sufficient.

Methods of External Hard Drive Data Recovery

Here are few methods to recover data from the external hard drive.

  1. Check Backup: Before trying any recovery method, it is advisable to check if you have a backup of your data. Any cloud backup or copies on other devices, it would be a very easy way to recover your data.
  2. Command Prompt (CMD):
  • Command Prompt (CMD) comes in handy when it comes to data recovery in Windows.
  • Connect your external hard drive. Open Win+R to run the program
  • Launch CMD and run the command: ATTRIB -H -R -S /S /D X:*.* (replace “X” with your drive letter).

3. Previous Versions:

  • Restoring to previous version can also help you recover your lost data.
  • Right-click on the drive and select “Restore previous versions.”
  • Choose a snapshot and recover files from an earlier state.
  1. Windows System File Checker (SFC):
  • Run sfc /scannow in Command Prompt to repair system files.
  • This may fix issues causing data loss.
  1. Use Data Recovery Software: When these methods don’t work for you then go for Windows Data Recovery Software like Stellar Data Recovery, which offers a powerful solution for retrieving lost or deleted files from external hard drives. Here we have explained on how you can try the Stellar Data Recovery DIY software, which is very user-friendly and easy to use.
  2. Install the software: Start by downloading and installing the Stellar Data Recovery software for Windows on your system
  3. Connect an external drive to a PC: Connect your external hard drive to the system where you installed the software.
  4. Select Drive: Open the software and select the drive from which you want to retrieve data.
  5. Scan the drive: Start scanning the drive d The software will search for missing files and folders in detail.
  6. Preview files: After completing the scan, view the recoverable files and select the ones you want to recover.
  7. Save recovered items: Select a safe location to save the recovered files. Choosing a location other than the drive is best to avoid overwriting.

Stellar Data Recovery for Windows works like magic, providing preview options and effective deep scan capabilities. It ensures maximum recovery of your data.

This software is designed to be easy to use and budget-friendly. It comes in a variety of versions, allowing you to choose the one that best suits your needs.

Preventative Measures

To minimize any further risk of data loss from external hard drive, try these preventive measures

  • Regular Backups: Backup your important data on cloud or other device storage regularly.
  • Handle with Care: The devices should be handled with care to avoid any physical damage.
  • Use trusted antivirus: Install a good and trusted antivirus to protect the drive


Losing crucial and important data can be painful, but most files can be successfully recovered with the right Tools and techniques. The key to successful recovery is time, so it’s advisable to act immediately, by stopping using the device to avoid any overwriting of data and trying the above-listed methods.

DIY tools of data recovery like Stellar Data Recovery Software provide a user-friendly solution and maximum chances to retrieve all the deleted data efficiently. By following these guidelines, you can navigate external hard drive data recovery effectively minimizing the impact of data loss incidents.