All you need to recover data from your external hard drive

External drive recovery stories

Toshiba External Hard Drives -Are they reliable? Why are they so cheap? 2018-02-05

Looking for 2.5″ external drives, I came across a Toshiba model which was unbelievably cheap. Toshiba Canvio Basics 3TB costs only €110, while 2TB Western and Seagate drives cost about €105. Why is there such a tremendous price gap in there? Are Toshiba drives reliable? Is there a reason why the 3TB model from Toshiba is only €5-10 more expensive than the 2TB Western/Seagate models? Originally the story was published at Tomshardware.

External hard drive failure 2018-01-29

Please, my 2tb WD passport fell from my bunk and stopped working. I use a windows 7 and when i plug it in, the computer makes that sound that shows that something was plugged in. But i cannot access the hard drive. I can find it in devices and printers under control panel and in device manager. It does not work on any other computer so I don’t think it is a missing driver on my laptop. Please, the data on this hard drive is extremely important. If it is not fixable, can you please tell me a way that i can get all the information on it back? Thank you very much. Originally the story was published Tomshardware.

External Hard drive failure: home solution possible? 2018-01-05

Hi, my external Hard drive: 2 TB Hitachi Touro Desk HDD isn’t recognized by my computer, makes clicking noises AND cannot be read from/written to.

Because of the expensive recovery fee (£500) and non-critical nature of the data, I’m thinking of getting the hard drive destroyed. BUT! Before I do this, is the problem able to be solved at home? Further information:

External hard disk failure — want to recover it instead of replacing it. Help needed. 2017-12-20

My Toshiba external hard disk failed. LED doesn’t glow but hard disk itself spins without clicking noises. I tried with different ports, cables and computers but no solution till now. I have heard that mostly it is a problem with the controller, in which case I should buy an external controller like Anker’s USB to SATA adapter and remove the hard disk from the enclosure and use it with that.

Does this seem like a controller failure or hard disk’s failure itself?

My drive is still under warranty but I have just so much of important data in it that I want to try to recover it instead of getting it replaced with a new one. But if this doesn’t seem like a controller failure, then I have to get it replaced with a new one otherwise the warranty will become void once I open the enclosure to try. Any ideas? Originally the story was published at Tomshardware.


Our answer

Unfortunately, there is no data recovery specialist who can say with a sufficient degree of confidence enough certainty that the problem is associated with a controller not actually having see a disk. Indeed, there may be a controller, or something else.

Our recommendations is first to check Disk Management – probably Windows just does not want to show the disk while it sees it as a physical device. If you see the disk in Disk Management, you can try special data recovery software like ReclaiMe to recover data to a safe location. If you don’t, you need to make a choice – the data or a new external hard drive.

So, if you choose the way to extract the data, then there are video instructions on how to disassemble modern external hard disks.

Toshiba 640GB external hard drive failure 2017-12-03

I recently ordered a toshiba 640GB external hard drive about three months ago and it has recently just stopped working. The drive has been kept in great condition but it when ever I plug it in and attempt to transfer files to my laptop the drive lights starts to flicker and then it stops the transfer and the drive disconnects itself from my laptop and wont reconnect untill I plug it out and then plug it in again sometimes the drive wont even open when I connect it. I have a lot of important files on the drive and I need to know if there is anyway to get it working again. Originally the story was published at Techsupportforum.

Data Recovery for Failed External Drive 2017-11-29

I have a failed external hard drive (specifically a Passport that Windows 10 now says needs to be reformated), and am looking for a user-friendly way to recover it. Thanks to the helpful advice form older threads, I tried the open source Test Drive…..but I am not real computer savvy and couldn’t figure the right selections from it choices it gave. I then tried Photo Rec which was able to recover my data, however all my file names were stripped, and do to the large amount of data I had on the file, it will be extremely hard to find what I’m looking for, plus the text files seem to be broken up into pieces—but at least I know my files are there.

Backup external hard drive failure…what happened? 2017-11-06

Last year I purchased a new, external hard drive ($100 US) for use as a backup of my photographs. Every couple of weeks the latest files from my (7 year old) Windows desktop PC are copied to the drive. A month ago I replaced our family, Windows desktop PC with a new Hewlett Packard laptop. After hooking up the external drive to the laptop (the external drive was used once for mass data transfer), Windows Explorer on my desktop PC will no longer acknowledge the hard drive; hence the latest photographs cannot be copied to it.

WD My Passport External HD Failure 2017-10-20

I have a WD My Passport 0740 500GB external HD that stopped working just 2-3 months after I started using it. And it filled to the brim, too. I tried taking it to the local IT store to recover the data, but no luck. ( PS, they opened the casing, so warranty is void).The light on the HD turns on. The Hard Drive is recognized. But it does not show up on Windows Explorer (windows 7 Ultimate). I’ve read a number of forum posts regarding the issue and checked that:

Hitachi External Hard Drive Data Recovery 2017-10-17

I have an issue with my Hitachi 1 TB External Hard Drive . Its asking me to format.

how can i recover data i have tried taking the hard disc out with out making any damage and mounted with a an external connector still it asks me to format. Any advice is much appreciate how to recover data. Originally the story was published at Cnet

External Hard Drive seems to have stopped spinning 2017-10-13

My sister has an external 500 GB from Western Digital (MyBook I think it is), and as the title says it has stopped spinning. She can still plug it in and the light turns on, but she can’t hear it spinning anymore and the computer doesn’t see it.

Prior to it failing completely she told me it would sporadically fail on occasion, and she would unplug it and replug it and it would work again for a while. Now it won’t work at all.

She would like to, first of all, know if it’s at all possible to recover that data she had on it. If so, how much will it cost to get it done? And finally, who might be able to get it done. She was thinking of asking GeekSquad.

She has a lot of pictures on there, family and friends and trips and stuff, if we could save it it would be really appreciated. Originally the story was published at CNET

Oops, I accidentally unplugged my USB hard drive, now I can’t access it.

I’ve run into a super-crisis! While creating a bootable Ubuntu USB (for my uni course), the creator needed the USB to be formatted. I had my flash disk as well as my family’s external hard drive (used for storing all our digital photos, etc.) both plugged in. After accidentally clicking on the wrong drive, I panicked and stupidly pulled the USB cord connecting the external hard drive. Now whenever I plug in the hard drive into any computer, the various OSes want to format the hard drive. Is there any way I can recover the many precious files on the hard drive? Originally the story was published at CNET

External hard drive missing/hidden files

I am travelling at the moment and am putting my photos on a external hard drive. I just put the hard drive into a new computer and when I went to view the files I could see all the folders for about 5 seconds though a generic, non-specific icon was given not the normal folder icon and then they all disappeared. The space that it took up on the hard drive is still not free, so are they hidden/lost? Is there a way I can get them back? Originally the story was published at CNET

External HDD Problem — Doesn’t show up anymore!!

any kind of help will be apreciated! My HDD is Maxtor Basic Personal Storage 500GB. It goes back when a friend of mine was with me at home. We were transfering data from PC to HDD or vice versa I don’t remember exactly until my friend suddenly unplugged the power cable and since then it doesn’t work properly anymore; it doesn’t even show up; it doesn’t show up in disk management too. When I try to initialize it; it says » its not ready». when I connect it, I can hear it working with a sound like «rrrrrrrrrrrr» but after a while 3 minutes or so I don’t hear any sound.
The problem is that I have 311GB of precious data stuck there. What shall I do ro recover my data?
Please help me! Originally the story was published at CNET

Is it possible to restore a formatted external HD?

Hi to anyone whos reading, I was wondering if its possible to recover some files from an external HD thats been formatted from FAT32 to NTFS. Ive also used it to move some files after the format. Any help appreciated. Originally the story was published at CNET

How to retrieve tha files in external hardrive?

When i connect the external harddrive in my computer the warning show that i format the external harddrive before i can use it. what should i do to retrieve my files? Originally the story was published at CNET

External hard drive help?

I have Seagate 400 GB hard drive with alot of music on it. And I can’t get it to show up on my computer.

Here’s the deal. Last Thursday during a big storm, and our power went out. I usually keep the computer and the external hd on during the day while I’m at work. When the power went out, the computer and the external hd went off. Last night, I plugged in the computer — works fine, no prob. I plugged in the external hd — nada. First, I can’t really get it to turn on. When I push the on/off button, the blue light doesn’t light. If I unplug it from the wall and from the usb, then plug it in the wall, the blue light blinks, and then stays lit if I plug it in the usb. But even with the blue light on that way, it still doesn’t show up on my computer.

I basically can’t get my computer to recognize it, and I need some help. 300+ gigs of music (and who knows how many hours of d’loading it) hangs in the balance. Thx! Originally the story was published at CNET

Hard Drive Failed. Recovery company unsuccessful. Worth a second opinion?

Question for those with experience in this realm —

We had a 2TB HDD fail that was nearly full of important analysis data. There was a backup process running on the drive, but that also failed, leaving us without any of the data (We are in the process of fixing this for the future). We sent the drive off to a recovery company, but after over two weeks we were finally given notice that they were not successful in recovering the data, with the stated reason as damage to the platters were causing replacement heads to fail on the drive. They are sending the drive back to us, which leads me to my actual question.

Can you recover file names after a RAW recovery, but without the original media?

Does anyone know if it is possible to recover the original names of files from a RAW recovery?  But one big point, the original media is destroyed.
We had a user with a HDD in the process of failing.
We had to run a RAW recovery to restore the data.

Failed Hard drive, Who do you recover with?

So I recently had a personal external hard drive fail and sent it in to get the data off it to the tune of $1350. of course, I paid because I really need this data back. But if this were to happen again, for future reference, (And yes I do NOW have a NAS set up that backs up all its data to itself and the cloud) Who would you use for Data Recovery? Originally the story was published at Spiceworks

External HD data recovery — need help!

HFS+ External  HD, simply stopped working one day and no longer mounts. I’m on a Mac, the drive doesn’t show any longer in Disk Utility. Was able to scan with Stellar Phoenix Mac Data Recovery a few weeks back though, which revealed 170 lost volumes on the drive, all of which are identical in size (3.63TB, which is the full size of the HD).

I am a novice when it comes to this, so would really appreciate if someone can tell me if the above tells us something about the drive, and what went wrong?

data recovery for RAW DATA 2017-10-11

When a hard drive fails and it appears there is no OS or a bootmgr failure but after attempts to repair etc. leave the drive with RAW data what’s next?  Really need to save the data. Originally the story was published at

data recovery

My secondary hard disk is hanging due to bad sectors. So while transfering data from secondary to alternate its just hangs and show message as corrupted and unreadable. So i need to repair the badsectors and backup the data . how to do provide me solution. Originally the story was published at

Seagate external portable drive not recognized


I was given a Seagate GoFlex Ultra-portable drive to look at.When I plug the drive to my laptop usb port, (using windows) I get the sound the laptop recognized a new USB device. Nothing further happens. After 1 min or so, I get one of 2 behaviours. Either windows displays message USB device not recognized. Or nothing happens at all. On either scenarios, if I go to Device Manager, sometimes, it will show the USB device as Seagate. But does not display as a storage device, so I am assuming its only reading from the Hardware id. If I go to Device Manager, there is absolutely nothing there. I have tried with a linux and I have similar behaviour. (well… not with all the windows popus and all, but via terminal).. fdisk and diskpart do not recognise the drive either. So I could format the MBR or try to mount the drive. so..I am running out of options and not really understand whats going on.

Data recovery security camera

I have a 1TB hard drive for DVRs VDTECH camera.
Customers deleted on DVRs, I used the EASEUS Data Recovery software, Hx-Recovery for DVR, R-Studio, UFS Explorer Professional Recovery.
All of them do not work, there are solutions to recover the video in this case, looking forward to help. Originally the story was published at

4TB External USB3 hard drive not visible after power failure 2017-10-10

This morning our power got cut. After it got back my 4TB external Hard Drive isn’t visible anymore. The LED is glowing on it, indicating it is working. I’ve tried re-plugging the usb and the power cable but no profit. Is my data in danger and how do I make it work? Originally the story was published at Tomshardware

Data Recovery from lost partition of a hard drive after being dropped

My external hard drive has dropped on the floor and isn’t working. i tried scanning it with several data recovery softwares. At first they showed some files and were able to recover some of them, then the recovery would suddenly stop and now they can’t detect any files from the scan but can detect a lost partition.
Please help me I need to recover really important data on the hard drive. Originally the story was published at Tomshardware.

I need help recovering my external hard drive’s data

Recently my Seagate external hard drive was not recognized when I plugged it into my PC. It prompted me to partition and format it. Of course, I did not do that because I would have lost all my data. I took it to my local Staples store and was told the connection where the cord plugs in had come loose, causing the drive to appear as having never been used. They could attempt to recover the data for a cost of $280, but there were no guarantees.

Hard disk recovery


I was running a defragging program yesterday on my 1TB external USB disk and minimized the program. When I wanted to shut down the computer, I put it on Hibernate mode forgetting that I had the defragging program running. Today upon start up of the computer, I did not attach the external drive till it started up. The problem is that the disk is now unreadable! I tried (still trying) various programs to attempt to recover the data but in every program so far, it just shows the size of the whole disk and says that is needs to be formatted. Windows does not see the disk in Windows Explorer. Should I reformat the disk then recover the data? The disk is very full, approximately 700GB of data in it and Recovering all the data would be difficult to sort out! I need to know the best procedure to proceed with. I am running Windows 7. Thanks! Originally the story was published at Tomshardware

Windows 7: Formatted an external drive, now how do I get it back?

I was working with two drives and mixed them up on a format. What is on the drive isn’t essential, but it would be nice to see what was lost, so I can go from there. Can anyone recommend a way to get it back? It just happened and I haven’t put anything else on the drive since it happened. Hit Quick Format, and stopped the formatting about 10 seconds into it, sucks, but what can you do? Be more careful next time, right? Any suggestions? Originally the story was published at

Unformatting a hard drive to recover data

Hello there .. I was looking for a little help / advice after accidentally reformatting my hard disk that contains data.

My PC has two hard drives ( C:\ 150Gb and E:\ 250Gb ). The C:\Drive is where I install all my programs etc .. and the E:\Drive contains all my data (Home movies, Photos, Music etc..). While upgrading to Windows 7 from Windows XP last week I inadvertently formatted my E:\ drive along with my C:\Drive at the time of installing Windows 7. So now I have a C:\Drive happily running Windows 7, but none of my data from the E:\Drive

WD My Passport external drive problem 2017-10-05

I have a WD My Passport external drive (USB), 6 months old, medium usage.
Yesterday it was working fine. There has been no indication of any problems with the drive — no beachballs, no odd noises, no slowing down — nothing.
It was working fine on the plane. I shut it down. Got off the plane. Got to the hotel. Plugged in the external drive — nothing…. except horrible rapid clicking sounds that came & went randomly.

External Hard Drive failure 2017-09-25

«My external hard drive recently stopped working and only makes a clicking noise. My local PC repair shop has said they cannot fix the problem and have said I should try a specialist data recovery service. Can anyone who has had a similar experience recommend a service and give me an idea about how much this would cost.» Originally the story was published at Techadvisor.

Maxtor drive failure 2017-09-08

«I have a 200 Gb Maxtor one touch II external USB hard drive that has been part of my system for just over a year now. I use the drive to save all of my multimedia; music, video, family pics and basically anything else I wanted to save without cluttering my internal hard drive.

About two weeks ago my internal hard drive failed and I had to replace it and reload windows xp, which was no big deal because everything that I didnt want to lose was on the external drive. Then about 3-4 days after getting my system back up my external drive vanished from the «My Computer» file. I’ve tried uninstalling and reinstalling many times, rolling back drivers, updating drivers and so on. Windows recognizes the drive when I plug it in, it says your new drive is installed and ready to use. But still it is not in «My Computer» and I am unable to access the drive.