How do you fix an external hard drive?

If you deal with a physically damaged drive which produces some unusual sounds or no sound at all, don't try to disassemble the drive and fix it. This is the job for a special data recovery service equipped with clean rooms.

If you don't hear any sounds from the disk, the first thing you should do is to check the connection. Try using another USB cable suitable for your drive. Then try to remove the disk enclosure (watch the video instruction on how to do that at and to connect the drive directly to the motherboard via a SATA cable.

If your drive stopped working because of a logical error, you can try to fix it. We recommend not to do in-place repair when your data is still stored on the drive. First, copy the data to a safe location, make sure the files are opened correctly and only then work with the source disk. If you can't get access to the files stored on the drive, first you should recover the files using special data recovery software like ReclaiMe File Recovery. Read more about the specifics of data recovery at the External drive recovery tutorial.

Most logical errors are fixed after formatting. In such cases low-level formatting that can be performed by data erasing software like Lowvel is recommended. This software writes zeros to each device sector. As a result, you get an absolutely blank storage that can be divided into partitions by means of the operating system.

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