External hard drive recovery
The most common reasons why you may need to recover data from an external hard drive are:
- Filesystem failure, for example external hard drive filesystem turned to RAW, which can be caused by suddenly unplugging the drive.
When trying to open a drive, a system asks you to format it – don’t do this.
- Accidentally formatting the external hard drive.
It is important to never write anything onto an external hard drive you need to recover data from.
- Deleting files by mistake.
It is important to stop using the external drive immediately once you discover a data loss.
Also, do not save the recovered data back to the same drive you are recovering data from.
The solution for all these cases is to use data recovery software like ReclaiMe and then copy the recovered data to a safe location.
Our data recovery software works with a wide variety of external hard drives from many vendors. The list includes:
- Western Digital
- Silicon Power
- ...and many other
How to recover data from an external drive using ReclaiMe
- Make sure you have enough free space on a known-good drive or on a network to hold all the recovered data.
- Download, install, and run ReclaiMe File Recovery software.
- Identify the external drive you want to recover data from in the device list. Most likely, it will be under the USB devices section
(need help identifying your drive?).
The external drives typically have a single partition, so if there is no logical drive associated with your device, have ReclaiMe analyze the physical device instead.
- Double click the drive to start file recovery.
- The files are displayed as soon as they are discovered.
- Select the file(s) or folder you want to recover, and click the Save button on the toolbar.
Alternatively, click the Save and select Save All from the menu.
If you do not see your external hard drive in ReclaiMe window, most likely, you deal with the broken enclosure and/or faulty hard drive inside the enclosure.
In case of enclosure failure, it will be quite easy to get access to the data stored on the external hard drive – just follow the instructions described on this page.
With a hard drive failure, things are more complicated. For more information, please read this page.
All the steps on video
Still have questions?