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How to Recover Files from Corrupted External Hard Drive

External hard drive got corrupt and all data in it are lost? Do not worry! This article introduces a reliable solution to recover files from the corrupted external hard drive with data recovery software.

 Download for Win Recovery Rate 99.7%
 Download for Mac Trustpilot Rating 4.7

Table of Contents

how to recover data from corrupted external hard disk

To recover data from a formatted or damaged disk, perform the following steps:

  1. 1. Start EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard and locate the damaged disk
  2. 2. Scan the damaged disk
  3. 3. View the search results.
  4. 4. Preview the files by double-clicking them.
  5. 5. Mark the files and folders you want to recover
  6. 6. Click "Recover" and choose another location to save the recovered data. More items...

The external hard drive is used almost universally in our daily life because we could store and transfer our important files to it easily and quickly. While we enjoy the convenience it brings to us, we also encounter the trouble it makes. Data loss on an external hard drive is inevitable. You may delete files accidentally, format the external hard drive. The external hard drive itself gets corrupted unexpectedly.

Part 1. Reliable External Hard Drive Recovery Software

The fact that external hard drive becomes corrupted is not entirely uncommon. Everyone could be faced with this problem. Corrupted external hard drive recovery with professional software is your best choice. There are lots of external drive recovery programs that claim to recover anything from an external hard drive. 

Frankly speaking, only a few of them can give the desired results. If you are looking for safe and reliable external hard drive recovery software, then try EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard. Being one of the most professional data recovery programs, it has 10+ million users around the world. It can also recover data from internal hard disk, SD card, USB flash drives, and more. It has many extraordinary features:

  • Recover deleted, formatted, and inaccessible data in different data loss situations.
  • Recover photos, audio, music, and emails from any storage effectively, safely and completely.
  • Recover files from the recycle bin, hard drive, memory card, flash drive, digital camera, and camcorder.

Why is it the best data recovery software? Can you prove it? Yes, we have tested 5 widely-used data recovery software. We have tested the time and speed when they are scanning the same partition (127GB free of 141GB) searching for deleted/lost files. For a data recovery tool, the scanning speed and the ability to find more files really make sense. According to the results, EaseUS EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard is the best. Check the details in the table:

Product Name Recover My Files Recuva Disk Drill Stellar Data Recovery EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard
Scanning Time 1h > 1h > 1h 37min 27min
Files Found 321,297 files 111,213 files 2,254 files 414,170 files 784,741 files
File Size 13.80GB no size is shown 1.92GB 19.84GB 38.53GB

Part 2. How to Recover Data from Corrupted Hard Drive

When your external hard drive gets corrupted or damaged, the first thing you need to do is extract files before they’re gone forever. It is the only way to get out of the situation before the hard drive becomes dead forever. But you need to make sure that your external hard drive is showing as "Online" in Disk Management. 

external hard drive is online

Then, you can try the best EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard to restore all lost data from the external hard drive with the video. 

You can also follow the guidelines below to get lost files back from a corrupted external hard disk:

 Download for Win Recovery Rate 99.7%
 Download for Mac Trustpilot Rating 4.7

Step 1. Use a correct USB cable to connect your external hard drive to your computer. Run EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard and you will see your external disk under External drives. This software supports all the popular external disk brands, including WD, Seagate, Toshiba, LaCie, SanDisk, Samsung, etc. 

Select the external hard drive and then click the "Scan" button. 

select your seagate external hard drive and click scan

Step 2. As soon as the scan process starts, the software will find more and more lost and deleted data and display the data in the scan results. The recovered data will be nicely organized. You can quickly find the target files/folders by file type or search in the search box with exact file name. 

scan the lost data on the seagate external hard drive

Step 3. You can preview the files found by EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard's scanning algorithms. Then, select files and click "Recover". To avoid data overwriting, we recommend that you save the recovered data to a different drive than the original Seagate drive.

select files and click recover

Part 3. How to Repair the Corrupted External Hard Drive

A corrupted external hard drive is a wide common situation and thousands of people facing it every day. When you fail to access your external hard drive, you need to follow the solutions below to check and fix it:

  • Check the power supply and connection errors. It's likely that your device has a separate power source. Therefore, checking the power supply will be important.
  • Try another USB cable. Maybe there's something wrong with the old one.
  • Use antivirus to scan your drive if the external hard drive has viruses on it.
  • Run SFC (Open "Command Prompt" and enter sfc /scannow). It helps fix the damaged or missing Windows system files that may cause drive corruption.

Run CHKDSK to Fix the File System Errors (Recommended)

If the three simple ways are unable to help, my suggestion is to run CHKDSK to fix the file system errors on the external device. CHKDSK command prompt checks the file system and file system metadata of a volume for logical and physical errors. 

Step 1. In the Search Window, type cmd. On the search result, right-click on the Command Prompt and select "Run as administrator".

Step 2. Type the command: chkdsk E: /f /r /x

Here you should replace E with your drive letter. 

repair corrupted external hard drive

If command line is not your ideal choice, you can apply this command-line alternative tool - EaseUS CleanGenius. Use this one-click tool to fix the file system error on your hard drive.

Step 1. Download EaseUS CleanGenius on your computer for free.

Step 2. Run the software. Click "Optimization" on the left panel, and then choose "File Showing" . 

select the file showing option

Step 3. Go to "Choose drive" and select the drive with a file system error. Check the "Check and fix file system error" option and click "Execute".

fix file system

Step 4. Wait the EaseUS CleanGenius completes the repairing process. After that, click the "here" to view the result.

fix file system

Part 4. How to Prevent the External Hard Drive from Corruption/Failure

The best way to prevent a loss is to reduce the chances of an external hard drive failure by taking preventative measures. Here are some tips that may cause your drive corruption and you can follow to prevent storage devices from corrupting now:

  • Be exceedingly careful with the drive. Always ensure that the drive is in a secure location when powered on. Store the external hard drive away from direct sunlight.
  • Always use the Remove Device option. Never unplug an external hard drive while files are being accessed because this will corrupt its data.
  • Be away from a magnet. A magnet will erase all data on an external hard disk, so keep them far away.
  • Use the USB plug properly. When removing a USB cable from a device, pull gently from the cable connector. Do not yank the cable out as it could damage the connector. 
  • Back up, back up and back up. You can create a copy of your external hard drive files and upload them to a cloud service like Dropbox or Google Drive. Also, you can copy them to another drive or create a backup schedule to back up files automatically. Having a backup in advance will always help.


It's very common to get a damaged or corrupted external hard drive. You are very lucky if your computer detects an external hard drive even if it seems that all the files are gone. There is a chance to get the files back using professional software - EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard. No matter what data loss scenarios you encounter, EaseUS is always ready to help you.

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Updated by Brithny

Brithny is a technology enthusiast, aiming to make readers' tech lives easy and enjoyable. She loves exploring new technologies and writing technical how-to tips. In her spare time, she loves sharing things about her favorite singer - Taylor Swift on her Facebook or Twitter.

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Approved by Evan Galasso

Evan Galasso is a digital forensics and data recovery engineer with over 10 years of experience in the field. He presents opinions on the current state of storage media, reverse engineering of storage systems and firmware, and electro-mechanical systems of SSDs and HDDs.

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Product Reviews

TrustScore 4.7 | 323 reviews
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