External Hard Drive Keeps Freezing or Freezes Computer (3 Solutions)

External hard drive keeps freezing issue can be solved now. Whenever your external hard drive freezes computer or Windows Explorer, and you could not access files, do not worry. We found many effective solutions to revive from the frozen external hard drive. If files are there but not accessible at the moment, let EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard recover data from a hard drive freeze.

Table of Contents

In order to guide you easily to recover from a hard drive freeze without making an effort, we list all the feasible solutions in the beginning. Select at least one workaround to fix the problem of an external hard drive keeps freezing when opening the drive, copying files, accessing data, launching File Explorer, or simply starting a program on your computer or laptop.

Three solutions to the external hard drive freezing up the problem:

Workable Solutions Step-by-step Troubleshooting
Fix 1. Diagnose & Repair Drive Open File Explorer > Right-click external hard drive > "Properties" > "Tools" > "Check Now"...Full steps
Fix 2. Fix Bad Sectors Open Command Prompt as Administrator > Type E: chkdsk /f /r (E is the external hard drive letter)...Full steps
Fix 3. Reformat External Drive Run EaseUS recovery software to scan and recover data first > Format the drive...Full steps

Now, we're going to teach you how to apply the method in each solution in the list. Here's a reminder you must read first. In the final solution, reformatting a drive would bring a great data loss, so copy as much data as possible before an attempt. In addition, since your external hard drive will spontaneously freeze itself up when copying files or Windows 7/Windows 10 freezes up when copying files due to the problematic hard drive, you can only use the EaseUS data recovery program to automatically extract the files from the hard drive which is not accessible in the current circumstance. The detailed guide for frozen hard drive data recovery will be given in the Solution Three area.

Solution One. Diagnose the hard drive health and repair

  • In Windows 7/10, click Start -> Computer or This PC.
  • Right-click your external hard drive.
  • Click Properties -> Tools and press Check Now (This option will check the drive for physical problems). 

If errors were found, you can attempt to repair them using this utility. Restart your computer once the repair finished.

Solution Two. Fix bad sectors on a frozen external hard drive

Windows Command Prompt knowledge is required for this fix.

  • Press Windows + X and choose Command Prompt (Admin).
  • In the black window, type the command starting at [drive letter:] + chkdsk /[f/r]. To be specific, let's assume that the demanded drive letter is E. So, you need to input the command line as follows.

chkdsk /f E: (this is for finding and repairing errors on drive E)
chkdsk /r E: (this is for locating bad sectors and recovering readable information)

  • Press Enter. Wait for the command to take effect.
Warning
Running chkdsk can hopefully fix the bad sectors, however, it can also result in total data loss. So, perform data recovery in advance, and then continue with the CMD method.

EaseUS CleanGenius is a user-friendly computer fixing tool that is both safe and lightweight. It's a perfect alternative to CHKDSK command. Use this one-click tool to fix the damaged file system easily.

Step 1.  DOWNLOAD EaseUS CleanGenius on your computer and complete the installation. 

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

select the file showing option

Step 3. Select the drive with a corrupted file system. Tick the "Check and fix file system error" option and click "Execute".

fix file system

Step 4. Wait the tool performs the repairing task. After that, click the "View" button to check the drive.

fix file system

Solution Three. Reformat the external hard drive for reuse

Taking your important data into consideration, you must take a full backup before proceeding with the final method. If copying files still cause your external hard drive not to respond, crashing and freezing up in the end, download EaseUS hard drive recovery software to access and retrieve inaccessible data.

Step 1. Connect the external drive to PC for a scan

Connect the external hard disk to your PC and let Windows recognize the disk and assign it a drive letter. Now launch EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard for Windows. Find your drive you want to recover and click Scan.

select external hard drive

Step 2. Check the scan results

The scan process takes place in two stages, including a quick scan and deep scan. Deep scan is for searching lost data files that even lost file names, so it's worth waiting longer for the whole scan process to finish and find all desired data. You can try to preview the found files one by one by following their original paths from the leftside tree-view pane, or simply use the Filter function to specify the file type of one kind, like pictures, videos, documents, emails, etc.

scan external hard drive

Step 3. Select files and recover

Finally, when you are satisfied with the preview results, you can start to select the target files and use the Recover button to get them all back. We suggest you save the recovered files to a location other than the original external hard drive where you lost data.

preview and recover data

Next, go to Disk Management to remove the freezing issue from the external hard drive.

  • Press Windows + R keys and type diskmgmt.msc in the Run box.
  • Disk Management is now open. There, right-click the external hard drive in question and click Format...
  • Follow the format wizard and complete the procedure.
  • Restart your computer and check if the issue remains.

Extra tips for resolving your external hard drive freezing issue

Virus infection is the other truth that causes your external hard drive to keep freezing, most commonly Seagate, Western Digital, Toshiba, etc. Simply removing bad sectors will not work in this situation. So, try to remove a virus from a hard drive or other storage devices with a similar issue.

You got two options to start out. Antivirus software like Avast is a good choice, otherwise, you can also use cmd to remove a virus by referring to this link. Both ways are helpful.

Besides, people also ask these questions. Read on if interested.

1. Can hard drive failure cause freeze?

When you noticed hard drive freezing, chances are that the hard drive is about to fail. So yes, hard drive failure will largely affect the data, programs opening and transferring speed, and make your mouse and keyboard stop working. As a result, the computer freezes a lot when you trying to access files stored on a damaged or corrupted area of your hard drive.

2. Does freezing a hard drive work?

Many experienced users suggest that freezing a hard drive would effectively solve the problem of the most common hard drive problems, such as becoming slow or crashing. However, it does not last long.

3. How do I fix my external hard drive not being recognized?

When a hard drive is not showing up or recognized by Windows, try to change a USB port or connection cable. Sometimes, it might help to use antivirus software to scan and remove the virus. You may take a close look at the advanced solutions to external hard drives not recognized.

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Updated by Gemma

Gemma is member of EaseUS team and has been committed to creating valuable content in fields about file recovery, partition management, and data backup etc for many years. She loves to help users solve various types of computer related issues.

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Written by Jean

Author Jean has been writing tech articles since she was graduated from university. She has been part of the EaseUS team for over 5 years. Her special focuses are data recovery, disk partitioning, data space optimization, data backup and Mac OS. By the way, she's an aviation fan!

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