How to Fix a Slow WD External Hard Drive Without Losing Data

Are you facing a hopeless situation that your WD external hard drive becomes very slow to open files or boot the operating system? Find solutions to fix the slow WD external hard drive in this post, and let EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard help in case you lose important data in the process.

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Problem: WD external hard drive slow transfer rate

"I have a three years old WD My Passport 1TB external hard drive which has been used as a backup drive. About a week ago, something unusual happened. The drive became extremely slow, especially when I was trying to transfer data from my computer or open files on the drive. Is this problem serious? Perhaps is there any way to fix the slow WD external hard drive transfer rate? Please help me."

If you are one of the WD Elements and WD My Passport (Ultra) external hard drive consumers who are currently experiencing a slow transfer speed, slow response, or slow boot problem, please read this post carefully. It offers information on how to fix a slow WD external hard drive, additionally introduces the EaseUS data recovery solution to protect important data from corrupted or inaccessible slow WD external drive.

What's the risk of having a slow external hard drive?

Once your hard drive is very slow suddenly without warning or reporting errors, be alert! There are some potential risks that might cause even severe damage to your hard drive and the data as well.

A list of risks that might be developed from a slow WD external hard drive:

1. Hard drive starts making clicking sounds or noises.
2. Files cannot open anymore, being corrupted.
3. Windows can no longer detect the hard drive or display the data.
4. Hard drive keeps crashing, hanging, or freezing when double-clicking on it or trying to open files.

8 Solutions to WD external hard drive slow and unresponsive

With data fully protected, now you can start to apply every possible workaround to resolve the slow issue on a WD external drive. Altogether, we've picked up eight viable solutions for you.

1. Change the SATA data cable.
2. Change the USB 2.0 port to USB 3.0 port.
3. Perform disk fragmentation to optimize the disk.
4. Check and repair hard drive logic errors and bad sectors.
5. Send the drive to a hard drive repair center or simply replace the slow hard drive with a new one.
6. Replace the slow hard drive with a new one

Next, we're going to give detailed instructions on the seventh and eighth solutions, which people can easily test all by themselves on their PCs.

7. To optimize a slow WD external hard drive

Step 1. Go to Computer (Windows 7) or This PC (Windows 10).
Step 2. Right-click on the slow WD external hard drive and choose Properties.
Step 3. In the tab, click Tools, under the Tools click Optimize.
Step 4. Follow the onscreen wizard to complete the process.

check and repair hard drive errors

By doing as we taught, you can optimize your drives to help them run more efficiently. It's one of the most applied ways to speed up a hard drive that is suddenly slow, overloaded, or sluggish.

8. To check and repair hard disk bad sectors

Step 1. Open the WD external hard drive Properties window likewise.
Step 2. In the tab, click Tools, click Check this time. (This option will check the drive for file system errors that may slow down a hard drive's performance )
Step 3. Follow the onscreen wizard to complete the process or file system checking and repairing.

If the hard drive crashes while you trying to open it by right-clicking, go to check hard drive partition errors and remove bad sectors in the other way.
Download EaseUS free partition manager software to check and repair bad sectors on the WD external hard drive.

If the slow drive disables you from doing both of the troubleshooting steps, please do a further examination: is its LED light flashing appropriately, or does Windows recognize the disk? If not, it's time to send the drive to a professional repair center or contact WD support to seek help. Your drive seems to be damaged heavily and it's losing its capability.

How to prevent data from corrupting or becoming inaccessible on a slow hard drive?

When you're faced with a slow hard drive, such as a hard drive of Western Digital or other brands like SanDisk, Toshiba, Kingston, or Samsung, try to protect your data from being damaged as soon as possible.

And the best way to access data in a WD external hard drive which can hardly open is to let EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard help. It's the most proficient hard drive recovery software that takes three steps to help WD users find all data they want.

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

You can also check this video tutorial to see how to recover data from an external hard drive.

People Also Ask

1. How do I fix a slow external hard drive?

As illustrated in the troubleshooting guide, there are 5 ways to fix a slow external hard drive by yourself:

1. Change the SATA data cable.
2. Change the USB 2.0 port to USB 3.0 port.
3. Perform disk fragmentation to optimize the disk.
4. Check and repair hard drive logic errors and bad sectors.
5. Send the drive to a hard drive repair center or simply replace the slow hard drive with a new one.

2. Why is hard drive suddenly slow?

There are basically two culprits: software and hard drive corruption. Once hard drive and software lack in good health, it begins to develop bad sectors, viruses, fragmentation, and many serious issues and finally leads to a very slow speed that affects your life and work. Learn how to solve the problem of hard drive very slow suddenly.

3. How can I speed up my external hard drive transfer speed?

Sometimes, it might help increase the transfer speed by converting FAT32 to NTFS. In addition, change the default hardware settings for better performance.

4. Can external hard drive speed up my computer?

The external hard drive is meant to give your computer more room for storing and running files, especially for large size of videos, photos, Photoshop, etc. So, in certain circumstances, an external hard drive can speed up your computer, but not sure about speeding up your system. 

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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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