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.

Table of Contents

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 sound or noise.
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 a detailed instruction of 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 like we taught, you can optimize your drives to help it 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.

Tip
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 the 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. Choose the external hard drive

Since you're going to recover data from the external hard drive, run EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard and choose the exact drive where you lost data. Click Scan.

select external hard drive

Step 2. Scan for lost data

The software will start immediately to scan all over the selected drive for all lost data. During the scan, you could see more and more data showing up in the results.

scan external hard drive

Step 3. Preview and recover data

After the scan is over, check the scan results for the desired data. You can preview the file by double-clicking on it. Click Recover and choose another location to save the recovered data.

preview and recover data

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. Learn how to increase the transfer speed of an external hard drive.

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. 

Was This Page Helpful?

Updated by Tracy King

Tracy is enthusiastic to share technical tips and solutions about computing and technology. Being an EaseUS member since 2013, she also writes instructional content about data recovery, file/disk partition/system backup and recovery, partition management and iOS/Android data recovery.

Read full bio

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!

Read full bio

Product Reviews

TrustScore 4.7 | 323 reviews
  • EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard is a powerful system recovery software, designed to enable you to recover files you’ve deleted accidentally, potentially lost to malware or an entire hard drive partition.

    Read More
  • EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard is the best we've seen. It's far from perfect, partly because today's advanced disk technology makes data-recovery more difficult than it was with the simpler technology of the past.

    Read More
  • EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard Pro has a reputation as one of the best data recovery software programs on the market. It comes with a selection of advanced features, including partition recovery, formatted drive restoration, and corrupted file repair.

    Read More