How to recover crashed External hard drive data

May 17th, 2012 | Posted by How to Recover

My Samsung 320GB external hard drive has crashed. Is there any way to recover data from my crashed external hard drive?

External hard drives work like internal hard drives but, the main difference is that external hard drives are connected outside the computer. External hard drives are mainly used for two purposes i.e. backup and easy data transfer from one computer to other computer. However, data loss can occur due to some logical problems. If you have lost the data due to logical issues then you can restore it using recovery tools.

Here are some faulty signs that indicate that your hard drive is physically damaged

  • External hard disk is making clicking or grinding sounds
  • External hard drive is not recognizable in Disk Management window

In all these cases, data recovery is very difficult and it is not possible to recover data using any data recovery software. Generally, all these problems occur when your external hard drive is mechanically damaged or read\write head is crashed. The only way to get back your lost data is to take help of professional data recovery companies

Following are some of the reasons that results in external hard drive crash

  • The external hard drive is recognized but data is not accessible

When you turn on your system, your system might be displaying error message like “Do you want to format it now?” or “disk in Drive G: needs to be formatted”

  • If this is the case then have you tried to format external hard drive?

It is better to avoid formatting the external hard drive because, formatting the drive deletes entire data stored on it that reduces the chances of data recovery. Do not connect the hard drive to check whether the data is accessible in other system since, it may result in overwriting resulting in permanent loss

These types of error messages occur when the file system gets corrupted. File system may get corrupted due to viruses, power outages, improper system shutdown etc.

Therefore, you need to follow some precautions to avoid data loss

¨       It is better to use updated antivirus programs to avoid data loss because of viruses

¨       Do not shut down the system forcefully

In this case, reliable data recovery tool only can help you to get back lost data from external hard drive

  • The computer is freezing up when trying to access the data from external hard drive

If this is the case then first try to restart the computer by hard rebooting. If the issue is not fixed even after  restarting the system then it might be due to following reasons such as,

  • The system has been infected by viruses, which reduces the system performance
  • Your hard drive may have Bad sectors. Bad sectors do not allow you to access the data that is located in the next sectors. Improper system shut down, aging hardware, defective drive or poor quality hardware, malware are the common reasons due to which bad sectors are created. Usually, bad sectors cannot be repaired if they have been created due to head crash or other mechanical damages. But, the data that is present on the sectors which is located after the bad sectors can be recovered using data recovery tools
  • When the system is turned on, it is displaying error message like “Missing Operating System” or “Operating System does not able to boot”

This problem generally exists when MBR gets corrupted. MBR is a boot sector which stores the Operating System. When you turn on the system, BIOS loads the MBR to boot the Operating System. If the MBR gets corrupted then it does not allow the BIOS to boot the Operating System resulting in error messages like “Missing Operating System”.  MBR may get corrupted due to improper system shut down, viruses etc.

What the user should not do after hard drive crash?

  • Do not put the hard drive in freezer
  • Do not use the drive to avoid overwriting thereby resulting in permanent loss

Now, you need to download a reliable data recovery tool and start recovering data from crashed external hard drive. It is always better to download data recovery tool that provides free demo version and that should be read-only software so that it does not cause further damage.

Hard drive recovery software can easily recover lost data from crashed hard drives. It provides read-only access to the external hard drive. The software has the ability to restore different type of files from famous brands of external hard drives such as Samsung, Seagate, Western Digital, Hitachi etc

Lost data can be recovered from the crashed external hard drive by following below mentioned steps

  • Disconnect the external hard drive and connect it to healthy computer.
  • Download hard drive recovery tool on healthy computer not on crashed external hard drive.
  • Select “Recover partitions/drives” option then select “Partition Recovery” or “Formatted/Reformatted Recovery” option according to the scenario
  • Select the crashed external hard drive and after completing data recovery process, view recovered data.

Best ways to avoid data loss in future

  • First and foremost thing is to take full backup of important data so that data can be easily restored if you have lost or accidentally deleted the data
  • Always, use antivirus program to avoid data loss because of viruses
  • Shut down the system in proper way
  • Use good quality hardware to avoid data loss due to bad sectors
  • Always scan email attachments before downloading to your PC to avoid data loss due to viruses
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