How To Recover Files From An External Hard Drive

(Last Updated On: )

Recovering deleted files from a hard drive is a task that we have all needed to perform at some point. And although sometimes, due to ignorance, we tend to think that we have permanently lost that data, the truth is that there are various methods that allow us to rescue it.

An external hard drive is a device used to store photos, music, videos, documents or any other files. Due to their large capacity and the characteristic of being portable, they provide us with a lot of convenience. But sometimes, accidental deletion, formatting or virus attack may cause our data to be lost, and we don’t know how to recover these deleted files from external hard drive for free and effectively.

For example, if we have deleted some files from our external hard drive, they will disappear immediately; they will not stay in the recycle bin. At first glance it may seem that they have been lost forever, but that is not the case. These deleted files are not deleted, but rather become invisible, but they are still stored on our device.

SalvageData offer a free professional hard drive recovery diagnostic service for your support within a maximum period of 24 hours. To request it, use the free diagnostic request that appears on the right of this page. Preparing a diagnosis requires the effort of an entire team of professionals, therefore, only hard drive recovery companies can offer it to you with the best guarantees; Be wary of so-called professionals, this will only make them speculate on the value of your information.

Methods To Recover Deleted Files From External Hard Drive

We can recover data from an external hard drive on Windows, and Windows-based devices, by using any of these methods explained below.

With these step-by-step guides, you can easily carry out the process of recovering deleted files from external drives, repairing your photos, videos, or any other improperly deleted files.

Method 1: Recover Deleted Files with 4DDiG

Tenorshare 4DDiG allows you to recover data from your external hard drive, whether due to accidental formatting, mistaken deletion, virus attack or any other unforeseen event. It is valid for all brands of devices.

Follow the 3 steps below to recover deleted files from your external hard drive.

Step 1: Connect and select the external hard drive

First download and install Tenorshare 4DDiG Windows Data Recovery. Run the program, connect the device where you lost data to your PC, choose the external hard drive, and then click Start.

Step 2: Scan the external hard drive

After clicking Start, 4DDiG will immediately scan your selected external hard drive to find the lost data. Similarly, it will list the scanned items based on the tree view and file view as 4DDiG still finds the deleted files on the external hard drive. There is a progress bar that shows how much has been achieved.

Additionally, you can pause or stop the scanning at any time as long as you have found the files you want to recover.

Step 3: Preview and recover files from external hard drives

4DDiG supports previewing and recovering various types of files such as photos, videos, audios, documents and more. You can select the desired files based on the category, preview them to get the detailed information and then click Recover to recover them.

After clicking Recover, a dialog box will open asking for the location where you want to restore the files. Select the desired but different location and click OK.

Congratulations! Your deleted files from external hard drives have been recovered and you can view them now. Do not save them to the same partition where you lost them in case the disk is overwritten, to avoid permanent loss.

Method 2: Recover data from external hard drive for free using CMD

CMD, short for Command prompt (also known as cmd.exe), is actually a command line interpreter application that you can find on any Windows operating system.

This tool provides you with a command line interface to interact with the system. With it, you can do many things on your PC, such as recover deleted files from an external hard drive.

How to use CMD to Recover Deleted Files From External Hard Drive?

Right-click the Start button in the lower left corner to open a menu (you can also press the Windows + X key combinations).

Choose Command Prompt (Admin) from the menu, and type chkdsk *: /f (* means the drive letter that contains the deleted files) in the Command Prompt window, press Enter and wait for the command to complete

Retype the drive letter and press Enter.

Type attrib -h -r -s /s /d *.* hit Enter and wait for the command to complete.

Once the command is finished, a new folder will be created on the drive to store all the recovered files which will be in .chk format.

Finally we can change the format of those files and save them in the location we want. The CMD attrib command is often used to recover permanently deleted files from CMD.


Although we see that there is the possibility of doing it according to the two methods described, we recommend using the 4DDiG software for its ease of use, because it supports more than 1000 different types and formats, and guarantees a higher success rate when recovering files from our external hard drive.

About The Author

Leave a Comment

Scroll to Top