How to Recover Files From External Hard Drive Without Formatting?

Imagine a scenario where you connect your external hard drive to your PC, it shows an error message “you need to format the disk before you can use it”. Formatting a hard drive is the simplest way to repair a corrupted hard drive while it can lead to permanent data loss. However, you save important files like photos, videos, word documents on the drive. Is there any way to recover files from external hard drive without formatting it? Yes, there are several ways that can help you access the data stored on it without formatting. Let’s take a closer look at these ways and see how they work for you.

 

recover files from external hard drive without formatting it

 

Reasons of Data Loss on External Hard Drive

 

Sometimes, your external hard drive can be corrupted or not accessible due to various reasons. Here are some possible reasons as follows:

 

  • Unplug the external hard drive from the computer without safe ejection
  • File system error
  • Hard drive bad sectors
  • Infection with virus and malware
  • Any physical damage to device

 

How to Recover Files from External Hard Drive without Formatting?

 

When your external hard drive suddenly stops working, the most urgent thing is about how to recover files from it. Here are some possible ways to recover files from external hard drive without formatting.

 

Run Anti-virus Software

 

If you are not ready to install a new software, you can simply use Windows Defender that is included in all recent versions of Windows operating system. Now follow the step-by-step instruction to scan your computer for virus:

 

Step 1. Connect the drive to a Windows PC, type “Windows security” in the search box and press Enter

Step 2. Click “Virus & Threat protection”

Step 3. Select Scan options under Quick scan

Step 4. Choose Full scan and click Scan now to check all files, running the program on your hard drive

 

Use Command Prompt

 

CHKDSK command prompt is capable of listing and correcting disk errors. If used without parameters, it displays only the status of the volume and doesn’t fix any errors. If used with appropriate parameters, it fixes errors on the volume and you can access to your external hard drive without formatting. Follow the steps to recover files using CHKDSK:

Step 1. Type cmd in the search box and select Run as administrator

Step 2. Type the command: chkdsk “drive letter”: /f/x/r and press Enter

Step 3. Wait for CHKDSK to finish

 

Use Command Prompt

 

Use Window System File Checker

 

System File Checker(SFC) checks system file integrity and replaces a damaged system file with a cached copy. It can help fix damaged system files that may lead to hard drive corruption.

Step 1. Type cmd in the search box and select Run as administrator

Step 2. Type the command: sfc/scannow and press Enter

Step 3. Wait for SFC to finish

 

Recover Files from External Hard Drive Using RecoveryMaster

 

If you have tried the methods listed above but they don’t deliver excellent results, you should use a data recovery software like RecoveryMaster to recover files from external hard drive without formatting. Please note that you should stop using the drive immediately until you use RecoveryMaster to get the files back. Otherwise, you may accidentally overwrite the data before it can be restored.

 

Free Download For Windows                Free Download For Mac

 

RecoveryMaster supports all major file systems, including NTFS, FAT, exFAT, HFS and more. You can download its free trial version and give it a try. Its intuitive and user-friendly interface simplifies the recovery process and you can perform recovery easily with a few clicks. To restore files from external hard drive without formatting, you should follow these steps:

 

Step 1. Connect your external hard drive to your computer

Step 2. Launch RecoveryMaster, select the external hard drive and click Scan

 

RecoveryMaster

 

Step 3. Preview and select the files you want to recover

 

soouya recoverymaster

 

Step 4. Click Recover to get files back and save them to secure location

 

Recover data recovery

 

The steps described above enables you to recover files from external hard drive without formatting. This software fully supports Windows 7/8/10. You’ll be able to recover all types of files like documents, graphics, videos, audios, email and more. It completes a quick scanning process in a few seconds in most data recovery situations.

 

Conclusion

 

No matter what storage device you use, it may run into problem and lead to data loss. Thankfully, you can try above methods to recover files from external hard drive without formatting. We highly recommend that you use a reliable data recovery software like RecoveryMaster to recover corrupted or permanent deleted files that would be impossible to recover by using command prompt, system file checker or other tools. Just a few clicks, you can get your files back from external hard drive without formatting.