How to Perform Free External Hard Drive Recovery

5 mins read

Updated on 2024-06-18 11:56:05 to External Hard Drive

The era of storage devices for data started with the invention of the floppy disk, which could only save a few bytes of data. Now, we’ve reached the time when we can use the external hard drive to store and carry terabytes of data in one small device - The external hard drive.External hard drives are one of the most convenient ways to carry your data while on the go. It makes the data transfer process simpler, and efficient. But in all of the convenience, we’ve merely paid attention to how fragile they can be in terms of data loss.

Losing data on the external hard drive due to accidental deletion or other reasons can be a frustrating experience. It might put everything at stake if it contains such important files. If you’ve also lost your external hard drive data, despair not. This guide will explain the ultimate ways to perform free external hard drive recovery with simple methods.

free external hard drive recovery

Part 1: Why Do You Need Free External Hard Drive Recovery

You may need to perform the free external hard drive recovery when you’ve deleted or lost important files and need to recover them. When you delete anything on Windows, it first goes in the recycle bin, where you can restore it quickly to its original location.

However, when you delete anything from the external hard drive recovery, the deleted files are directly deleted and don’t go into the recycle bin. Thus, you need to perform the external drive recovery methods to retrieve the deleted and lost data.

You may lose the external hard drive data due to the following reasons:

  • Logical Issues
    One of the common reasons for losing the external complex drive files is the logical issues directly related to the file system and corrupted data problems. This can happen due to the abrupt disconnection of the drive from the device or a corrupted file system.
  • Beep Sound
    If your external hard drive makes a beep sound, it indicates something is wrong with its physical components. The hard drive makes a beep sound when the rear/write head is stuck and unable to return to its home position.

    Sometimes, the head is stuck, and when the disk controller commands it to move the platter, it may get scratched, leading to physical damage and irreversible data loss. The other scenario can be the hard drive making beep sounds when the head is stuck with the platters due to the dust debris. A professional lab can help clean up the hard drive without losing data.

  • Data Corruption
    Software programs are one of the common causes of file corruption. The interference of third-party corrupted programs can corrupt the files on the hard drive.
  • Malware & Virus
    The malware and computer viruses can also inflict and delete the data stored on the computer. It can come from the other affected devices or downloaded from the internet with other files. Ransomware is a widespread malware that is famous for causing data losses.

    Many software programs - antiviruses- are designed to detect and fight computer viruses, but the malware is still there to damage your data. That’s why keeping the windows security turned on is recommended, so windows can alert you.

Part 2: How to Perform Free External Hard Drive Recovery

Whether you’ve accidentally deleted the data on the external hard drive or lost it due to other reasons, here are the ultimate ways to perform free external hard drive recovery:

Way 1: Use Free External Hard Drive Recovery Tool

4DDiG Free Data Recovery is a free program that recovers lost and deleted files. First, it lets you scan the desired storage device for the lost files, then preview and recover them.

Because it offers a one-click solution, it makes the complex data recovery process simple and easy for even novice users. Here’s how to perform free external hard drive recovery with the best external hard drive recovery software:


Secure Download


Secure Download

  • Download and install the 4DDiG Windows Data Recovery program on your computer. Launch it, and you’ll have a home screen to select the targeted storage device to recover. Select the external hard drive, and click Start to begin.

    nas recovery
  • 4DDiG Windows Data Recovery will scan the selected drive immediately for lost and deleted files. You can pause and stop this process when the desired files are found. However, you can also use the filter options to narrow your search to the targeted files.

  • When the scanning is completed, you can browse and preview the files for legit check. Once you’re done previewing the files, select them and hit the Recovery button to move them to a secure location.


Way 2: Restore from a Backup File

Windows comes with a built-in tool called Backup and Restore, which lets you take the backup of your external hard drive and restore it at any moment. If you have already created a backup, you can recover your lost and deleted files with this method.

If you have already created a backup of the external hard drive, here’s how to recover files from the external hard drive for free:

  • Go to the Start Menu and search the Control Panel.
  • In the Control Panel, select the Backup and Restore option.
  • In the Backup and Restore options, click Restore My Files.

    restore my files
  • Now select the backup location of the file, then choose where you want to save the restored file.

    backup location

Way 3: Use First Aid in Disk Utility.

If you’ve a Mac, you can use the First Aid in Disk Utility to recover the files from the external hard drive. It’ll diagnose and fix the external hard drive issues that led to the data loss. Here’s how it works:

  • Navigate to the Finder, Application, and Utilities.
  • Launch the Disk Utility.
  • Now select the external hard drive and click the First Aid Button.

    select external
  • Confirm that you want to proceed with first aid.

Way 4: CHKDSK Command to Perform Free External Hard Drive Recovery

Windows comes with the built-in CHKDSK command tool, which checks the integrity of the file system and fixes logical errors. If you’ve lost the files on the hard drive due to file system corruption, the CHKDSK command can help fix it:

  • Go to the Start Menu, search CMD, and select Run as administrator.
  • Type the following command and hit enter. Replace the X letter with the letter assigned to the external hard drive.

    chkdsk X: /f

    chkdsk xf
  • Once the CHKDSK process is started, wait for it to complete and show the results.

Part 3: FAQs

Q 1: Can you recover files from a dead external hard drive for free?

Yes, it’s possible to recover files from a head external hard drive for free, but it depends on the type of dead. There are various ways to recover lost files due to logical failure. However, the chances are problematic if the external hard drive is physically damaged.

Q 2: Is there a free alternative to Disk Drill?

Disk Drill offers an excellent data recovery solution, but many other reasonable alternatives exist. One of the biggest competitors is 4DDiG Windows Data Recovery, a one-click solution for free recovering lost and deleted files.

Q 3: How do I recover permanently deleted photos for free?

You can recover permanently deleted photos in various ways, such as using the recycle bin, chkdsk command, and File history. Alternatively, you can use the 4DDiG Windows Data Recovery to recover lost and deleted photos with one click.


The external hard drive has wide applications, considering its portability and easy storage and transfer of large files. However, losing the important data stored on them can be a frustrating experience unless you’ve created a backup. In this guide, we discussed the ultimate ways for “free unlimited data recovery software for external hard disk”. If you’re looking for a solid data recovery solution, refer to the 4DDiG Free Data Recovery to a large size with one click.

William Bollson (senior editor)

William Bollson, the editor-in-chief of 4DDiG, devotes to providing the best solutions for Windows and Mac related issues, including data recovery, repair, error fixes.

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