Besides relying on our PC’s internal HDDs/SSDs, some of us get to own an external hard drive. Well, it’s perhaps the most convenient way to store heavy files in a portable way. You can carry it around and plug it into your laptop, desktop, smart TV, and so on.

That’s really convenient for us users. But because we constantly insert and use it on different devices, the chance of it getting damaged, corrupted, infected by viruses, or whatnot is pretty high. The worst that could happen when such issues occur is unwanted data loss– what a nightmare! Not to mention, the inability to access the drive.

There’s nothing to be afraid of yet. If your external hard drive needs repair ASAP, you’d be happy to know we’ve prepared tutorials on how to fix external hard drive. Just check them out below and see which of them works for you.

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FYI: What Causes Damage to External Hard Drives

It’s crucial that you know what causes damage to external hard drives. This way, you can avoid them in the future. Just like what they say, prevention is better than cure. So, here are the possible causes you should know.

  • Corruption/bad sectors due to improper shutdown, virus attacks, software glitches
  • Physical damage to the drive or USB connector (water damage, drop, etc.)
  • Natural aging of the storage devices
  • Factory defect

If there’s a problem with your external hard drive, one of the mentioned causes above is likely the culprit. The good news is that most of them can be fixed, except if the damage is due to the natural lifespan of the external hard drive or if the physical damage is too severe.

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Recover deleted, corrupted, or lost data from any device

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Method 1: Fix External Hard Drive via Error Checking

If the problem is due to software glitches, bad sectors, or similar factors, error-checking is the easiest and the most classic way to do it. All you need to do is connect your external hard drive to your PC and fix it via File Explorer. Here’s how to do it:

Step 1

Connect your external hard drive to the computer. Then, launch the Windows File Explorer and look for This PC. There, right-click on the target drive and select Properties.

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Step 2

Click on the Tools tab and hit Check under Error Checking. Your computer will then start scanning for errors in the drive. If there’s any, Windows will repair it.

Method 2: Fix External Hard Drive with Windows PowerShell

Error checking is a hit or miss at times. When it doesn’t find any issues and the external hard drive is still corrupted or inaccessible, use Windows PowerShell. It’s an internal program on Windows PCs that can send commands to resolve software issues, including fixing external hard drives.

Step 1

Click on the Windows icon on the Desktop and type in PowerShell on the search bar. There, select the option Run as administrator and the PowerShell window should show up immediately.

Step 2

Enter the command “Repair-Volume E –OfflineScanAndFix” on the window. The letter E stands for the letter of your external hard driver. Change it if yours has a different assigned letter.

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Step 3

Next to that, enter another command “Repair-Volume E–Scan” and execute it. Afterward, restart the computer and your external hard drive should be fixed.

Method 3: Reinstall/Update the Disk Driver to Fix the External Hard Drive

If the two methods above still don’t work, it’s likely that the software of your external hard drive is outdated. So, you need to reinstall or update it to fix bugs and glitches. You can do it in the Device Manager, where all drivers are located and managed.

Step 1

Connect your external HDD to the PC. Then, right-click on the Windows icon on your desktop and choose Device Manager from the options. A window should appear shortly.

Step 2

There, hit Disk Drives and then right-click on your external hard drive. Among the options, select Uninstall device and confirm it by clicking OK.

Uninstall Driver

Step 3

Disconnect the drive and restart the computer. Reconnect the drive and the uninstalled driver will reinstalled automatically. If this still doesn’t work, repeat steps 1 and 2 but choose the Update Driver option.

Method 4: Format External Hard Drive to Fix Issues

If you get the prompt that the drive is corrupted and should be formatted, it’s possible that it’s been damaged by a virus or its file system format is messed up. The quickest way for you is to format the drive. However, formatting the drive will not only reset it but it will also erase all your files and data for good.

Step 1

Right-click on your external hard drive on Windows File Explorer. Then, choose Format.

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Step 2

A small window will emerge on the screen. Set the File System format to NTFS and click Quick Format. Wait for a few seconds until it’s complete and hit OK.

Method 5: Change the USB Cable to Fix External Hard Drive

More often than not, the problem is not your external hard drive but the USB cable. If the connector is damaged, the computer will have a hard time reading the drive. That’s why it gets corrupted or inaccessible. You may even see the message that the USB device is not recognized. The best course of action is to replace it with a new cable.

Method 6: Seek Professional Help to Fix External Hard Drive

When the problem is physical damage, including factory defects, it’s unlikely that you will be able to fix the external drive yourself unless you’re an expert. So, go to the nearest service center according to your external drive’s brand.

If physical damage is your fault, you may need to pay for the repair. It would cost you around 100-700 USD. If it’s a factory defect and the hard drive is still under warranty, replacement or repair should be free of charge. Just bring relevant documentation like receipts as proof.

Bonus: Recover Data from External Hard Drive via 4DDiG

Sometimes, repairing your external hard drive comes at a price– the loss of your personal data and files. But that doesn’t have to be the case. Yes! You can move on to a new hard drive, but you don’t have to leave your lost files behind. There’s an app called Tenorshare 4DDiG that can recover files on external storage devices no matter the cause.

All-in-One Data Recovery

Recover deleted, corrupted, or lost data from any device

√ Supports Video, Audio, Document, Image, Email, Archive

√ Covers USB drives, hard drive, Android & Camera SD Card

√ Compatible with NTFS, FAT16, FAT32, exFAT, EXT

Yes! If your external hard drive is corrupted, damaged, or whatnot, 4DDiG ensures that your files will be restored with 99% success. The app is easy to use, too. You don’t have to hire someone. You just need to use it to scan the drive to locate lost files and recover them all in one click. It’s no rocket science at all!

Moreover, all recovered files retain their original size, details, and more. Yes! You won’t see a decline in quality.

If you’re interested in trying out this app, just install the program on your Mac or Windows PC. you can get the installer by interacting with the buttons below.

Conclusion

Fixing an external hard drive may seem difficult. But for the most part, you can actually do it yourself as long as you have the right methods. The ones above have been proven to be effective, check them out to fix your drive, too. If you can’t fix it, you can always ask a professional to help you. Recovering your files is also a wise course of action should all methods fail.

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