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How to repair an external hard drive and recover all the information stored on it? Step by step guide

How to repair an external hard drive and recover all the information stored on it? Step by step guide

We all rely heavily on technology, especially when talking about information backup. In this sense, a computer gives you many advantages when organizing and accessing your digital documents, but what happens if one day this failure?

One of the most frightening scenarios for any user today is undoubtedly that their hard drive is broken. This hardware is the storage center of all equipment; it saves each and every one of the files that make up the operating system and all the videos, documents and movies you download .

However, the technology itself offers us multiple solutions to deal with this circumstance. In this article we will show you how to repair an external disk and recover all the information inside it , both on Windows and MacOS.

Index:

Why do external disks usually get damaged? Causes

Causas daños disco duro externo

One of the things we must always keep in mind is that no matter how well they are made, the components of a computer do not last forever, there comes a time when they simply end their useful life and you have to change them . Or after some times we may give them a bad treatment and they begin to present failures:

Wear

Retaking what was said; The components are not for life. Each time they are used, they wear out, and hard drives are one of the most used, since basically while the computer is on, it is working, as is the processor and RAM .

Current SSDs have been optimized to improve in that regard, and giving them a good use could last more than 5 years easily , but after that time you should be aware that at any time you can fail. So it would be safer to support the information in it.

Electrical overloads

An SSD disk is a component of a computer, which in turn is an electrical equipment so that any failure in your energy system that causes a overload will be quite harmful to the health of the equipment . A strong overload could directly damage the circuits that make up the disk, as well as its capacitors and affect all its operation.

Electromagnetism

Electromagnetism is a reality. All appliances that work with electricity have their own magnetic field, even living things have one. This means that anything that can affect that field will also affect the team. If you are one of those who use the mobile phone near the computer you should prepare yourself as this could damage your hard drives at any time.

Blows and falls

If you recently dropped your laptop or removed the SSD and accidentally slipped from your hands, it is possible that the blow has serious consequences. A hard disk is a very delicate component and a bad blow could damage the heads that allow it to connect to the motherboard , making it difficult to use it again as before.

What types of damage do hard drives usually have? Are they all repairable?

This point is closely related to the previous one, but it will be essential to identify what type of damage your SSD has and, most importantly, if it has a solution or does not have it , since it does not always it will be possible to repair them.

Physical damage

Physical damage is that which is done superficially, that is, that which is related to the tangible part of the disk. These can be any type of damage to the disk head or its circuits , like the one we tell you that occurs when you drop it by accident. These types of errors can be catastrophic and leave the storage device unusable.

Logic damage

The logical damage is one that is related to the operation and programming of the physical disk . This is related to errors caused by viruses or damaged files that can directly affect the firmware of the component.

Mechanical damage

Finally there are mechanical damages, which are related to physical failures and can occur when any of the elements that make up the disk begin to fail individually. Unlike physicists, these can usually be repaired by an expert.

Steps to repair an external disk with logical and easy damage to Windows or MacOS

Now that you know what are the main reasons why your disk might have broken down, it’s time for you to learn to repair them. It should be noted that the methods that we are going to teach you below are useful to repair only logical errors. To solve a physical or mechanical error if you need to seek help from a professional:

With CHKDSK

CHKDSK or CheckDisk is a native Microsoft Windows tool that allows you to analyze storage units to detect logical errors, repair them and even to retrieve readable information from it. It is a fairly simple method to use and should be your first choice to do things. To repair a disk with it you simply have to do the following:

  • Type in the Windows start menu “CMD” and right click and select “Run as administrator” in the only option that appears.
  • Subsequently, the «Symbol of the system» will open. Once it is open simply type «CHKDSK» and click clearlyEnterpointed.

Ejecutar-CHKDSK

  • Now you must wait for the analysis to finish. After that you should see a screen like the following.

Datos-del-analisis-del-CHKDSK

In the case of the image, the result was positive, but if you get to find an error after performing the analysis with the CheckDisck you can repair it with itself. What you should do is that with the “Command Prompt” window still open, execute the “chkdsk G: / f / r / x” command.

Subsequently, all the logical errors of the disk should be solved and if this is not the case, you may have to make a deeper diagnosis by a professional.

With Disk Utility (MacOs)

On MacOS the game is a bit different since the Disk Utility tool, which is the equivalent of CHKDSK on Apple computers, runs from the BIOS, and not from the desktop of the operating system. However, it is quite easy to do if you follow these steps:

  • Restart your computer and hold down the “Command + R” keys until you enter the computer’s BIOS.
  • Once in the BIOS you must select < strong> «Disk Utility», then «Continue» and follow the path «Visualization»> »Show all devices».
  • < li> Select the unit you wish to repair and click on “First Help” and then on “Run”.

Later, you should be able to use the physical disk that had broken down without problems. Otherwise, it is possible that the failure is due to a physical error and not a logical one, so it will be necessary for you to turn to professional help.

With an Easeus Partition Master

If the native tools that Microsoft and Apple operating systems have do not work for you, what you can do is use a more powerful option. The external EaseUS Partition Master, paid, is one of the best tools available to you.

With it you should simply follow these steps:

  • The first thing is to download the program (later you have the link).

EaseUS Partition Master

  • Once inside Partition Master, select the disk that is causing problems and then the “Check partition” option.
  • Then we select the option “Require Windows CHKDSK.exe” and then in “Ok” and wait for the tool to run.

Later, absolutely all logic errors that the physical disk has will be eliminated. However, we warn you that it is not infallible and if there is an error of another kind, it cannot help you. Fortunately you can always retrieve all the information inside , which we will show you below.

Steps to recover information from a damaged hard drive

If the tools we recommend were not enough to repair the error of your disk, you may have to turn to a professional if you want to repair it. In case you are worried about recovering the information, you can easily do this with the same programs above. We show you the process in each one below:

With CHKDSK

Windows CheckDisk has among its parameters some specially developed to recover readable information from damaged physical disks. It is very easy to use and you should do the following:

  • Open the Windows terminal and start CHKDSK as we show you above.
  • Once the analysis of the tool is finished, proceed to execute the «CHKDSK c: / r ».

It should be noted that this will only work if you have another external disk connected to the computer so that the data is stored on it.

With Disk Utility

The Disk Utility tool is developed to analyze and troubleshoot external drives, but not to retrieve information from them. If you want to do the latter, you will have to use an external tool. In the next step we show you how to do it from one that works on both Windows and MacOS from Apple.

With EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard

Well, in case you have not been able to recover the information contained in the physical disk so far, what you should do is use EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard , one of the best tools to offer solutions for storage and retrieval of information.

It is a paid app, but it has a free version that will allow you to recover a limited but sufficient amount of files. What you should do is follow these steps:

  • Download the tool with the link we leave you after explaining the process.
  • Once the tool is open, select the partition of the disk that is broken and Then you have the same with realizedScan Scan with.

EaseUS-Data-Recovery-Escanear-discoo.

  • When the scan is finished, a file browser similar to Windows will appear, from which you must click on the “Deleted files” section.

EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard seleccionar datos borrados por accidente

The scan will take a couple of hours or more depending on the size of the disk and the amount of information, but everything will be in the “ Deleted files ” section. What you must do migrate it to another SSD or USB drive to back it up.

Download EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard Windows

Download EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard macOS

Unconventional methods to repair an external disk according to the type of damage

Have you ever heard of those home remedies that work for everything? There are also similar methods for electronic devices. There is no reliable proof that these work, but they also do not generate many doubts so some people continue to have faith:

Freeze the SSD

The oldest method of life, but it works perfectly. What you should do is simply put the disc in the refrigerator and leave it overnight until its components freeze, then take it out, wait for it to dry and reconnect it to the computer.

It is a technique used to repair mechanical errors, under the logic that these are caused by the plates that are folded by overheating. Therefore when frozen they return to their natural state thanks to the intense cold . It may seem like a joke but there are millions of people who have been able to repair their SSD in this way.

A couple of hits

Another of the most used underground methods is to give slight hits to the disk , but this has its conditions, it cannot always be applied. You can only do it if you hear that the disc sounds and cannot be identified by the computer. The theory is that this happens because some of the cables are between the plates of the discs and do not allow you to turn well.

So what you have to do is simply hit it with the palm of your hand on the sides, so that the cable is unlocked and the plate is released.

List of the best programs to repair damaged storage units