Sunday, January 26, 2020
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How to recover files from a corrupt or unreadable external hard drive

External Hard Drive

Have you ever come across this sudden message—that your external hard drive is not accessible—because it was corrupt and unreadable? This error is often associated with external storage devices: hard disk drive, flash drive, micro SD card.

The initial fear after discovering this weird error was that all my files were gone and I may not recover them again. But I decided to try all options at my disposal and the command prompt the saviour.

The reason why most people experience this error is because of virus infection, physical damage or inappropriate ejection of the drive while it is still in use. In my own case, I ignorantly plug out the USB connector of my Toshiba external drive and later tried using it, but my PC could not read files present on it though it could recognize it.

This method of recovery is only meant for corrupted or unreadable external device which contains files that were not deleted or damaged. If you accidentally deleted files or formatted your hard drive, then you should try using a recovery software to do the job.

So, locate the command prompt on your PC and enter this DOS or CMD command: chkdsk f: /f as you can see below and press enter. F: is the storage location of your device and it could be G:, H: or D: and specify the query of the command: /f.


The chkdsk command will save you a lot of headache in recovering your corrupted files from an external hard drive.

The function of this DOS command is to repair or reconfigure your drive to be readable again. It was a big relief I recovered my very important files with just a simple command within 5 minutes, rather than wasting over 3 hours or more, depending on the capacity of my external drive and the number of files on it using a recovery software. Having knowledge of some DOS or CMD commands can be very handy to solving some tricky hardware errors. However, once your files are recovered, quickly copy it to your PC storage disk or an external drive to avoid further errors or complete loss of your files. It is advisable you format the corrupted external hard drive before using it again.

Do you know any other method that can help recover files from corrupted or unreadable external hard drive, kindly share with us.

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