How do I recover my files from my external hard drive?
Question by anirudh /

I have a WD external hard drive that I dropped. I have all my work on it. Is it possible for me to recover my files? The computer does not read it but the power light comes on along with a noise from the hard drive itself. Is there any way for me to get my files back?

Browse other questions & answers in the category ; tagged , , ; or ask your own question.

Comments for this Question are closed.

If you are looking for help, please ask a new question.

We will be happy to help you!

Answers (6)
  • Irshaad Abdool

    maybe your external drive is not shock-resistant
    i suggest that you unscrew and open it. detach it from the USB-to-SATA interface and try to connect it directly to your motherboard via the SATA ports

    if files have been deleted-very minute possibility-, try to restore them using ‘RecoverMyFiles’ file recovery software.

  • crash

    ok i got the same harddrive…1tb though….wat i did….i got really frustrated with it n i wacked it again on the floor untill. (when it was unpluged) the sound stopped comeing….soon after the computer read the drive but not the data on it..so..well i guess the data is lost n the sound earlier was the read/write head on the wrong partition, when starting, stuck, tilted which in this case would mean damage to the platter.

  • Dontknow

    computer can’t read it? ,then there is no chance to recover your lost data.

  • FIDELIS

    Hello, can you go to the following link and check the noise from your harddrive with the ones located on the database?  If you can match the sound, it should give you pointers as to what the problem is:

    http://datacent.com/hard_drive_sounds.php

    When a harddrive starts making noises, it is probably near the end of its life.  If you troubleshoot on time and depending of what the failure is, you can implement things to extend the life a little bit.  The best thing to do is to use it as little as possible.  In your case, try to do some recovery if possible and do nothing else with it.  Here is a link with some troubleshooting tips:

    http://pcsupport.about.com/od/nonworkingcomponent/ht/hdnoisetb.htm

    Sometimes and depending on what the problem is you can use two different softwares to repair drives as long as they are recognized.  They are paid options though:

    http://www.grc.com/spinrite.htm    —spinrite

    http://www.dposoft.net/               —hdd regenerator

    For recovering actual data you can use a linux live cd to see if your disk is recognized.  If it is navigate to data you want recovered and you can copy to a flash drive, dvd/cd, or a folder on your computer.  You can use also testdisk:

    http://www.cgsecurity.org/wiki/TestDisk

    How to use testdisk:

    http://www.cgsecurity.org/wiki/TestDisk_Step_By_Step

  • Jeff Fabish

    You should stop using the hard drive immediately, as the sound could be the hard drive head scraping the platter, which can cause irrecoverable loss of data. Contact a computer technician in your area who may be able to help you.

  • Anonymous

    Well you can try to see if your hard drive will be recognized under linux or mac.

    You have 2 possibilities here –

    1) the hard drive inside the case could be damaged. If this is true, your only option is to send it off to a data recovery specialist.

    2) the USB jack is damaged. You need to remove the actual hard drive from inside the enclosure. Purchase a new enclosure, and install the drive in there. Verify that the drive can now be read.

    if you are techy then you can follow some instructions here
    http://geekyprojects.com/storage/how-to-recover-data-from-a-broken-hard-drive/
    Ubuntu Rescue Remix and Ddrescue
    http://geekyprojects.com/storage/how-to-recover-data-even-when-hard-drive-is-damaged/

    other then this if files are very important then you have to look for a service that deals with this kind of situation and will cost money.

    you can try WD tools for diagnosis
    http://support.wdc.com/product/download.asp?groupid=606&sid=30&lang=en

    microsoft fixit
    A computer that is running Windows XP cannot detect a USB flash drive, an Apple iPod, or an external hard disk drive
    http://support.microsoft.com/kb/925196/en-us

    if you will purchase another hard drive then see this test
    http://video.popularmechanics.com/services/player/bcpid1688437613?bctid=1699225584