How to Fix a Corrupted and Unreadable External Hard Drive and Recover Data from It?

Has your Hard Drive corrupted and suddenly become unreadable? Read this guide to fix external hard drive damaged problem without losing data on Win10.

Hard Drive Recovery

Format Hard Drive+
  1. How to Clone Hard Drive
  2. How to Format Hard Drive from Bios
  3. Format Hard Drive for Xbox One
  4. How to Format C Drive in Windows 10/7/XP
  5. How to Perform PS4 External Hard Drive Format
  6. How to Format Hard Drive from Bios
  7. Format Hard Drive for Xbox One
  8. How to Format C Drive in Windows 10/7/XP
  9. How to Perform PS4 External Hard Drive Format
  10. How to Format Drive in Linux
  11. How to Format Hard Drive to NTFS
  12. How to Format WD My Passport
  13. How to Format Your Drive to FAT32 System
  14. Format HDD Low Level
  15. Format a BitLocker Encrypted Drive
  16. How to Unformat Hard Disk
  17. How to Format a RAW Drive
  18. Fix Your Hard Drive’s Formatting Issues
  19. How to Format SSD
  20. How to Format your Hard Drive to exFAT File System
  21. How to Format a Hard Drive to FAT32
Hard Drive Recovery+
  1. Top 10 Hard Drive Recovery Tools
  2. How to Recover Lost Data from Maxtor External Hard Drive
  3. How to Recover Data from Hitachi External Hard Drive
  4. How to Recover Data from Dead Hard Drive
  5. How to Recover Data from SimpleTech External Hard Drive
  6. How to Recover A Formatted Hard Drive in 3 Simple Clicks
  7. How to Recover Lost Data from Iomega External Hard Drive
  8. How to Recover Data from Toshiba External Hard Drive
  9. How to Recover Data from Transcend External Hard Drive
  10. Lacie External Hard Drive Data Recovery and Repair
  11. Best Way to Recover Data from a Floppy Disk 
  12. How to Recover Data from HP External Hard Drive
  13. Best Method to Recover Data from Crashed Hard Drive
  14. How to Repair Toshiba Hard Disk
  15. Recover Files from WD My Book External Hard Drive
  16. Ways to Repair Seagate Hard Disk
Fix Hard Drive Error+
  1. How to Fix the Hard Disk 3F0 Error
  2. How To Get Your Hard Drive Live Longer
  3. Perform HDD Bad Sector Repair on Any Hard Drive
  4. Recover Formatted Partition
  5. How to Recover Files from Corrupted Hard Disk
  6. How to Fix Hard Disk not Initialized Error
  7. Fix Fatal Hard Disk Not Detected Error
Hard Drive Tips+
  1. How to Clone a Hard Drive
  2. How to Rescue Data from Hard Drive
  3. How to Fix HDD Write Protected Error
  4. How to Completely Wipe a Hard Drive
Mac Hard Drive Recovery+
  1. Recover Lost Data from Seagate External Hard Drive on Mac
  2. How to Recover Data from Formatted Hard Disk Drive on Mac
  3. How to Recover Data from Seagate Backup
  4. How to Recover Lost Data from Western Digital External Hard Drive
  5. Top 5 Tools for Mac Disk Recovery on Mac
  6. How to Format Toshiba Hard Drive for Mac
  7. Format a Hard Drive for Mac: Ultimate Guide 2021

• Filed to: Hard Drive Recovery • Proven solutions

"How fix a corrupted and unreadable external hard drive and access files from it? I plugged the portable drive on my PC, and now it is showing that the drive is inaccessible! Can I fix it? Can I recover files from external hard drive?"

- a question from Quora

An external hard drive is undoubtedly one of the frequently used electronic gadgets in the world today. You are inclined to use it on multiple computers, which may or may not be infected with some malware.

If you boot up your computer on one of those occasions to access content from the portable hard drive and find that your computer is unable to read that disk, then you need to repair it as soon as possible to gain access to those files again.

The external hard drive becomes unreadable and corrupted due to carelessly disconnecting or powering down the industry without following the eject drive protocol. You can fix corrupted hard drive with a quick scan on the PC with the disk checking utility and its drive repair function.

Worst-case scenario, if you cannot fix the disk, then there is a way to recover all the valuable data, which you can quickly learn after reading this guide.

Part 1: Situation: Hard Drive is Corrupted and Unreadable

As mentioned earlier, your portable hard drive is prone to damage daily since it is used with such doggedness that one can forget how delicate the gadget is. Because of this scenario, many problems may occur with the drive, and the standard most error that typically happens is the "External Drive or its directory becoming corrupt or unreadable."

Such error comes with a message displayed when your operating system fails to read or open the external disk. Many factors may lead to this error, and fortunately, here, you will learn to implement different available fixes to ease your mind.


Part 2: Why the Hard Drive Becomes Unreadable and corrupted?

How do external hard drive get corrupted? Whenever you get the error notification upon opening the external drive: "H:\ is not accessible." It means that the disk's file or directory is either corrupted or unreadable, and you need to fix that. There might be numerous factors behind the external drive becoming unreadable. Still, the leading cause you should consider is that there might be some file system damage to your portable storage device.

Here we will discuss some of those causes that could lead to your disk getting corrupted:

  • Virus infection:

    Virus infection or malware attack occurs due to casual and unsafe browsing on the internet. If you happen to download a suspicious or pirated file from a shady website and open through the file explorer, it might infect your computer and all the devices connected to it, as well. Such a mistake could convert the file system of your external hard drive into RAW and make it corrupt/unreadable. Thus the "Drive is not accessible" notification; it is a known fact that RAW file format makes it impossible for Windows to read and access the partition or flash drive.

  • Corrupted Master File Table:

    Corrupted Master File Table is the other culprit behind the HDD becoming unreadable, and you cannot open the contents of the disk. A partition table is mainly damaged due to improper handling of the hardware, such as removing the external hard drive from the PC without using the "Safely Remove Hardware" option.

  • Unexpected Power Failure:

    An unexpected Power Failure may also cause the industry to misbehave and corrupt. Before using the gadget, you necessarily must make sure the USB ports of the PC and the disk alike are functioning correctly.

  • Physical damages

    Physical damages to the external hard drive should also be considered because the external drive is becoming unreadable. If you have accidentally dropped the device, it may cause some internal damage and making it impossible for the system to access the files. In this case, you must send the drive to an expert for a quick fix.

Part 3: How To Fix Unreadable and Corrupted Hard Disk?

If the drive's damage is not physical, you can repair the unreadable and corrupt device without any hassle. There are three popular methods mentioned below that will fix your external storage drive in no time.

  • Run the CHKDSK command through cmd prompt utility.
  • Update the driver.
  • Reformat the Disk to remedy the unreadable hard drive factor.

However, before doing something drastic, you should look into the following thing to ensure whether the problem is with your disk.

  • Try using your hard drive on another PC, if your PC can't detect it. It will solidify that the disk is corrupt, and there is something wrong with the industry, and measures should be taken.
  • It is essential to check the power supply of both the PC and the drive. There is a slight chance that due to over-usage, the power cable might have stopped working.
  • There are multiple USB slots on the computer, and you should try changing the USB port or insert some other flash drive to check whether the port is working or not.
  • In the Disk Management utility, try changing the drive letter of the storage media, which could restore data inside the corrupted hard drive.

1. Run the CHKDSK Command through cmd prompt Utility:

CHKDSK is used to identify the drive's status, its file system, and the metadata of the drive's format for logical and physical errors. You can enable the command by following the guide below:

  • Open Command Prompt from the Start menu by entering "cmd" and running it as an administrator.
  • Type the display window's knowledge with the damaged hard drive's assigned letter: chkdsk I: /f /r /x ("I" is the assigned letter of the scanned drive).
  • The command will take some time to scan the disk and fix the detected issue immediately.
how to fix a corrupted external hard drive

It would be best if you were careful while using "Command Prompt" as it can get pretty technical; entering a wrong command could lead to severe damage to the computer.

2. Update the driver of the USB Device:

There is a chance the driver of the external device might not be up-to-date. You can update the driver by opening Windows' Device Manager feature, and here is the step-by-step guide to help you through it.

    • Open Device Manager by entering the keyword in the Windows search bar.
how to fix a corrupted external hard drive
    • Locate the driver under the "Universal Serial Bus Controllers" section and click on it.
    • Click on "Update Driver" and pick the option "Search automatically for updated driver software."

  • Let the manager do its work.

The manager will work its charm if it detects a faulty driver; Otherwise, check the third method to fix the issue.

3. Reformat the Corrupted Disk:

Formatting the drive is an extreme step! It should only be done if the file system of your device has become RAW. Here are the instructions to format the external hard disk.

  • Open Disk Management from the Windows search bar.
  • Locate your external drive from the list of disks.
  • Right Click on it and pick the "Format" option.
  • If the file system is RAW, change it to NTFS and click on OK.
  • You can also change the allotted letter of the drive.

This option should only be picked if you do not intend to recover the data inside.

Part 4: How to Fix Corrupted Hard Drive?

Data from an unreadable hard disk is recoverable with the help of a third-party data recovery application. Recoverit - Data Recovery will help you recover items that are under threat of getting deleted. Before performing the recovery operation, it is best to understand the features of the program, which are mentioned below:

Recoverit Data Recovery

A Life Saver to Solve Your Data Loss Problems!

  • Recoverit offers data recovery from a lost partition, unreadable or corrupt drives, and every other kind of inaccessible data.
  • The app supports more than 1000 different file formats, which include every bit of media files.
  • You can recover any data from a crashed computer and external devices such as USB, portable hard disks, and memory cards.
  • The software lets you preview the recovered items and allows you to save them to any location of your choice.
icon security 3,165,867 people have downloaded it

Here is the three-step guide to use the application and retrieve lost content in a matter of minutes.

Step 1 Choose the Location of the Drive to Start

Launch the program on your PC and pick the damaged drive under the "External Devices" section. Push the start button after that.

recover files from external hard drive

Step 2 Wait for the Application to Finish the Scan

You will have to wait for a few minutes as Recoverit will scan the damaged drive and extract all data from it. The app also offers to pause or stop the process in between. The program will notify you once it completes the scan.

fix a corrupted hard drive without losing data

Step 3 Save your Data

In the end, you can view through the program's preview feature, which displays the content under different categories. After checking the files, select the needed items, and click on the "Recover" button. You can save the data to a location where you feel it will be safe.

fix corrupted hard drive

Bottom Line

Over and careless use of any machine or biological figure would eventually result in its demise. Now you know the causes behind an external drive becoming readable and fixing a corrupted external hard drive.

Want to learn more about recovery videos in the hard drive? Check this article now!

There's a slight chance that the data inside the corrupt drive may get erased, you can prevent all of the issues if you use the Recoverit program. Feel free to spread the word to your friends and family who are dealing with such a problem.

Read more: How to Recover Data from Transcend External Hard Drive.

Comprehensive Guides on How to Clone a Hard Drive?

Advisable Tools for Hard Drive Repair in 2021.


staff Editor

Hot Articles

Format Hard Drive from Command Prompt in Windows 10
Here to learn how to format hard drive, the method to format pc using cmd, and the way to recover data from a formatted hard disk.
How to Format Hard Drive to FAT32 on Windows 10?
How to format hard drive to FAT32 on Windows 10? Here we offer proven ways to teach you how to format HHD to FAT32 and recover data after formatting.
3 Major Seagate Hard Disk Problems – Ways to Repair Seagate Hard Disk
How to Fix Seagate Hard Drive? Go through this article and find various Seagate Hard Disk repair methods to fix your Seagate Hard Drive.
Format Hard Drive from Bios: A Quick Step-by-Step Guide
Are you wondering how to format hard drive from bios? Read this article to find out when to do it, how to do it, and which are the potential risks.
How to Format Hard Drive for PS4 without Data Loss?
Want to know how to format hard drive for PS4? This guide will help you format ps4 hard drive and recover data from the formatted hard drive.
Disk Not Initialized: Fix It with Proven Ways
Disk not initialized? Fix disk uninitialized with proven ways here! Learn why disk not initialized and how to initialize hard disk without losing data
Best 7 External Hard Drive on Mac: External Storage for Macbook
7 external hard drives for Mac are introduced, and you can learn how to recover data from external hard drive, look and read it here!
How to Recover Overwritten Files on External Hard Drive?
Lost your overwritten files on external hard drive? This guide will teach you how to recover lost overwritten files and prevent them from losing.
Home > > Resource > Hard Drive Recovery > How to Fix a Corrupted and Unreadable External Hard Drive and Recover Data from It?