How to Recover Lost Overwritten Files on External Hard Drive?

Lost your overwritten files on external hard drive? Don't worry, this guide will teach you how to recover lost files and prevent them from losing.

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• Filed to: Hard Drive Recovery • Proven solutions

In this modern era of technology, data loss has become a very common scenario. Different files are often overwritten, mostly due to human error. The overwritten files will not enter the Recycle Bin, so even if you can recover the files from the Recycle Bin in Windows 10/8/7, you cannot recover the lost original files. However, several methods can be used to recover overwritten or replaced files. Recover overwritten files is not a simple task, it requires reliable data recovery tools. By using an ideal data recovery tool, we can get back lost data very easily. In this article, we will introduce some authentic ways to recover lost overwritten files.

Part 1. What Are Overwritten Files?

Overwriting means replacing old data with new data and this can happen in two ways, by replacing files or by replacing text. Generally, when we move a file from one folder to another we overwrite the files with the same name. As we use computers in daily routine life and there are many chances of errors and data deletion. We can say that everyone has accidentally deleted important files. So the question is how to recover overwritten files on the external hard drive? Generally speaking, it is very simple to recover deleted files until they have been overwritten.

If the files in the recycle bin have also been cleared, then we must find an effective way to recover accidentally deleted files. At this time, we can cleverly use file recovery methods and use professional file recovery software to perform file recovery. There are many data recovery tools available which we can use to recover lost data or files.

Part 2. What Happens When Data Becomes Inaccessible?

Are you troubled by accidentally deleting files and losing important data on your computer hard drive, memory card, or USB mobile device? Did you know that you can retrieve deleted files? When data loss occurs, first of all, please remember that it is best to stop using the computer or other external storage devices, which will be able to protect the lost files for better data recovery. The reason for the refusal to access the hard disk partition may be that the hard disk partition table is damaged, causing the hard disk partition information to not be read correctly by the system, or it may be that some software has been used, which causes the disk permissions to be modified.

Similarly, most of the reasons for data loss in the hard drive are physical reasons; sometimes data loss may only be caused by human error. The following are two main causes of this problem.

When Data Has Been Deleted

When the hard disk saves files, it generally saves the data in the form of clusters. As for the saved files, they will be recorded in the file allocation table by default. When the hard disk deletes files, the system will not empty all the files it stores but will mark the clusters in each allocation table as empty. If there is any "cluster" in the file allocation table that is not used, the data stored later will also be stored in that cluster. Therefore, before the data is rewritten, these deleted files will still exist in the "cluster" where they were before until the new data is written to overwrite the original data. Therefore, it is also recommended that no matter which way you delete the data, you need to avoid writing to the disk with the lost data as much as possible. If you write, it will also cause the file to be overwritten.

When HDD Has Been Formatted

Is there any effective way to recover data from a formatted hard drive? This question is quite complicated, and the answer may be different depending on the situation. Sometimes, only one wrong click may result in formatting the hard drive and losing all files. You must admit that it is very difficult to recover data from a formatted hard drive. In most cases, after checking the recycle bin, you have no other way to rescue the lost files. No matter what kind of media your computer uses, you can recover data from formatted hard drives. When you format the hard disk, the index file will be deleted, but will not delete the content. The space will be marked as empty and waiting for new data. But the original file still exists until the newly generated data covers the same space.

How to Recover Lost Overitten Files on External Hard Drive?

Sometimes a problem we faced was mistakenly deleted data from your computer. We shouldn't delete any kind of files that have been deleted, unfortunately. This must be something that happens occasionally in most cases. If we find an error quickly, we will most likely recover the file from the trash can. But this is not always possible. Therefore, we have to resort to programs like Recoverit. We can recover overwritten files on an external hard drive with this software very easily.

Recoverit is currently the best program found when recovering deleted data from your computer. So if we're looking to recover accidentally deleted files we have, it is likely that we will use this software on a computer to implement it. It doesn't matter if you delete photos or audio files from your computer. You will be able to find them, and we will be able to restore them at any time. This is why it is truly versatile.

Recoverit (IS)

A Life Saver to Solve Your Data Loss Problems!

  • It can recover most types of files, documents, images, videos, and audios from within the PC and on an external source like an external hard drive with terabytes of storage space.
  • You can recover data from any external device such as an external hard drive, USB, and SD card.
  • It offers the provision of file preview before recovery of the required data from the external hard drive.
  • You can also pick any folder and volume drive through the software to scan for lost items.
  • It supports all major file systems, such as NTFS, FAT for Windows and HFS+, exFAT for Mac.
  • You can moreover view the drive’s recovered video and audio item directly inside the software and can generate thumbnails that are suitable for previewing.
icon_security 3,165,867 people have downloaded it

We can recover lost overwritten files in the following ways.

Step 1.Downloading and installing Recoverit

First of all, just download and install this software. Recoverit is available for both Windows and Mac versions, then install it accordingly.

Step 2. Connect your external hard drive to pc and select it on the below screen.

Now connect your hard drive to your pc and choose the location where your lost data resided. Wait for few seconds and the software will scan your external hard drive to recover lost data.

select targeted location

Step 3. Scan data from the selected location.

At this stage, Recoverit will scan the partition selected by you. Within few seconds it will display all the results and after that, you can pause or stop scanning.

data scanning

Step 4. Preview and recover files.

At this stage, Recoverit will display all your lost data on the screen. You just have to select the files which you want to recover. Just click on a file and then click the recover button.

preview and select data

One thing should be kept in mind that we should not save the recovered files in the same location from where they were lost.


1. How to Prevent Overwritten Files from losing?

File overwriting generally refers to the situation where the original file is overwritten by a new file with the same name, which causes the previous data to be lost. These are different from accidental deletion and accidental formatting. They are mainly the process of file replacement. At this time, the original file is not overwritten but a temporary file is generated. The original file still has a cache. On the disk where the file has been replaced, if a new file is written, the original location of the file is likely to be overwritten by the new file, which cannot be restored. We can avoid this problem only via backup. With the frequent backup of important files, we can avoid these types of issues and problems. Therefore, we always have a backup of all important files.

2. Why is data that has been overwritten hard to recover?

Generally speaking, the overwritten file cannot be recovered, especially if the place where the file was originally saved on the hard disk has been repeatedly erased and written, recovery is basically hopeless. But when we edit the needed files, we often delete them during editing because we have copied, saved as a temporary file, or the temporary files stored by the software itself. And this part of the file, we can edit and use again, we can retrieve this part of the file.


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