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How to recover data from a corrupted/unreadable external hard drive.

I have a Western Digital 2 TB external HD that connects via a removable USB 3.0 Micro B cable. I unplugged it from my computer without using safely eject and now when I try to open it it says that it is unreadable and corrupted. This has happened to me once before with this drive and I was able to recover it before with a command line solution I found on Reddit, but I can't seem to find whatever thread helped me out before. I would like to recover the drive and transfer it to a new one since it has been unreliable. I think there is a problem with the female connection because it disconnects if the cable is moved even slightly. Any suggestions to this problem are appreciated.
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  1. Best answer
    Ideally the first thing you want to do is image the drive 'as-is' to another so tif things go wrong you have some kind of a backup of it.

    The command I would run is chkdsk /r X:
    {where X is the drive letter of the disk}

    Alternately you can rt click on it from file manager and select properties, on the Tools tab click the 'Check Now' button, make sure both options have checkmarks in them, and then start. This will take hours...
    You don't have to try and recover data from bad sectors. it will save you time but potentially lose data (not that recovery is guaranteed)
  2. popatim said:
    Ideally the first thing you want to do is image the drive 'as-is' to another so tif things go wrong you have some kind of a backup of it.

    The command I would run is chkdsk /r X:
    {where X is the drive letter of the disk}

    Alternately you can rt click on it from file manager and select properties, on the Tools tab click the 'Check Now' button, make sure both options have checkmarks in them, and then start. This will take hours...
    You don't have to try and recover data from bad sectors. it will save you time but potentially lose data (not that recovery is guaranteed)


    I can't try the "Check Now" option because it says Windows cannot access the disk. The 'chkdsk' option, I think, is what worked for me last time, so thank you for that. I am running it and current estimate for completion is about 6 hours.
  3. Hi there dkabala,

    Sorry that you are facing some issues with your WD drive. :(

    If the chkdsk command helps and you manage to access the drive, I would advice you to back up the data stored on it.

    After that, it would be a really nice idea to test the drive and check it's health status out. You can run both short and extended DLG tests on it: http://products.wdc.com/support/kb.ashx?id=hlCF5P

    Is the drive under warranty?

    Let us know how this goes,
    D_Know_WD :)
  4. D_Know_WD said:
    Hi there dkabala,

    Sorry that you are facing some issues with your WD drive. :(

    If the chkdsk command helps and you manage to access the drive, I would advice you to back up the data stored on it.

    After that, it would be a really nice idea to test the drive and check it's health status out. You can run both short and extended DLG tests on it: http://products.wdc.com/support/kb.ashx?id=hlCF5P

    Is the drive under warranty?

    Let us know how this goes,
    D_Know_WD :)


    I completed the chkdsk and at this time it appears that I've recovered the drive. I can access it and I haven't noticed any data being lost but I'll have to run the tests on it to be sure I guess. I bought it almost 2 years ago so I wouldn't imagine it's still under warranty.
  5. popatim said:
    Ideally the first thing you want to do is image the drive 'as-is' to another so tif things go wrong you have some kind of a backup of it.

    The command I would run is chkdsk /r X:
    {where X is the drive letter of the disk}

    Alternately you can rt click on it from file manager and select properties, on the Tools tab click the 'Check Now' button, make sure both options have checkmarks in them, and then start. This will take hours...
    You don't have to try and recover data from bad sectors. it will save you time but potentially lose data (not that recovery is guaranteed)


    Chkdsk has finished and I can now access the drive and I don't believe I lost any data. Thanks fro the solution.
  6. Well, it could still be under warranty.
    You can check that out: http://products.wdc.com/support/kb.ashx?id=uLhWuL

    It would be nice to back up the important data stored on it, until you see what the DLG tool says. You need to keep the important stored on at least two place even when you are not facing any HDD related problems anyway.

    Cheers,
    D_Know_WD :)
  7. dkabala said:
    D_Know_WD said:
    Hi there dkabala,

    Sorry that you are facing some issues with your WD drive. :(

    If the chkdsk command helps and you manage to access the drive, I would advice you to back up the data stored on it.

    After that, it would be a really nice idea to test the drive and check it's health status out. You can run both short and extended DLG tests on it: http://products.wdc.com/support/kb.ashx?id=hlCF5P

    Is the drive under warranty?

    Let us know how this goes,
    D_Know_WD :)


    I completed the chkdsk and at this time it appears that I've recovered the drive. I can access it and I haven't noticed any data being lost but I'll have to run the tests on it to be sure I guess. I bought it almost 2 years ago so I wouldn't imagine it's still under warranty.


    How did you do that? Seems like it's not working on my end it says: the type of the file system is NTFS. Unable to determine volume version and state. CHKDSK aborted.

    Help pls I badly need the files on my External drive. Thanks
  8. gurlmine26, it might be best to find a local data recovery person who can walk you through, guide you, through the steps needed to recover what can be recovered. I'm wondering if MiniTool Partition Wizard version 9.x and Piriform's Recuva might be two tools to begin using.
  9. Gurlmine, please create your own troubleshooting thread rather then post your issues in someone thread.
    This is called thread hijacking and is not allowed here.
    Thank you for understanding.
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