Find out how to Reformat an Exterior Laborious Drive With out Dropping Your Knowledge

Do you save backups of your onerous drive onto an exterior onerous drive? Hopefully, you do. It’s a sensible approach to hold your knowledge protected. However what occurs if that drive turns into corrupted, and you need to reformat it to make it accessible once more? Are you able to reformat it with out dropping your entire knowledge? The brief reply is, sure. It’s potential to reformat an exterior onerous drive, then use a knowledge restoration device to revive your data.

Find out how to Reformat a Drive

Reformatting an exterior onerous drive on Home windows is a reasonably simple course of. Nevertheless, it’s essential make doubly certain that you simply full a Fast Format. A Fast Format solely deletes the organizational construction of the recordsdata on the drive, with out eradicating the precise recordsdata. Consider it as throwing away a bunch of file folders – however not their contents. You simply stack the papers multi functional pile. That’s what Fast Format does. It removes the folders and leaves the recordsdata multi functional stack.

First, join the exterior drive to your laptop, and anticipate Home windows to acknowledge the drive. Open File Explorer, and click on This PC.

Find your exterior drive from the listing of Units and drives, then right-click on the drive, and choose Format. Be sure the Fast Format field is clicked! If it isn’t, you’ll lose your entire knowledge.

Reformat Hard Drive Without Losing Data Quick Format

Go away all the opposite settings the identical, and click on Format to start out the method.

After getting accomplished this course of, don’t write any extra knowledge to your exterior drive. This new knowledge will overwrite the recordsdata that have been left behind throughout the reformatting course of. Should you save one thing new, it won’t simply overwrite one file, both. It may probably corrupt tons of of your previous recordsdata.

Tip: you possibly can repair an unformattable USB drive in Home windows

Get better Your Knowledge

After you could have reformatted your exterior onerous drive, the subsequent step is to make use of a third-party knowledge restoration software program to retrieve all of your knowledge. You need to use some built-in strategies to revive deleted recordsdata in Home windows, however it could not at all times work. Whereas the instruments on this listing might not have the ability to restore one hundred pc of your recordsdata, utilizing them will definitely save greater than you’d have with out making an attempt this course of. There are a number of information restoration software program choices so that you can select from, however these talked about under are a couple of of the most well-liked.

1. Recuva

Value: Free with premium choices

Recuva is standard due to its potential to revive recordsdata from onerous drives, DVDs or CDs, reminiscence playing cards, and exterior drives. Recuva works by looking for unreferenced knowledge, and it’s recognized for restoring misplaced listing construction and renaming two recordsdata with the identical title throughout knowledge restoration.

Reformat Hard Drive Without Losing Data Recuva

Utilizing the Home windows-only Recuva to recuperate misplaced knowledge is fairly easy. Set up it on a drive apart from the one you’re making an attempt to recuperate knowledge from. On the primary launch, the device will ask you for the placement to scan for misplaced or deleted knowledge, along with the file varieties you need to scan for. You may choose all if you wish to recuperate every part.

Reformat Hard Drive Without Losing Data Recuva Tutorial

Relying on the partition dimension, the scan will take anyplace from a couple of seconds to a couple minutes. You may select to do a deep scan if the fast scan doesn’t handle to seek out the recordsdata you need to recuperate. In my expertise, the free model was capable of detect in addition to recuperate virtually the entire deleted knowledge on my drive with none knowledge caps.

2. Stellar Knowledge Restoration

Value: Free with premium choices

Due to its environment friendly person interface, Stellar Knowledge Restoration is great for inexperienced persons and non-technical customers. This device has each Home windows and macOS variations, in order that’s one other plus. Though the free model has a knowledge restoration restrict of 1GB, it will possibly nonetheless be useful should you solely need to recuperate a couple of necessary recordsdata. For something extra, you possibly can preview which recordsdata are recoverable, then go for the paid model to recuperate your entire knowledge.

Reformat Hard Drive Without Losing Data Stellar

It has a easy wizard that asks you what to search for and the place to seek for deleted recordsdata. Once more, you possibly can select between the default scan and a deep scan, based mostly on the outcomes you see. As soon as the scan is full, merely choose the recordsdata you need to recuperate, and based mostly on the entire dimension, you possibly can recuperate them within the free model.

Reformat Hard Drive Without Losing Data Stellar Tutorial

Tip: must entry particular person recordsdata from System Restore? Use ShadowExplorer to revive recordsdata from System Restore factors.

3. Ontrack EasyRecovery

Value: Free with premium choices

Ontrack EasyRecovery is a powerhouse amongst knowledge restoration software program. It’s finest recognized for its potential to recuperate extra recordsdata than its opponents, and the person interface is just like that of different instruments. Its free model has a 1GB knowledge restoration restrict and a 25MB per file restrict, so you possibly can scan and preview what’s recoverable in case it’s essential recuperate massive recordsdata. It really works on each Home windows and Mac.

Reformat Hard Drive Without Losing Data Ontrack

The restoration course of works equally to different instruments on the listing, and you’ll specify the bodily disk or drive to be scanned. There’s an possibility for a deep scan and selecting the kind of file to scan for.

Reformat Hard Drive Without Losing Data Ontrack Tutorial

4. EaseUS Knowledge Restoration Wizard

Value: Free with premium choices

A pleasant characteristic of EaseUS Knowledge Restoration Wizard is the acquainted person interface, which is structured like Home windows Explorer, making it extra comfy to make use of than different instruments. The free model will solely recuperate a complete of 500MB of information earlier than it’s essential improve to the Professional model. However you possibly can unfold the information concerning the product on social media to unlock the next 2GB knowledge restoration restrict. Mac, Android, and iOS variations can be found, too.

Reformat Hard Drive Without Losing Data Easeus

Do be aware that there’s additionally a separate model that’s a free trial of the Professional model, which solely permits previewing recordsdata and never really recovering them.

Reformat Hard Drive Without Losing Data Easeus Tutorial

The restoration course of is so simple as clicking Scan subsequent to the drive you need to scan for deleted knowledge. Alternatively, choose a specific folder to scan. The scan period took considerably longer in comparison with different instruments on the listing, because the device didn’t make it obvious that a complicated scan was the default possibility.

Additionally learn: recuperate deleted recordsdata on Linux utilizing seven completely different strategies.

Regularly Requested Questions

How can I repair the “Exterior onerous drive entry denied” error in Home windows?

Usually, exterior onerous drives develop into inaccessible with errors like “Exterior onerous drive entry denied” or “Location or drive just isn’t accessible.” In such circumstances, reformatting your exterior onerous drive and recovering the information later just isn’t the one possibility. You may repair exterior onerous drive entry denied errors utilizing a couple of built-in instruments and strategies earlier than resorting to a format.

How can I repair the “Disk is write protected” USB error on Home windows?

How do I clone Home windows to an SSD?

Cloning your system disk to an SSD creates an an identical picture of your Home windows partition or drive that you should utilize in case of a system failure or when migrating from an HDD to an SSD. This restores Home windows to a working situation and is without doubt one of the easiest methods to recuperate misplaced knowledge. Among the finest instruments to clone Home windows to SSD permit you to clone your whole Home windows set up to an SSD, saving you the effort of reinstalling Home windows.

Picture credit score: Unsplash. All screenshots by Tanveer Singh.