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How to Recover Formatted Files from External Hard Drive?

Published By Mohit Jha
Tej Pratap Shukla
Approved By Tej Pratap Shukla
Published On September 18th, 2023
Reading Time 5 Minutes Reading

Even if you accidentally formatted your external hard drive, you still have the option to recover formatted files from external hard drive. Windows Explorer and Windows Disk Management are two built-in utilities that can easily help users recover data.

Nevertheless, the safest and most efficient method to get the data back without any loss This write-up contains the methods for recovering formatted files from an external hard drive in detail.

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What are the Various Hard Drive Formatted Issues?

The reason for data loss in hard drives is mostly physical, but sometimes they are also due to human errors. Considering an example, if we are formatting a hard drive without taking a backup this can result in the loss of precious data which is collected over years. Following are some of the common reasons for how a hard drive fails:

  • Firmware Faults: It happens frequently that the hard disk does not get detected by the system. The system may get stuck in the middle of the booting process, thus making it impossible for users to access the files & folders.
  • Crashing of Hard Disk: If there is improper ventilation in the CPU fan then there are chances of the hard drive getting crashed. In this case, a user can hear clicking noises coming from the devices causing deletion of files leading the users to look for a solution to recover formatted external hard drive.
  • Internal Failure: the mechanical failures can also cause the files or folders on the hard drive to get inaccessible. Or a user can face a black screen after the booting screen.
  • Human Fallacy: As a human, we are prone to making errors. The accidental formatting without taking any backup also leads to data damage. The wrong installation of an Operating System can also make the hard drive fail, thereby needing a format.

When the hard drive accidentally gets formatted, it is best to stop using the computer after closing all the unnecessary applications. It is then required to recover formatted data from hard disk as all the deleted data is still stored on the hard disk as long as it is not overwritten by any fresh data.

Recover Formatted Files from External Hard Drive via CMD

Mostly there are chances that when you delete, hide or format a hard drive data, CMD (Command Prompt) command line will let you find lost data.

Be careful while using CMD command line to recover files from formatted hard drive. Follow the steps:

  • Right-click on the Windows icon & then select the Search option

Select Search Option

  • Now, Type: command prompt & then right-click on Command Prompt, Now select Run as administrator. Click as Yes to run Command Prompt as Administrator.

Run as Administrator

  • Now, type chkdsk F: /f in command prompt and then click Enter. (Replace F: with the drive letter of the corresponding device where you lost files or data).

  • Type Y and click Enter

Enter the command

  • Type F and hit Enter. After that type F:\>attrib -h -r -s /s /d *.* and then hit enter.

Command prompt

After performing the above steps you can find and recover formatted data from hard disk and save them. You can change the file extension to the normal format & then can make those files reusable.

Note: The CMD cannot 100% find the lost data. If in case CMD fails to find the lost files, then skip to the next best solution.

Solution to Recover Formatted Files from External Hard Drive

PCVITA Hard Disk Recovery Tool is capable of recovering data after formatting a hard drive and provides the ability to recover valuable data even if the hard drive is formatted or reformatted. After this, the tool displays all the recovered data from the formatted hard drive on the panel.

Download Now Purchase Now

This software is a life-saving recovery tool that can help users to recover data from damaged hard disk in quick and easy steps. It is compatible with all the Windows versions including 11, 10, 8, 7 . The best thing about this utility is that it is user-friendly and is very convenient to use by anybody who is a technical user.

Also Read: How to Recover A Hard Drive That Won’t Boot?

Stepwise Guide to Recover Files from Formatted Hard Drive

  • Launch and Run the Software.

Hard Drive Data Recovery

  • Now, scan the selected and corrupted disk drive.

Scan Files

  • Preview the selected files & folder data within the software.

preview deleted data

  • The user can now save the complete folder or the selected files.

save recovered data

User Testimonials

~ There was this time when this weird clicking noise was continuously coming from my external hard drive and I didn’t care about it but then all my data got deleted. I couldn’t do anything, couldn’t get my files back through any solution. Then someone suggested me to use this software which turned to work miracles. I could recover files from formatted external hard drive without any troubles.

~ I once formatted my entire external hard drive while deleting only a few files. I got so scared, started panicking, and searched for solutions all the time. After all the efforts, all I was left with was just a formatted hard drive and no useful solution. When I couldn’t do anything I decided to look for software and luckily found this one. It helped me restore my entire external hard drive and got me my files back.

Also Read: How to Recover Permanently Deleted Files From External Hard Drive?


In this blog, we have discussed both manuals as well as the automated solutions to recover formatted files from external hard drive. Also, we have mentioned various hard drive formatting issues in an absolute way. Follow the write up to easily get your files back from the external hard drive that has been formatted without any data loss.


By Mohit Jha

Mohit is a Microsoft-certified expert who has assisted thousands of clients with Outlook & Microsoft Office 365 issues. He enjoys writing on email clients as well as data migration. He is always excited about giving troubled readers the most up-to-date knowledge, explanation, and refinements.