Reformat External Hard Drive Without Losing Data

Losing out data is the saddest thing that can happen to anyone. Many people store their valuable data on the external hard drive to keep it safe. But what if the hard drive gets corrupted? Thankfully there is a workaround to recover your data. In this article, I will show you how to Reformat External Hard Drive Without Losing Data.

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Reformat External Hard Drive Without Losing Data 

Yes, it’s possible to reformat your external hard drive without losing your data. The process is quite simple. first, you need to format your drive and then recover the drive using data recovery software.

We are going to use the “Quick Format” method to achieve this. But first, let’s understand what is Quick Format.

Quick Format: 

Quick Format does not overwrite any data on your hard drive. It only deletes the indexing. 

It means your data is still there on the hard drive but as there is no indexing available, the system thinks that there is no data on external hard drive. 

Your data remains on the hard drive until it is overwritten with new data from the user.

First thing first, connect your external hard drive to your windows laptop or PC. Once windows recognize the device, open the file explorer ( That is My Computer).

Here you should see the connected external hard drive. 

Right click on external hard drive and select Format.

Now the main trick here is to select “Quick Format”

Make sure you select the “Quick Format” checkbox. 

Reformat external hard drive without losing data

And then finally click on Format to start the reformatting process. 


Once you Quick Format the hard drive, don’t add any files the drive. Do not even transfer a 1KB file. Any new data will overwrite the old data present on your hard drive in a hidden format. 

Use Data Recovery Software to Recover Old Data.

Once you Reformat External Hard Drive and take all the precautions, it’s time to recover old data by using data recovery software. 

There are a lot of data recovery software available. Some of them allow you to recover a certain amount of data for free and then you can purchase them to recover additional data. 

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This one is my favorite. Recuva is built by the same folks who developed CCleaner. Recuva is pretty easy to use and have a simple but powerful interface. After installing Recuva, launch the Recuva wizard, follow the wizard guide, choose the file types that you want to recover and where you want to save them. 

Once everything is set up, start the scanning process, Recuva scans the entire selected hard drive and lists all the files. Recuva also shows you the preview of the files to be recovered. 

Now select the files that you want to recover and start the recovery process by clicking on the recover button. 

Disk Drill:

Disk Drill is also another popular recovery software available for windows. Like Recuva, It can also perform a quick and deep scan to list all the files that can recover. Like Recuva, it also provides an option to preview the file. 

The one feature that I like about Disk drill is that it allows you to pause/resume the recovery process. 


Though it’s possible to Reformat External Hard Drive Without losing Data, prevention is always better than cure. You should avoid this hassle by storing all your data on cloud storage or you should take multiple backups of your important data. 

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