How to reformat external hard drive without missing data?

    By Gizbot Bureau
    |

    When it comes to keeping a backup, most of us prefer to preserve the data in an external hard drive. However, an unfortunate event can corrupt the hard drive and you might end up losing all the data stored in it. But you do have a solution by which you can reformat the external hard drive without missing data. The process for the same is different for Windows and Mac OS platform and we will cover both the platforms for you.

    How to reformat the external hard drive on Windows without losing data?

    The process of reformatting the external hard drive on Windows is pretty simple. Follow the steps given below:

    1. Connect the external hard drive with your Windows PC via USB cable and wait for it to get recognized.

    2. Open File Explorer > This PC > Shortcut

    3. Under the ‘Devices and Drives' section, find your external hard drive and right-click on it to open the context menu.

    4. Click on ‘Format' but before doing that ensure that you tick the box that says ‘Quick Format.' If you don't tick that box, you will end up losing all the data.

    How to reformat the external hard drive on Mac without losing data?

    Reformatting external hard drive on Mac is a bit different because it doesn't have the option of quick formatting, but it still has the same option with a different name. Follow the steps given below to reformat the external hard drive on Mac without losing data.

    1. Connect the external hard drive with your Mac via USB cable and wait for it to get recognized.

    2. Open Finder app > Applications > Utilities Folder > Disk Utility

    3. Under the ‘Disk Utility' folder, click on the name of your external hard drive. On the top of the window, click on the erase button.

    4. You will receive a prompt notification that will ask you to wipe the complete data. Instead of proceeding, click on ‘Security Options". Now move the slider in the window to the extreme left side where it points to ‘fastest.' Now click on ‘OK.'

    It is important to ensure that the slider is positioned in the extreme left-hand side to ensure there your data is stored securely. When you select the ‘fastest' option, not all the files on the disk are erased. A disk recovery application may be able to recover the data.

    Wrap up

    If you want to reformat your external data without losing data, always perform a ‘quick format' on your Windows device or ‘fastest' erase on your Mac device. When you select these option, only the upper layer which can also be termed as file system journaling is deleted. Not everything on your external hard drive is overwritten with binary things. You can now use any data recovery software for recovering the data which is already present in the external hard drive. But make sure that you do not add any new files on the external hard drive without extracting the old data stored on it.

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