How to: Fix Fatal Errors on External Hard Drives for Good

How to: Fix Fatal Errors on External Hard Drives for Good

Here we can see, “How to: Fix Fatal Errors on External Hard Drives for Good”

  • Receiving a fatal error message from an external hard drive might be frustrating, but remedies are available.
  • A catastrophic device hardware issue can be fixed by rebooting everything, including your PC and external hard drive.
  • To avoid the fatal errors, you can rescan the hard drive and conduct further disk tests.
  • You can also use two specific instructions to scan the hard disk for faults detailed below. So keep reading!

Because it frequently houses critical backup information, the external hard disk is one of the most sensitive computing devices.

As a result, we rarely want to have issues with it, especially the feared fatal error external hard drive error.

The good news is that, contrary to popular belief, this error is not always fatal, and it is always possible to not only restore data but also fully recover the hard drive.

So, what causes this problem, and how can you remedy a fatal error external hard drive? Continue reading to learn more!

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What causes fatal errors on external hard disk drives?

There are several triggers for the hitch:

  1. An incorrect partition table may cause the hard disk to no longer to be recognized by Windows‘ disk management application.
  2. An incompatible or defective USB cable can cause this error for many external hard drives.
  3. The snag can also be caused by significant performance issues caused by factors such as faulty sectors or corrupted files.
  4. Mechanical damage caused by an unintentional fall or mistreatment of Firmware and viruses.

What can I do about the fatal errors on my external hard drive?

1. Restart your computer

  1. Turn off the computer.
  2. Remove the external hard disk and turn it off (the types that use a separate power cord).
  3. Restart your computer.
  4. Return the hard disk to its original state.

Although it may appear to be a simple solution, restarting the entire system can help in some cases. The obnoxious message may be removed.

2. Switch the USB ports around

Some USB ports provide insufficient power to USB hard disks, or specific ports have technical difficulties. USB hubs are especially vulnerable to this.

Furthermore, different ports on the PC may serve different purposes, so experimenting with a few different ports can be advantageous.

So, disconnect the disk from the present USB port and connect it to one of your computer’s ports directly (not on the hub).

3. Look for problems with your hard disk in Device Manager

  1. Hold down the Start button (or right-click) for a few seconds.
  2. On the context menu, choose Device Manager.
  3. Find any device with an exclamation point next to it (or other peculiar issues).
  4. If the hard disk appears in this list, right-click on it and select Uninstall.

4. Use a second 2TB USB external hard drive

  • Compatible with both Windows and Macintosh computers
  • USB 3.0 cable, 18 in.
  • Limited warranty of one year
  • Quite a ruckus

Nothing beats a fresh hard drive for eradicating all of the faults that crop up along the route. Seagate Portable is a beautiful option with plug-and-play USB 3.0 and drag-and-drop functionality.

With the Seagate Portable Drive, a superb laptop hard drive, you can now quickly store and access 2TB of stuff on the road. This small external hard drive is compatible with both Windows and Mac computers.

5. Switch out the USB cable

Occasionally, USB cables fail, so try plugging in the hard drive with another USB cable.

A list of suitable cables is frequently highlighted in the hard drive documentation. Also, please browse through our list of the top universal USB cable kits for PCs to discover the right one for you.

6. Switch to a different computer

This is a relatively simple task. Plug the affected hard disk into a laptop or any other accessible computer to rule out the chance that the current PC is the source of the fatal error external hard drive malfunction.

The hard drive may operate here, indicating that something is amiss with the original PC.

7. Scan the disk again

Remove the disk from the computer.

Plug it in again.

Choose Action and then Rescan Disks (when prompted).

The error may disappear after the hard disk has been rescanned for errors.

8. Verify that the drive is powered up

Plugging the power line straight into the wall outlet for external Desktop hard drives (instead of the UPS-universal power supply or a power strip stabilizes the power supply).

A USB power booster cable can help offer extra power to portable drives.

9. Check for problems on the hard drive

  1. To open the Windows 10 Explorer window, press the Windows key + E.
  2. Select the This PC tab (on the left pane).
  3. Right-click on the required external hard disk in the list of drives displayed, then select Properties.
  4. From the properties window, select Tools.
  5. Under the error checking section, select Check and then Scan Drive.

The computer will proceed to the next phase without interruption.

The Windows hard disk error checking program (chkdsk) can assist in identifying and, in some cases, fixing some of the problem’s root causes.

Run chkdsk from Cmd

  1. Start by right-clicking it.
  2. From the menu list, right-click Command Prompt (Admin).
  3. Press Enter after typing cd.
    • Now type chkdsk c: /r and hit Enter (replace c with the appropriate external drive letter). Don’t forget to fill in the blanks as provided.
  4. Once you type the command mentioned above, the chkdsk operation begins.

The system will inspect the selected drive and proceed to correct any misconfigurations that are identified.

This Windows-centric program can also be started via the command prompt (cmd) (as an administrator).

10. Carry out more disk testing

For example, western Digital, Transcend, and Seagate has specific diagnostic tools for external hard drives, such as the WD drive utilities.

Owners of these companies’ hard disks can go to their individual websites and download the diagnostic software for more testing.

If the hard disk is still not recognized after all of these steps, it is most certainly severely damaged and will require replacement.

Before discarding a drive, it’s usually a good idea to try to backup all data (if possible) or use data recovery software to recover vital information.


I hope you found this information helpful. Please fill out the form below if you have any questions or comments.

User Questions

1. How do I solve a fatal hardware issue on a hard drive?

  1. 2. Examine the relationship.
  2. Make sure the SMART status is correct.
  3. Examine and restore any damaged sectors.
  4. Update the disk driver for the storage device.
  5. Send the device to be repaired if it isn’t working properly.

2. Is it possible to repair a corrupt external hard drive?

Open This PC (My Computer) on the desktop and pick the desired external hard disk. Select Properties -> Tools -> Check from the context menu by right-clicking it. The scan will begin, and the external hard disk issues should be resolved. With the help of a Windows application, you may repair a corrupted external hard disk.

3. On an external hard drive, what is a fatal error?

A fatal error warning appears when your external hard disk is experiencing major problems. Check the Device Manager to see what the problems are. If the hard disk appears in this list, right-click on it and select Uninstall. (Any new effort to access the contents will necessitate reinstalling the hard disk.)

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