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My External Hard Drive Says It Needs to Be Formatted? Know Safe Solution

Published By Ashwani Tiwari
Aswin Vijayan
Approved By Aswin Vijayan
Published On February 19th, 2024
Reading Time 7 Minutes Reading
Category Data recovery

One of the most common queries regarding external hard disks is: My external hard drive says it needs to be formatted. Sometimes, at the time of connecting the external hard drive to the computer, it shows a notification that says that you have to format the drive before opening it. At that point, the user feels clueless, as they do not know what to do. For them, this post will discuss all the remedial methods to fix this error.

Hard Drive Says It Needs to be Formatted

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Hard Drive Needs to Be Formatted Before Using It—User’s Queries

Here I am going to list different users’ queries. All queries are taken from different forum sites. Simply read it and understand why you need to format the disk error:

User Query 1: “Every time I try to open it, my Seagate hard drive says it needs to be formatted. This problem started when, one day, I suddenly disconnected my external HDD from the system, instead of safely removing it. Now I do not even have any backup of the files stored on that HDD. Tell me how I can fix this problem?”

User Query 2: “I am new in this computing world and the external HDD problem is driving me crazy. A few days ago, the WD hard drive said it needed formatting. Seeing no other option, I formatted it and at the same time, I lost all the data. Is there any way to recover deleted items from a computer? If yes, then please tell me.”

User Query 3: “After attaching the external hard disk to my computer, it prompts an error message, i.e., you need to format the disk before you can use it. The drive contains some important files, which I can lose. Is there any solution for my external hard drive? It says it needs to be a formatted error.”

Read More: How to Fix Hard Drive Not Showing in Disk Management?

Symptoms of HDD Say Need to Format Problem

Obviously, the warning message is the main symptom of this error. Apart from this, if the data becomes inaccessible, if the drive size becomes 0, or if the file system of the external HDD becomes raw, your hard drive may also need a format.

What Causes a Disk Format Error?

Various reasons are responsible for this problem. Here, we will focus on some major causes of this problem.

  • Bad sectors or external hard drive corruption are the main causes of this problem.
  • Power surge during file transfer.
  • If the user has not removed the hard disk safely from the system, the system may ask to format it.
  • A virus or malware on your system can make the system not recognise the particular drive.

Important Note: My external hard drive says it needs to be formatted, which is a common error that mostly all Windows users face. But it requires serious attention because the carelessness will lead to data loss. So, we recommend that you first secure your important files and folders before formatting the disk, In order to fix the issue, the hard drive needs to be formatted.

Solutions to Fix Format External Hard Drive Problem

However, it is possible that a user could fix this error using some manual tricks. Can your external hard drive problem be resolved by these methods? Well, in order to know, you have to try these techniques.

Method 1: Try Another System: Windows asks to format the hard drive if it cannot recognize it. It is better to connect the disk to any other system to see if that system recognizes this HDD or not. Sometimes, due to virus intrusion, the system prompts an error: You need to format the disk before you can use it.

Method 2: Change Drive Letter: You can also assign a different letter to your external hard drive and reconnect it to your system. This may make your system recognize the external hard disk, asking for format. In some situations, the system is unable to assign a unique drive letter, which results in the need to format the disk before use.

External Hard Drive Asking to Format via Check with Anti-Virus Programs:

You can scan the entire system, including the connected hard drive, with reliable anti-virus software. Make sure to confirm that the anti-virus tool does not delete any files while fixing the problem. So, it is better to first save your important files and then move on to fix the error. My external hard drive says it needs to be formatted.

Method 3: Directly Connect to Motherboard: Often, external hard drive-related issues arise from troubled cables. If you are a tech-savvy person, you should try to connect your external hard disk directly to your motherboard. Thus, you will know if the problem is there because of the faulty cable or USB.

Method 4: Change Cable and Port: The USB cable and USB port may be causing this warning message. Try changing the cable and connecting to a new port to see if the matter is resolved. Sometimes, the system port has some issues, which result in: the need to format an external hard drive.

Method 5: Use the CHKDSK Command: This is an effective command to resolve hard drive formatting issues. In order to run this command, first, connect the hard disk to your system. Then,

  1. Press Win + R to get the run box and then type “cmd” to open the command prompt.
  2. Type chkdsk [drive letter]: /f in the command window and it will start checking the drive and fixing it.
  3. When the process completes, restart your system. Reconnect the hard disk and see if the problem still persists.

Secure Your Data Before Fixing You Need to Format Disk Error

If you are having this problem even after trying all the methods, we have described above, ultimately you will have to format your drive. But wait, as we all know, formatting will erase all the data from the external drive, Then what to do? The solution is easy: try Data Recovery Software. This tool can resolve this problem for good. The user can utilize this application in two different ways:

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  • If your system asks to format your external hard disk, you need to take backups of the files it contains. Scan your external HDD with this program and save all your files in another safe location. Then you can format your external HDD and restore the files back to the drive.
  • If you have already formatted the HDD, you can still restore files in Windows 10 with the help of this software. Just use the Formatted Scan button for the external hard drive and you will be able to retrieve deleted emails from laptop.

1: First Screen of the Hard Drive Data Recovery Tool.
 2: Choose the partition and choose the Scan or Formatted Scan options.
3: Display recovered data items in the Wizard panel.
4: Select the Save button to save recovered data simply.

Final Words

My external hard drive says it needs to be formatted before opening’, which is an annoying error. In most cases, some bad sectors on the hard drive are responsible for this problem. In most cases, the way to access the drive is to format it. the perfect software to recover deleted files from the hard drive even after formatting the disk. Thus, users will regain access to the hard disk easily and without losing any data