Dead external hard drive?

I've been searching the internet for answers for the last couple of hours, but no solutions have helped me so far. The more I think about it, the more I'm sure that I have to either take it to an expert for data recovery, or if that isn't possible I'll have to accept the fact that the files are gone.

So earlier today I was frapsing some PS4 content with the help of a Roxio video capture (PS4 signal blocked so I used Fraps to get around that). I've been saving the files on my C: drive, but since fraps files tend to get quite big, I changed the save destination to my external hard drive (Buffalo). Immediately after I ended the recording, my computer froze and I had to force shutdown.

Upon restart, it started to repair damage to the disc (translated from Finnish), and once it was ready, it then proceeded to the system recovery menu. After at least 2 hours of trying all other options, I ended up choosing the option that resets my computer.

Well that really wasn't the end of the world, since the most important files are on my Buffalo hard drive, but after the reset was complete, I couldn't access my external hard drive. I tried everything in Disk Management, at least what was suggested in similar issues, but nothing really changed anything. I can see my external hard drive in the Disk Management, but can't access it.

When I try to initialize the disk, an error pops up that says: "Data error (cyclic redundancy check)", and it just shows that the disc is not initialized, and that it is unallocated.

Is there any other option than either taking it to an expert for data recovery, or is that too late now?

Thanks in advance.

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krakmh18 months ago

Cyclic Redundancy Check error or CRC error is not an exceptional error and people came across it during those moments when they need their external hard drives the most. And irrespective of any specific reason behind the error, it is quite serious and must need to be fixed if you want to regain access to your external hard drive and to avoid potential loss of any of your precious data.

More an easy way you can check here


which might be helpful to you.

VicT139 months ago
Is there a way to fix this kind of error ? do you think we can revive dead hdd?
Burf3 years ago

A cyclic redundancy error is usually caused by data corrupted during a hard shutdown. Here is a link to a page that will show you, step by step, how to fix it:


kokg Burf2 years ago

BURF did you read that WIKI page??? The original poster said "When I try to initialize the disk, an error pops up that says: "Data error (cyclic redundancy check)", and it just shows that the disc is not initialized, and that it is unallocated." which means the drive DOES NOT have a letter assigned to it... How you gonna run chkdsk application (step #2) when there is no drive letter assigned?

Jimcg722 years ago


I had the same thing happen a few of years ago. I tried heaps of suggestions, including buying the sata drive and pulling the case off permenantly. Alas still no successful option existed besides paying at least $1500 to some place in the city. I just knew the data was still there and that the drive was sound mechanically. I was also tempted to repartition the drive, however stopped short of execusion due to the risk in possibly losing the data.

Anyway, three years went by and i stumbled upon the drive in an icecream container, still coverless but still working. I decided to check Google again and someone suggested that the wrong usb cable was used and to check whether it was a USB 2.0 or 3.0 (or vice versa, cant remember now. They also said I could try shorter cable.

Loh and behold this person was on the money.I had mixed up the WD cable with my digi camera or smartphone and was using the wrong cable. As soon as I swapped them problem solved. Only thing is the drive is so slow. If you hear of a way to fix that issue, let me know.

Oh and the drive is still naked, doesn't seem to make a difference. Wish you luck.

Vyger3 years ago

A lot of times its not the drive that is bad but the controller in the Ext case. Remove the hard drive and plug it directly into the computer and then see if it will work.

Of course I am assuming that you have the abilities to do some of these things.

You can get an external drive dock if you are not comfortable opening up your computer to add a drive. It is a USB dock that the hard drives plugs into. It takes bare drives and allows you to have access to them.

Don't do any disk checks of the drive as these can and will erase data in an attempt to "fix' it.

Data recovery is pretty expensive. There are a few tricks you can do to try and coax the data off a dying drive but it does involve a little bit of knowledge.

And always remember, every hard drive will fail, its just a matter of when. So keep important files in more than one place. You need to be redundant.