How can I recover files from a defective ext. hard drive?

Wd Western digital my passport essential...
April 13, 2020 at 15:56:26
Specs: Windows 10
An external drive (WD My passport) has become inaccessible. I get a different letter drive without the name "my passport". When I try to open it, I get a message something like "invalid parameter." Is there a way to recover the files, mostly photos and some documents, from the drive?

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April 13, 2020 at 17:35:57
Were you able to open the external drive case? Is this a drive with integrated USB controller or is this a standard SATA drive (with a USB interface plugged in)? If you can remove the drive, connect it with another USB interface or if you have a desktop, connect it as an internal drive.

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April 13, 2020 at 20:45:54

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April 13, 2020 at 22:35:30
I agree with what others have said.
First I'd try connecting "bare drive" to: a different external case or USB converter cable or as a secondary drive in a desktop. Cases and cables are available cheap from,,
I have bought such from them.

It would be helpful to know if your available computers are desktop or laptop.
would be my second choice but equally valid.

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Related Solutions

April 14, 2020 at 13:54:32
Here's another recovery option to consider:

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April 14, 2020 at 13:55:38
For the future... if the drive in question here was one already housed by whomever when you bought it... A common point of failure of usb drives is the actual usb port connection to the small cct. board/motherboard inside the housing. Some are apparently very poorly soldered in, or the actual anchor point for the socket (which is often the actual connection point to the motherboard as well) is very weak.

Some of these pre-assembled cases are a PIA to open and when you manage it you may discover the drive itself is soldered to the board...

For me the preferred way to have usb drives is separate parts; install a bare drive into a decent case. Then if the case should fail (and it's not entirely unknown even then) you can remove the drive and rehouse?

I have used Inatek cases for several years; and had only one duff/faulty; it was duff on arrival and quickly replaced by the vendor.

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April 21, 2020 at 05:32:41
Be prepared for data loss, but apart from that: if your drive has a drive letter, you can do this:

chkdsk X: /F

This is the built-in disk-check feature, which should only fix issues, not create more. But if a driveletter is available, and this doesn't work ..

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April 21, 2020 at 12:19:00

Changing any parameters of the drive may make it harder to recover files or better yet, repair the partition to make it readable.

I posted a link above to a commercial product. There is an open source product that is a little more difficult to use but is more versatile and powerful. See the link below.

The most common reason for external drive corruption to occur is improper removal (disconnection) of the drive. use the safely remove icon in the tray by the clock

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April 21, 2020 at 14:25:59
Yeah, the /f switch converts 'lost' parts of files to individual files which may make things harder for recovery software which will try to recover the entire file.

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April 23, 2020 at 23:48:09
Have you tried to run chkdsk to repair the corrupted external hard drive?

1. Select START, select Run and type: CMD
2. Click OK
3. Type: chkdsk e: /F you can also use /R after the /F
Go make a cup of tea, it could be really slow if you have a big
hard disk, mine took 20 mins.
Remember USB is different to SATA and IDE, so it's fussy, you
need to shut it down properly.

This link may help you fix incorrect parameter without data loss:

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