How to Recover Deleted Photos from External Hard Drive – Tips & Tricks

Recover deleted photos from external hard drive by using professional solution. Find trusted way to retrieve permanently deleted images from internal & external HDD.

Tony Sherman: “In my hard drive, there are around 3000 photos. I was deleting some of them which are of no use to me. But, accidentally I removed my some recent pictures. Those images are really very important to me. Please, can anyone suggest me how to recover deleted photos from the external hard drive? Any help would be greatly appreciated.”

Are you looking answer to the same query? Does the issue seem familiar to you? If yes, then do not worry. The post deals with the best possible solution to retrieve the deleted images from external hard disk. So, let us begin.

At the first step, it is required to know about the file structure of images. A file comprises of two parts:

  1. A directory which contains the name of file and list of the blocks
  2. The blocks which actually contain the data

Whenever a file is removed, only a directory gets deleted and the actual blocks which contain data are not modified or overwritten and still contain the file data. So that, the directory entries are labeled as ‘available’ but, they are hidden from the operating system. In these cases, the images can be recovered from the hard drive without any issue. For this, you can use either professional tool or try manual method to recover permanently deleted photos from external hard drive. Below both methods are given:

Professional Solution to Recover Deleted Photos from External Hard Drive

The perfect solution to extract the photos from the externally connected hard disk can be done by using the SysTools Hard Drive Data Recovery Software. According to the experts, it is the best tool to retrieve deleted pictures from external hard disk. Some of the distinct features which are provided by this tool are:

  •  Retrieve and save the permanently deleted images from hard disk
  • Supports data recovery from corrupted and formatted FAT, exFAT and NTFS file system
  • A refresh option to identify the externally connected hard drive 
  • Retrieve hard deleted pictures from GPT and MBR hard disk partition
  • The software enables quick retrieval of images from IDE, EIDE and SATA devices
  • The permanently deleted data is highlighted by red color after recovering it
  • The recovery tool is compatible with Windows 10 and other below versions

Working Steps of the professional tool

A user needs to follow the given set of instructions to recover deleted photos from external hard drive using the recovery tool:

  •  Launch the Hard Disk Data Recovery Software 
  • Scan selected hard drive where the images were stored 
  • The deleted pictures will be previewed on the screen 
  • You can restore the entire or selected folders depending upon your choice

Manual Solution to Recover Hard Deleted Photos Using Command Prompt

If users have deleted images accidentally from the external storage device such as hard drive, they can have them back with the help of these command0s:

  1.  Hold and press Windows key +R and in the search box, type CMD
  2. When the command prompt appears on the screen, enter chkdsk ‘disk drive letter’/f and press Enter key. For instance,C:USERS PROGRAM FILES chkdsk D: /f
  3. Hit on Y until the command lines begin again enter the drive letter and press on Enter button (By doing this, the command line will go back to the beginning)
  4. Enter the drive letter and press on Enter key (By doing this, command line will go back to the beginning)
  5. In this step, a user has to type this command: [drive letter: >attrib –h –r –s /s /d *.*]
  6. This command will help the user to retrieve the deleted photos from external hard disk (attrib -r -s drive:)


-r is the read-only parameter. These files are only readable and hence, cannot be changed

-s grants “system” parameter to some specific files

-h command assigns the “hidden” parameter to particular files

‘/S’ is responsible to find the location of folders and sub-folders

‘/D’ command involves process folders

 As soon as the process is complete, a new folder is made in the external hard disk which contains all the recovered images. Most probably, these files will be in .chk format. You can change the file extension and then, store the files at any location depending upon choice.

The Final Words

Oftentimes, it happens that a user deletes some important images from the external hard drive. To recover deleted photos from the external hard drive, an automated tool is explained. In addition to this, the command prompt technique is also discussed to retrieve hard deleted pictures from the hard disk. A user can go with any of the methods as per the requirements.

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