How to Recover Overwritten Files on External Hard Drive | Detailed Guide

When working with an external or portable hard drive, many things can happen. From experiencing the wrath of bad weather with your drive to exposing your files to viruses. For instance, you can easily replace your most up to date work with a draft copy of it while trying to transfer them from one computer to another using the external hard drive. Before you know it, you have just overwritten your work on an external hard drive.

It can be very unfortunate to lose some of your precious files to new ones just because they were not backed up or other reason. Do not fret because you can still recover your files even with a LaCie hard drive. In this guide, we will take you through the process covering up to LaCie data recovery.

Method 1: Recover Overwritten Files from External Drive with Disk Drill

Recovering overwritten files may appear to be the most challenging fix to try. However, if you just realized the mistake, you are still within your safe window and only need to move with speed. The surest way to recover overwritten files from an external drive is by using software.

We however understand there are a myriad of software that claim to be best in this kind of troubleshooting for hard drives. To put it simply, Disk Drill by CleverFiles beats them all in the game. That is why we recommend using Disk Drill in all your data recovery attempts.

Some of the features that make the software most preferred include:

  • Quick scan and deep scan tools
  • Support for a wide range of devices including Mac and Windows computers 
  • In-built privacy protection features 
  • Free scan
  • Preview for search results 
  • File filter option available 

You do not want to gamble with your lost files. With Disk Drill, you are going straight into data recovery and not to only attempt troubleshooting your lost files. Follow the steps below to recover files that were overwritten on your drive.

Step 1: The process begins when you install the software. Visit the official Cleverfiles website to download and install it. The process is straightforward, just tap on the ‘install’ button to begin. It should take only a few seconds to finish the installation.

Step 2: Launch the software by double-tapping on it. Connect the external hard drive to the computer if it was disconnected already or if you are using a different PC for this recovery. Select the external hard drive and click ‘scan’ to let the software search for the files. 

Step 3: Once the scanning is completed, you will be able to see a list of files in the search results preview. Preview the list and select the specific files you need to recover. The list might be long depending on the number of files you lost earlier from the drive. 

Step 4: Tap on the ‘restore’ button then choose a new folder or location to restore lost file to. Do not send the files to the original folder as this may result in additional distortion or even overwriting of other files. 

As we said, we recommend this method due to the high success rates recorded by users. However, you may have one reason or another that stops you from using this method. If that is the case, we have added more methods that you can use instead to recover replaced files or so to say recover overwritten files. Remember, do not buy time as the more you wait the harder it may be to restore the lost files. 

Method 2: Recover Overwritten Files on External Hard Drive with Windows Properties

Windows PCs are built with robust features that can be used to safeguard against data loss among other unwelcomely events. Previous versions of files is one such feature that allows users to restore and even backup lost data. Here’s what you need to do.

Step 1: Right-click on the external hard drive where your files were overwritten and tap “Properties.”

Step 2: Locate the “Previous Versions” tab and click onto it.

Step 3: Look out for the most recent version. You should be able to identify which version most closely corresponds to the files you lost. Select the version and tap “Restore” then “Ok” to restore the files. 

Method 3: Recover Overwritten Files from Cloud Backup

If you use Mac, it is easier to establish backups on the cloud. If the files you got overwritten were backed up to iCloud, then this method will be very appropriate in restoring them. Here’s the step-by-step process. 

Step 1: Login to your iCloud account. You will need your credentials – ID and password. 

Step 2: Move to the setting option and choose “Advanced.” The button is to the bottom-left. Tap on “restore files.”

Step 3: Scroll or search for the file you want to restore. Check out the boxes appearing to the left side of the file names. If all the files are what you need, select ‘all.’ Once you are sure, tap on “Restore” to restore them.

Method 4: Restore Overwritten Files with Systems Restore

This is yet another method you can use to restore files overwritten on an external hard drive. System restore is an inbuilt feature on Windows computers. It is meant to restore the system to an earlier state. Although you will easily lose the current versions of your files, this method exposes you to the original versions of the files you need. We recommend backing up any files you do not want to lose before attempting this method. Follow the steps below. 

Step 1: Go to the control panel and launch it. Go to System and Security and click on “System.”

Step 2: Locate the “System Protection Link.”

Step 3: Move to the “System Restore” button and select the appropriate restore point. Choose “Next” and follow the prompts to restore your computer to the selected version.

Wrap Up

We have described some of the best methods to recover overwritten files on an external drive. To increase your chances, do not use the external hard drive for any purpose until the data recovery is a success.

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