How to Recover Data from Hitachi Hard Drive: a Complete Guide

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hitachi hard drive recoveryAccording to the latest Backblaze report, most Hitachi hard drive models in the study had failure rates under 1%, and model HUH728080ALE604 had a 0% failure rate. However small the probability is, Hitachi hard drives can fail. If you’re in a similar situation or have just accidentally deleted data, we’ll help you with Hitachi data recovery in this guide.

How to Recover Data from Hitachi External Hard Drive?

You can recover data from Hitachi external hard drives using a data recovery tool. Using an intelligent tool like Disk Drill to recover data from an external drive improves your chances of being able to recover data. However, you might need professional help if your hard drive is severely damaged. Below, we explain how to go about both methods.

Method 1: Recover Data on a Hitachi Drive Using Disk Drill

Disk Drill is an excellent data recovery solution (read our Disk Drill review) that scans your drive for lost data and helps you recover a few specific files or all files. Here’s how you can use Disk Drill for Hitachi hard drive recovery.

Step 1: Download and Install Disk Drill

Start by downloading Disk Drill and installing it on your computer. Disk Drill is free to download and allows recovering up to 500MB of data for free.

installing disk drill

Step 2: Scan the Drive

Once you’ve installed Disk Drill on your PC, launch Disk Drill and ensure the Hitachi drive is connected to the computer. On the home screen, look for the Hitachi drive, or work on fixing the hard drive if the computer doesn’t detect the external hard drive. Select the Hitachi drive and click the Search for lost data button to start scanning the drive.

starting the scan

Step 3: Select Files to Recover

After the scan is complete, you’ll see a list of files recoverable from your Hitachi drive. If you’re looking for specific types of files, you can select a category from the left. For example, you can select Pictures if you only want to recover pictures.

You can also search the scan results more specifically. For example, you can search for a specific file extension by clicking the arrow to the left of a category, which will show you a list of file extensions.

Once you find the files you want to recover, select the checkbox to the file’s left.

selecting files to recover

Step 4: Recover Files

Click the Recover button. Select a location to save the recovered files, but make sure it’s not on the source drive (i.e., on the Hitachi drive) to avoid overwriting the existing files.

Click OK when you’ve selected a location, and you should then find the recovered files in your selected location.

recovering files using Disk Drill

Method 2: Seek Help From a Data Recovery Service

If you were unable to recover data using Disk Drill or your Hitachi drive is severely damaged, you’ll need help from a data recovery service. A data recovery service will bring your drive into a lab where they’ll perform Hitachi drive recovery using specialized equipment.

It’s important to research before you select a data recovery service so you can ensure you’re hiring a professional team of experts.

Common Reasons for Data Loss from Hitachi Drives

Hitachi drives are prone to all ways of data loss as any other hard drive. Here are a few common reasons for data loss:

Cause Description
📄File system corruption Your hard drive’s file system may become corrupt because of multiple reasons like abruptly disconnecting the hard drive or because of a virus. You might lose access to data on your drive when the file system becomes corrupt.
☣️Virus or malware: If you’ve accidentally formatted your Hitachi drive, you’ll lose all of the data. Even though your hard drive will appear empty, the files might still exist on the physical drive. In most cases, you’ll be able to recover files from a formatted drive.
💽Formatting If you’ve accidentally formatted your Hitachi drive, you’ll lose all of the data. Even though your hard drive will appear empty, the files might still exist on the physical drive. In most cases, you’ll be able to recover files from a formatted drive.
🤕Physical damage If your drive has suffered physical damage, it might appear empty or not function properly when you try to access the files. Depending on the damage’s severity, you should be able to recover these files. If you can’t, you’ll need to approach a data recovery service.

How to Diagnose a Hitachi Hard Disk

You can diagnose a Hitachi hard disk using the WinDFT (Windows Drive Fitness Tool) from HGST (Hitachi Global Storage Technologies).

The utility is no longer available on the HGST website. It’s a dated tool but remains available for download via third-party websites. The tool helps you run a hard drive diagnostic test. At the end of the test, the utility creates a log file, which includes basic drive information and any errors, if any were detected.

Here’s how you can use WinDFT:

Step 1: Download and Install WinDFT

Download WinDFT and install it on your PC.

Step 2: Scan the Drive

Launch the utility after installation and select your Hitachi drive from the list.

using windft for a hitachi drive

Then, select the type of test you want to run. Here are the test options:

  • Quick Test: This is the fastest option that usually takes less than a minute to finish.
  • Short Test: It’s a short test, but the duration depends on your drive’s size. For example, a short test might take over one hour to run on a 1TB drive.
  • Long Test: It’s similar to a Short Test but a little more thorough.
  • Ext Test: Short for Extended Test, this test is similar to Quick Test. However, it scans the drive a lot more thoroughly and takes a lot longer than a Quick Test.

Step 3: See Results

When the scan completes, refer to the log file created by WinDFT to see the results.


Hitachi hard drives are among the most durable storage devices. However, they’re equally prone to logical errors and accidental deletion as any other drive. Fortunately, a data recovery solution like Disk Drill makes recovering lost data easy. In cases of more severe damage, though, you’ll need to seek help from a data recovery service.

Arjun is an Tech ninja, codes HTML and CSS, and has received an honorary mention as the family’s go-to tech help during get-togethers. He has been writing guides for about six years and he’s currently a contributor on major Tech websites like MakeUseOf, HelpDeskGeek and 7 Data Recovery.
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Senior Data Recovery Engineer. Master's degree in Physics, Information Technology for Science Experiments.