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How to Recover Files from Formatted Hard Disk in Windows 11, 10, 8, 7?

Published By Ashwani Tiwari
Aswin Vijayan
Approved By Aswin Vijayan
Published On June 17th, 2024
Reading Time 6 Minutes Reading

Have you ever had that scary moment when you think that you accidentally formatted your hard drive? Whether this happens while you’re typing or clicking, or during a system wipe, the result is the same: your precious data is suddenly lost. But, don’t despair. It’s in fact possible to recover files from formatted hard disk in Windows 11, 10, 8, 7. 

In this article, we’ll take you through the basic steps of recovering data from a formatted hard drive. We’ll look at manual and automatic methods and provide you with a reliable plan for recovering lost files. Before we proceed further, let us first understand the following user query

User Query:

“Due to the internal issues, my system was not functioning well. To resolve these issues, I decided to format the hard disk of my computer. I saved my files on the external drive before formatting my computer, but I forgot to save some important files. After formatting my hard disk, I noticed that some files were missing. Now, my system works properly and system hanging issues are resolved, but I want to retrieve data from a formatted hard disk in Windows 10. Can anyone tell me how to restore data from formatted hard disk? Thanks in advance.”

If you are suffering from the same issue and can relate to this problem, don’t worry! Here, we will provide you with a comprehensive guide that can help you fix your problems and surely recover data from formatted hard drives in Windows 10, 8, 7.

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Why Do You Need to Format your Hard Drive?

There are numerous reasons why you need to format your hard drive. Here, we have summarized some common situations in which formatting your hard drive can help you.

  • Corrupt or incompatible file system. If the hard drive’s file system is damaged or incompatible, the device will be inaccessible and can only be used after formatting it to a suitable file system.
  • Sudden power outage. If your computer suddenly runs out of power while reading or writing data to the hard drive, the drive may crash and become unusable until it is reformatted.
  • Malware infection. If any suspicious application with a virus is installed on your hard drive, the drive may fail and needs to be reformatted.
  • Bad sectors on the hard drive. If your hard drive has bad sectors, formatting the drive may render them unusable and data will not be able to be written to those bad sectors. This might help fix some application or file crashing issues caused by bad sectors.

These reasons explain why you may need to format a hard disk. We will now explore the solutions in the next section, so keep reading!

Read More: How to Retrieve Data from Damaged Hard Drive?

Is It Possible to Recover Files from Formatted Hard Disk in Windows 11, 10, 8, 7?

When you format a hard drive, whether intentionally or accidentally, you essentially reset the storage device to a blank slate, erasing all files and preparing it to receive new data. However, your data isn’t destroyed right away. Instead, the formatting process removes references to the data, making it invisible to the system, but not permanently lost, at least for now.

Quick vs. Full Format

  1. Quick Format: This method deletes files and directory information but doesn’t overwrite existing data. A quick format leaves the actual data on the disk, making file recovery faster and relatively easier.
  2. Full Format. A full format deletes your files and then overwrites the entire hard drive with zeros. This method is designed to securely remove all previous content, so data cannot be successfully restored.

Manually Recover Data from Formatted Hard Disk Using Windows File History

Windows File History continuously backs up even the smallest changes to your data. Plus, it lets you recover individual files later. If you used File History to backup your hard drive data, follow these steps to recover it:

  1. Open Settings on your PC.
  2. Go to the Update & Security section and click Backup in the left-side menu.
  3. Under the BackUp using File History section, press the More Options.
  4. Select Restore files from current backup” in the pop-up menu.
  5. Choose the files/ data you want to restore from your formatted hard drive in the File History backup window.
  6. Then, click the green Restore button. Additionally, you can right-select the Restore tab and select Restore to… to set a new location for your recovery data.

Recover Files from Formatted Hard Disk in Windows 11, 10, 8, 7 – The Expert Way

In most cases, hard drive problems manifest themselves quickly. Recovering data from a formatted hard drive without a backup can be difficult. Luckily, professional third-party software like Hard Drive Data Recovery can help. It also supports different types of files, hard drives, and computers. 

 With this utility, you can retrieve files from formatted hard disk or reformatted hard drives of unbounded size. The tool automatically detects all the available drives once you install them on your system. Apart from this, this software also recovers various multimedia files like videos, audio, documents, etc. from hard drives, etc.

Final Verdict

Sometimes formatting is the fastest and most effective way to fix various file system problems. However, the formatting process will completely erase your hard drive. If you know how to recover files from formatted hard disk, you can not only fix file system problems, but also regain access to any files you lost in the process. In this article, we explained everything you need to know about recovering a formatted hard drive, so you can put your newly acquired skills into practice.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: How to recover files from formatted hard disks in Windows 11, 10, 8, 7?

Just a few easy steps to recover data formatting your hard drive. Follow these steps

  1. Download and install Hard Drive Recovery Tool.
  2. Attached the formatted external hard drive to your PC.
  3. Select the scan Formatted tab.
  4. Select the Save button to save your recovered data.

Q: Can I restore data from a formatted hard drive without software?

Recovering data from a formatted hard drive without using software is not an easy task in itself. The most effective way to avoid data loss is to back up your important files in advance. If backup is not available and the data loss is severe, the next option is a data recovery tool.