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How to Retrieve Data from Damaged Hard Drive? Stepwise Guide

Published By Siddharth Tehri
Aswin Vijayan
Approved By Aswin Vijayan
Published On June 17th, 2024
Reading Time 9 Minutes Reading

Overview: Are you searching for a suitable solution to retrieve data from damaged hard drives easily? Or perhaps you are wondering how to directly recover files from corrupted hard disk? Well, let’s dive into this informative article and look at the best 5 verified methods that can help you accomplish the task. Let’s get started!

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When it comes to storing and retrieving data on a hard drive, file corruption is a common problem encountered by many people. It can be very stressful when your important data gets corrupted. But don’t panic, because there are several solutions to recover data from corrupted hard disk.The effectiveness of these solutions depends on the extent of file corruption and the underlying cause such as sudden operating system shutdown, internet issues, malware attack, bad sectors, system errors, etc. Therefore, in this article, we will discuss why files get corrupted or damaged, how to recover corrupted files and how to prevent it. But first, let’s have a clear understanding of what file corruption is.

What is File Corruption?

File corruption refers to a situation where a file becomes damaged due to various reasons. The most common causes include hardware issues, power surges, malware attacks, etc. This can make the data stored in a particular file inaccessible.

What Causes Hard Drives to Damage?

Before you begin the recovery process, it is important to understand the reasons why your hard drive failed or became damaged. Some common culprits include:

  • Power outage. A severe power surge or sudden power outage can damage your hard drive. This can be detected by a failed download.
  • Viral invasion: Viruses are malicious codes that tend to damage the file system of a hard drive.
  • The master boot record (MBR) is corrupted. If your internal hard drive’s boot sector (the sector of the hard drive that contains the MBR) becomes damaged, the drive will become damaged and will be unable to boot the operating system (OS).
  • Human Error. Simple mistakes like installing the wrong operating system can damage your hard drive. Therefore, you need to be very careful when handling your hard drive or any multimedia device.
  • Bad Sectors: Hard drives have millions of sectors that store data. Sometimes a sector gets corrupted (bad sector), which means data cannot be read or written from that sector. Too many bad sectors can damage your hard drive.
  • Age and use. As hard drives age, they can become damaged. Unsafe removal (if it is an external hard drive). Unsafely removing an external hard drive from your system can also cause damage.

Now that we are aware of what causes hard drive damage, let us dive straight to the methods to recover data lost due to hard drive corruption.

How to Manually Retrieve Data from Damaged Hard Drive?

In this section, we will share the 4 best methods to recover data from corrupted hard disk.

Let’s take a brief look at them.

  1. Recover Files from a Damaged Hard Drive using Disk Management
  2. Recover Data from Corrupted Hard Disk using Command Prompt
  3. Run an SFC Scan to Resolve the Damaged Drive
  4. Use the Windows Error Checker to fix Hard Drive Corruption Issues

So these are the top 4 manual approaches to accomplish the task. Now let us move further in the article and explain each one of these in detail. However, if you do not want to deal with the hassle that comes with the manual solutions, feel free to skip ahead to the expert-recommended solution. Now, let us begin.

Method 1: Recover Files from a Damaged Hard Disk using Disk Management

Disk Management is a function that permits users to manage disks and the data stored on them. You can also use Disk Management to recover the drive and the data on it.

To recover a damaged or dead hard disk using Disk Management, follow these simple steps:

  1. Select the Windows + X button and choose the Disk Management.
  2. Find the problematic hard drive in Disk Management.
  3. If it is visible, consider formatting it to correct the error and restore access.

Warning:  Formatting may result in data loss, so make sure you have a backup or professional data recovery software like a hard drive recovery tool.

Method 2: Recover Data from Corrupted Hard Disk using Command Prompt

Through the command line, you can use the CHKDSK command to repair a damaged or hard disk. While this doesn’t always work and only fixes minor bugs, it’s definitely worth a try.

following the steps below:

  • Select the Win + X, press the {CMD} Command Prompt and run it as an administrator.
  • Run Command Prompt as Administrator
  • Type the code “chkdsk” and click the Enter button to analyze the error.
  • Type chkdsk D: /f /r/x to recover the drive. Replace “D” with the damaged drive letter.

Method 3: Run an SFC Scan to Resolve the Damaged Drive

System File Checker (SFC) is a Windows command line tool designed to repair damaged system files and data. Using it, you can repair the disk and recover data.

Follow these steps to run an SFC scan and get data from damaged hard disk:

  • Open your Windows system.
  • When you see the manufacturer’s logo, turn off the system by pressing the power button and repeat this process three times.
  • On the fourth try, allow your system to fully charge. The Select an Option screen appears.
  • From this screen, select Troubleshoot, then Advanced Options, and finally Command Prompt.
  • A command prompt window will open.
  • Before running the SFC scan, enter the command DISM.exe /Online /Cleanup-image /Restorehealth and press Enter. 
  • Now, type or write SFC /scannow and hit the Enter tab.

Do not close the command prompt window until the test is 100% complete. You can view the scan results after the scan is completed.

Read More: How to Fix Seagate External Hard Disk Detected But Not Showing Data?

Method 4: Use the Windows Error Checker to fix Hard Drive Corruption Issues

Did you know? Windows has a built-in verification tool that you can use to recover data from a damaged hard drive. It will scan your drive and fix any small errors or inconsistencies it finds. You can try it yourself by following the instructions below!

  • Open Windows Explorer.
  • Right-click on the damaged hard drive partition and select Properties.
  • Go to the Tools tab.
  • In the Error Checking section, click Check.
  • Restart your computer and check if the problematic hard drive has been repaired and you can now access your data.

Expert Take on Retrieving Data from Damaged Hard Drive Efficiently

If the problem is not resolved after using the above methods and you are still thinking about how to recover data from a damaged hard drive, it means that the hard drive is seriously damaged. In such a critical situation, it is best to trust specialists like Hard Disk Recovery Tool to retrieve corrupted, deleted, damaged, and normally deleted files and folders. Apart from this, it also recovers photos, videos, audio, multimedia files and folders from the hard drive.

How to Prevent Data Loss and Hard Disk Damage?

Prevention is the best way to avoid data loss and hard disk damage. Take the following precautions to protect your important data.

  1. Keep your computer clean and free of dust
  2. If your PC gets too hot, unplug it and clean it
  3. Save and back up your files regularly, in multiple locations with encryption
  4. Back up images before the first signs of hard drive failure
  5. Keep your antivirus software up to date
  6. Do not open suspicious emails or attachments
  7. Do not leave your laptop unattended
  8. Don’t delete files you don’t know what they are, especially system files


In this blog, we have discussed five top ways to retrieve data from damaged hard drives including both manual and automated. All the methods are tried and tested, so you can choose either of them to solve the issue. However, the manual solutions have certain limitations associated with them. To overcome these limitations, we have developed an automated data recovery tool which is the best and reliable way to help you recover deleted, corrupted, corrupted, and formatted data from your hard drive easily.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Can I recover files from a dead computer?

Yes, you can usually recover files from a dead computer by removing the hard drive and connecting it to a working computer using an external case or adapter.

  1. Safe Mode: Start your computer in Safe Mode to access your files without downloading problematic drivers or software.
  2. CHKDSK – Using the built-in Windows “CHKDSK” program to scan and fix file system errors. Command: “chkdsk /f X:” (replace X with your drive letter).
  3. Data Recovery Software: There are free versions of data recovery software, such as Hard Drive Data Recovery, that can help you recover your files.
  4. Backups: Always make regular backups to avoid data loss.

Q: How to retrieve files from a dead hard disk?

Depends on what you mean by “dead”. If you mean a hard drive that has suffered physical damage, then we have bad news for you: most likely, you will not be able to recover any data from it at home. But if you are referring to a hard drive that has been damaged or formatted, you can use data recovery software to recover your data.

Q: What if the file becomes damaged or corrupted?

By definition, a corrupted file is a file that has been modified due to hardware or software corruption. This can happen due to unintentional or intentional reasons on the part of the attacker. The damaged file cannot be understood. This is why you can’t read or write to the disk.

Q: What is the difference between a dead and a damaged hard drive?

When a hard drive is damaged, you may feel there is something off about it instinctively. It could be anything from a strange clicking or grinding sound to foreshadowing of blue screens of death. A dead hard drive, on the other hand, is a hard drive that has already failed. You can tell a hard drive is dead if it is burned heavily, is partially damaged, or is smashed into pieces or broken.