By Delia / Last update April 15, 2021

Find the cause for your situation and recover data from corrupted OS :

The problem: Windows OS corrupted

“My computer gets corrupted. Windows 10 fails to boot up all of a sudden. It has corrupted many times till now, and I’m planning to restore the system image created before. But the problem is there are some important files that I haven’t backed up yet stored on the system drive. So I want to get those files back before I do the restoring. Is there any easy way to complete? Thanks.”

Computer crash is not uncommon in people’s daily life, on laptops or desktops. But before start, you may need to know the difference between corrupted OS and damaged internal disk. That is, the unbootable operating system and mechanical failures of hard drive. In general, if you’re in the later situation, you’ll need to go to professional data recovery center for help. If not, you might follow this page to recover it by yourself.

You’ll lose the entries to data saved on the internal disk when system fails to boot. There are many error messages that come with a system failure, Missing Operating System, Your PC needs to be repaired, BOOTMGR is corrupted, Boot Configuration Data file is missing, etc. Then, why would you get such a corrupted operating system?

Why you get a corrupted OS?

Generally speaking, there are several common reasons for a corrupted OS in Windows.

  • Corrupted system registry files. It contains the central database of operating system and stores information required to start a computer. Thus, if it is damaged, your system will be unbooatble.  

  • Malicious software or virus attack. Both of them may do something unexpected things on your computer, such as, automatically delete data or installed drivers, and then crash all of a sudden while using computer.

  • Full space occupied on the operating system drive.

  • Corrupted motherboard. A corrupted motherboard may result in BSOD (Blue Screen of Death) and further cause Fatal Exception error, so the data you saved in memory cannot be restored. Then, your system will not boot as normal.

  • Hardware problem like overheating. If your computer keep overheating, it may results in random reboots which further cause drivers issues and corrupt your system.

  • Disorganized files.

Except for the objective factors, human error like disconnecting a bootable device incorrectly could result in system error as well. Now, you may already know the cause of corrupted OS in your case, so how to recover data from corrupted Windows OS? Please keep reading below to get all the methods.

Way 1: Recover data from corrupted OS with System File Checker

You may not be able to get into the normal Windows OS, but to enter its Safe Mode, diagnostic mode in the Windows-based computer, is achievable. It can load the operating system with a limited set of files and drivers.

If a problem doesn't happen in safe mode, this means that default settings and basic device drivers aren't causing the issue.

Also, you can use the advanced boot options Last Known Good Configuration.Surely, if you have installation disc, recovery drive, or system repair disk, you could be able to restore system from a restore pointwithout entering safe mode or backup files outside crashed OS.

To enter this mode, keep pressing F8 before the Windows logo appears after you power on the computer. Select Safe Mode under the Advanced Boot Options menu. Then, you will enter safe mode, please try the following steps.

Safe Mode Windows7

1. In safe mode, type cmd in the search box and select Run as administrator.

2. Type sfc /scannow in the command prompt. Wait until the process completes.

SFC Scannow

Way 2: Recover data from corrupted Windows OS with DISM

If system file checker does not work, you can still try DISM in safe mode to fix problems that SFC cannot. 

1. In safe mode, run cmd as administrator. 

2. Type the following command and hit Enter to execute.

DISM /Online /Cleanup-Image /RestoreHealth

Restore

Way 3: Recover files from a dead computer using System Restore

2. In safe mode, go Start > All Programs > Accessories > System Tools > System Restore.

3. Follow the wizard to choose a restore point and then start the restoring.

Restore Points

4. Restart your computer after it finishes. See if you could access your data.

Way 4: Laptop crashes how to recover data using Last Known Good Configuration

If a driver changing or hardware configuration caused the boot failure, you may make the computer work again through this way. The “Last Known Good Configuration” is an option in Advanced Boot Options and won’t delete anything on the computer.

1. Keep pressing F8 as instructed to get into Advanced Boot Options.

2. Use the arrow keys to switch to “Last Known Good Configuration (advanced)” option.

Last Known Good Configuration

3. Wait for it to complete and then restart.

Way 5: Recover data from crashed OS using bootable media

If you cannot even enter into the Advanced Boot Options, you’ll need the help of other tools. AOMEI Backupper Standard, the free backup software, allows you to create a bootable USB drive or CD/DVD disc. You’ll need a well-function Windows based computer to complete the task. Here are detailed steps on how to recover files from a dead computer.

Create bootable media with AOMEI Backupper Standard

1. Prepare a flash drive (or CD/DVD disc), better greater than 13GB, and connect it to the well-function Windows PC. Free download, install and run AOMEI Backupper Standard.

Download Freeware Win 10/8.1/8/7/XP
Secure Download

2. In AOMEI Backupper Standard, click Tools > Create Bootable Media.

Create Bootable Media

3. Select a bootable disc type. The “Windows PE” option is recommended for Windows 7 and higher.

PE Boot

4. Choose a WinPE boot mode for the media, legacy for MBR disk and UEFI for GPT disk. Or, you can download a Windows environment from the Internet. Click "Next".

Legacy for MBR Disk

5. Specify the storage media, USB flash drive, CD/DVD disc or ISO image file. Click “Next” and it will start creating immediately. Waiting for it to complete and disconnect the storage.

Create Bootable USB

Recover data from corrupted Windows OS

1. Connect the bootable USB drive to the computer where exits corrupted OS. Power on and keep pressing Del (or F2, or F8) to enter BIOS settings.

2. Switch to the Boot tab by using arrow keys and set the bootable USB flash drive as the first boot device. Press F10 to save changes and exit.

3. Once login, you’ll see a loaded AOMEI Backupper Standard. Now, you can access files via backup options and copy them to a safe place, NAS or external hard drive. Click File Backup under the Backup tab.

Backup

4. Click Add File or Add Folder to select files or folders you want to recover. Then, select a backup destination to store them.

Add Files Folders

5. Confirm this operation and click Start Backup to get your data out of the corrupted Windows OS. Then, you can restore files from backup on a working computer or different hard drive by the Restore option.

Prevent data loss in an easy way

Recovering data from a corrupted Windows OS might be a little difficult and it worth trying. However, to avoid such a mess in the future, there are two preparations you can do ahead of time.

Install Anti-Virus Software. As covered before, virus attacking could be a reason for corrupted OS. Get a tool to safeguard your computer cannot be a bad thing. Meantime, do not click the links that come from suspicious emails.

Backup files on a regular basis. Many users know the importance of backing up but few of them really take actions. The aforementioned software, AOMEI Backupper Standard, perfectly solved this problem. It has automatic backup feature that helps you do set-and-forget tasks. Its Professional edition gives more advanced features like CMD operations. Users who are interested could go for it and have a try.