4 Ways| How to Get Data from Hard Disk without Formatting

This post covers four solutions to how to get data from hard disk without formatting. Read it and get back your data easily.


By Kelsey / Updated on April 3, 2024

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How do I access my hard drive without formatting?

When you insert your hard drive and get the message - "You need to format the disk in drive x: before you can use it. Do you want to format it?", do you have to format the hard drive? Actually, no. In this article, we provide four methods on how to get data from hard disk without formatting. Additionally, we present a free and easy way to recover data from formatted hard drive.

When you are prompted to format your hard drive, the hard drive may be damaged. Common causes of hard drive damage are:

  • Virus attack
  • File system corruption
  • Bad sectors on hard drive
  • Physical damage to hard drive

How to recover data from hard disk asking to format? Follow the guide below to recover corrupted hard drives without format.

How to get data from hard disk without formatting in 4 easy methods

As this problem may be caused by different reasons, the solution may also vary. In this section, we will describe all possible solutions on how to get data from hard drive without formatting. It is important to remember that to ensure the safety of your data, we recommend you first use anti-virus software to conduct a comprehensive anti-virus on your computer.

Way 1. Recover hard disk without formatting with SFC

When your hard drive is asked to format, it is possible that there are missing or damaged Windows system files. In this case, SFC (System File Checker) in Windows that is capable of scanning and repairing corrupted system files can help you.

The following is how to get files off hard drive without formatting by scanning and recovering via SFC scan.

Step 1. Search for “Command Prompt” in the Windows search bar and click on Run as administrator.

Step 2. Type “sfc /scannow” command and press Enter.

Type Sfc Scannow

Step 3. It will take some time to finish the scanning. When the scanning is completed, reboot your computer and check if you can open your hard drive correctly.

Way 2. Recover hard disk without formatting using CHKDSK

CHKDSK (Check Disk) is a system utility that you can use to verify the file system integrity of a volume on hard drive and fix logical file system errors and bad sectors automatically. With this tool, enabling damaged partition recovery is an easy task.

How to get data from external hard drive without formatting, as well as local disks using CHKDSK?  Follow these steps:

Step 1. Open Command Prompt and run as an administrator in the same steps.

Step 2. Input the chkdsk G: /f/x/r command to tap on Enter. Then, it will start to scan and fix found errors.

  • G: Refers to the drive letter of the hard drive. You can change it to the specific drive letter of your corrupted hard drive.
  • /f Instructs CHKDSK to fix any errors it finds.
  • /x Locates the bad sectors on the drive and recovers readable information.
  • /r Forces the drive to dismount before the process starts.

Chkdsk G F R X

Way 3. Update or reinstall hard drive drivers for recovery

Drivers are software that various devices on a Windows computer rely on to function properly. An error in the driver can cause the communication between the hard drive and the computer to be interrupted, resulting in an unreadable hard drive.

Luckily, you can reinstall the drivers or update them to the latest version to solve “how to recover data from inaccessible hard disk”.

Step 1. Right-click the Windows Start icon and choose Device Manager from the list.

Step 2. Click the > position beside Disk Drives, right-click on the hard drive that is asked to format, and tap on Update Driver.

External Hard Drive Update Driver

Step 3. You will be asked whether you want Windows to search your computer and the internet for the latest drivers software. Select Search automatically for drivers.

External Hard Drive Search Automatic For Driver

Step 4. Then, if there is an updated driver, Windows will find and install it. After installation, you can check if the “how to get data from hard disk without formatting” question is fixed.

Way 4. Check hard disk in Disk Management

To make your Windows PC access your hard drive correctly, you can check the hard drive in Disk Management and assign the drive letter to have a try. This can also help you recover a missing computer drive or partition.

Step 1. Select Disk Management from the Windows Start menu.

Step 2. Right-click the hard drive and pick Change Drive Letter and Paths.

Change Drive Letter And Path

Step 3. Click the Add button > Assign the following drive letter, select a new drive letter, and then click OK to resolve “how to recover files from external hard drive without formatting”.

Assign The Following Drive Letter

How to get data from hard disk after formatting for free

What if the foregoing methods cannot help you retrieve data from hard drive without formatting? If so, you can format your hard drive and use a reliable data recovery tool to get back formatted data easily. MyRecover is the top option for you.

With a high recovery rate and quick recovery speed, this tool allows you to recover data from formatted hard drives within 3 steps with ease.
It offers Quick Scan and Deep Scan to locate the missing or lost files comprehensively and quickly.
It supports recovery of pictures, Word documents, Excel files, texts, videos, emails, compressed files, and other commonly-used files.
Aside from formatted hard disk, it provides to recover data from lost partition, accidental deletion, virus attack, system crash, etc.

Install and run MyRecover. Next, you can proceed with the given steps below to retrieve formatted hard drive data effortlessly.

Download SoftwareWin 11/10/8/7/Server
Secure Download

Step 1. On the main screen of this recovery software, hover the mouse over the drive, and click Scan.

Select The Formatted Partition To Scan

Step 2. It will begin to scan all deleted and other missing files. During the scanning process, you can select items to recover if you find the needed ones.

Scanning Formatted Hard Drive

Note: This free recovery tool comes with file search and file filter features that can assist you to locate the desired files quickly.

Step 3. Choose the data you want to restore and click Recover x files to a new secure location.

Select Files To Recover From Formatted Partition

Related suggestion

Although there are several ways on how to get data from hard disk without formatting, not every method will work due to different causes of problems.

In addition to formatting the hard drive and then using data recovery software to get back your formatted data, it is also crucial to back up your important data regularly, which will help you avoid the risk of data loss as much as possible.

Professional data backup software - AOMEI Backupper provides powerful backup functions, including flexible auto backup modes, file backup, disk backup, system backup, etc., to make your data backup task easier.

Kelsey · Editor
Kelsey is an English editor of AOMEI Technology. She is passionate about helping people find effective ways to deal with all problems in computer. She has great insights into data backup and recovery, disk partition and clone, and other data protection measures. She likes learn computer skills to improve herself and enjoy quality time with family and friends.