4 Top Ways | How to Recover Data from Hard Disk Without OS

How to recover data from hard disk without OS? Read this article to get 4 top ways to access and recover hard drive data without OS. Also, Backup data from hard disk without OS is included.


By Lori / Updated on April 2, 2024

Share this: instagram reddit

Can I Access Hard Drive Data Without OS

“How to recover from hard drive without using OS? In other words, is there a standard way to access/read a hard drive? Where can I find them? Is there any way to recover and copy data from hard drive without OS?" 

You may feel hopeless when encountering an unbootable or crashing Windows OS. Is there a way to quickly access hard drive data without Windows OS? How to recover data from hard disk without OS?


Don’t worry, in this article, we introduce 4 effective ways to help you easily access hard drive data and recover data from hard drive without OS. In addition, the way to backup data from hard disk without OS is included.

How to Recover Data from Hard Disk Without OS

If your Windows OS won't boot or crashes and you want to know how to access your hard drive without OS and recover data from unbootable hard disk, please follow the 4 practical ways below.

Way 1. Recover Hard Disk Data on Another Computer

If the Windows operating system is damaged, the hard drive won’t boot. In this case, you can simply remove the hard drive from the dead computer and connect it to another computer. Be careful when removing the drive from the system; otherwise, you may damage your drive and its data.

👉 Use a SATA USB cable to connect the hard disk to another computer through a USB port. If you can access hard drive data normally, continue backing up the hard drive data.

Drive Enclosure

Way 2. Recover Data from Hard Disk Without OS (Faster)

Another effective way to access hard drive and recover data without Windows OS is to create a bootable disk to boot the hard drive from a bootable USB drive. Here, it is highly recommended to use powerful and reliable hard disk data recovery MyRecover. It enables you to recover data from hard disk without OS by loading the Windows PE.

  • When you create a bootable disk, it will erase all data saved in the USB drive. Please use an empty drive or free Windows backup software like AOMEI Backupper Standard to protect your data in advanced.
  • Free download and install MyRecover on a working computer. Connect a blank USB drive or insert a CD/DVD into the system for the creation of a bootable media.
Download Software Windows 11/10/8/7/Server
Secure Download

To access and recover data from hard disk without OS, please follow the steps below.

Step 1. Create a bootable disk

1. Run MyRecover on the working computer, and click "Crashed PC Recovery".

crashed pc recovery

2. Select a blank USB or CD/DVD bootable disk to create a boot drive and click "Execute".


3. When you create a bootable USB drive, it will erase all data saved in the USB drive. Please back up important data beforehand. Then click Yes.

confirmation window

4. The creation operation will run and you can check it. The process will take a several minutes.

creation process

5. You will see a success message and be notified of the steps to boot from a bootable disk. Then, start recover data from hard disk bootable USB media.


Step 2. Boot your computer from the bootable USB

Connect the bootable USB drive to the computer that won't boot > press F12, F2, F10, F11, Del, or Esc to enter the BIOS > change the PC’s boot sequence in BIOS > reboot the PC and choose the proper boot device (a bootable USB drive) > save the modification by pressing F10 and exit.

Crashed Computer Data Recovery Software
  • Support many data loss situations. Such as recovering data from PC that won’t boot, formatted disks, crashed systems, virus attacks, etc.
  • Recover lost Word document, Excel, PPT, PDF, PPTX, ODP, CSV, WPS files, and other 200+ file formats with simple steps.
  • It automatically performs both a quick scan & deep scan to recover deleted files from hard drives and retain their original filename, directory, and path.
  • Compatible with NTFS, FAT32, exFAT, and ReFS in Windows 11/10/8/7/Server.

Step 3. Recover data from a crashed compter/system

1. After booting from USB, hover the mouse over the drive, and click Scan.


2. It will initiate a scan of your chosen hard drive. Use the Search Box or the Filter feature for a swift identification of the desired data.


3. Upon identifying the required data, select them and click "Recover x files" to restore hard drive data. Then, opt for a new location to store the recovered files.



For unrestricted data recovery, try to consider upgrading MyRecover to the Pro or Tech version. It can recover a large number of files from hard drives.

MyRecover can not only perform HDD data recovery, and also support USB flash drive, SD card recovery.

Way 3. Use Command Prompt to Copy Hard Drive

Try to boot Windows from the bootable USB drive or disc that is create by MyRecover. You can copy all files and folders on the hard drive using the Windows Command Prompt.

Step 1. Connect the Windows installation media like bootable USB drive to your PC. When the PC is not on, hold down the F9/F12 key, and then press the power button to enter Windows RE. Click Next.

Step 2. On the install Windows screen, click Repair your computer.

Repair Your computer

Step 3. Choose Troubleshoot > Advanced options > Command Prompt.

Advanced Options

Step 4. In the Command Prompt window, type command: robocopy C:\tools D:\backup\tools /e. Then, restart the system.

  • /e modifier will tell robocopy to include all subdirectories and empty folders.
  • robocopy will automatically copy hidden and system files. It will create a new directory if one does not exist at the target location.

Way 4. Freeze the Hard Drive

If your system is heating up and you can feel the computer surface being hot, try cooling the hard drive. Overheating of the hard drive can also cause the computer to fail to start. You could do:

Step 1. Carefully remove the hard drive. Wrap it in a waterproof and moisture-proof case or package and place it in a cold environment.

Step 2. Cool to near zero temperature and remove the hard drive.

Step 3. Connect to a working computer and check if you can access it.

How to Backup Data Without Booting into Windows 10

To prevent data loss, backup is always the safest and easiest way to recover your data in case of data loss. Therefore, it is necessary to backup data from hard disk without OS.

We recommend an easy-to-use backup software - AOMEI Backupper Standard that allows you to copy important files from hard drives and partitions, or back up entire files. Now follow the steps below to backup data from hard drive without OS.

Download Freeware Win 11/10/8.1/8/7/XP
Secure Download

Step 1. Download and launch it. Click Backup on the left > click Disk Backup.


Step 2. Click Add disk and choose the hard disk you want to back up > specify the backup location.


Step 3. Click Add.


Tips for Using the Operating System

1️⃣ Handle your hard drive with care: Avoid excessive and extreme temperature use of the hard drive to ensure a longer service life.

2️⃣ Monitor hard drive health: Use monitoring software to keep an eye on the health of your hard drive.

3️⃣ Keep your system updated: Update your operating system regularly and clean unnecessary files for a smooth experience.

4️⃣ Use safe software: Only install software from trusted sources to prevent problems with your system.

5️⃣ Solve system problems promptly: Repair Windows quickly when disk boot failure problems occur to prevent further damage.


How do I fix a corrupted hard drive that won't boot?
Way 1. Change Power Cable
Way 2. Update Hard Drive Drivers
Way 3. Enable Hard Drive in BIOS
Way 4. Consult Data Recovery Professionals
How to save files from BIOS?
Step 1. Press DEL during system boot to access BIOS settings.
Step 2. Navigate to "Tools," then "User Profile," and "Load/Save Profile from/to USB Drive."
Step 3. Follow on-screen directions to save BIOS settings as a text file.
How to recover files from SSD that won’t boot?
You can use professional data recovery software MyRecover to recover data from SSD that won't boot. It just needs 3 simple steps: Create a bootable drive > Start your PC that won’t boot from the bootable USB drive > Select the non-bootable SSD to scan.
Why is my hard drive detected but not booting?
Faulty cabling may be the culprit. Replace power and data cables with known working ones. If issues persist, consider a corrupted operating system.
Why is external hard drive not showing up?
The external hard drive not showing up is caused by a number of factors, such as connection problem, outdated or corrupted drivers, malicious or infected files in the system, etc.


Although it can be troublesome to face a PC that won't boot. There are still 4 practical ways to quickly access hard drive data and recover data from hard drive without OS.

Always remember that MyRecover is your reliable friend who can also allow you to recover data from dead hard drives as well as get data off Laptop hard drive that won't boot.

Moreover, in this article, you also learn how to backup data without booting into Windows 10. When you meet such a system crash problem, it is important to make files/folders/disk/system backup automatically using free backup software like AOMEI Backupper Standard.

Lori · Editor
Lori receives professional technical training since joining AOMEI, and aims at helping users troubleshoot problems on data recovery and protection. She focuses on simple, efficient and practical methods, and provides professional advice. Being able to help readers and users is her ultimate goal.