How to Recover Data from Unallocated Hard Disks?

How to recover data from unallocated hard disks? Users who need to achieve unallocated hard drive data recovery can refer to this tutorial and get some help.


By Lora / Updated on April 2, 2024

Share this: instagram reddit

Quick Navigation >>

Can I recover data from unallocated drive?

Before use, a hard drive will be formatted and partitioned for better performance. Thus the space on the disk is allocated, from which users can manage and access their files.

But sometimes, for specific reasons, for example, the computer has gone through an unexpected shutdown, accidentally deleted a partition, etc., you may find the partition/drive disappear from the File Explorer & Disk Management.

Instead, there will be a partition/drive named “Unallocated”. And, what’s worse, you will find you lose access to the files in it.


This is not a rare case for unallocated hard drives/partitions/space data loss.


Data recovery from unallocated HDD


I have a 1.5Tb Seagate Barracuda drive that I've been using as a backup drive and for extra storage. Recently, it stopped showing up on My Computer (it worked fine one day – the next day, nothing). In Disk Management, it shows up as unallocated with all right-click options greyed out. I, unfortunately, don't have a backup of my data, and I'm trying to recover the data.


- Question from Tom’s Hardware


To figure out how to recover data from unallocated hard drives and fix it, it would be a good start to learn what is unallocated space/hard drive/partition.

What is an unallocated drive/space?

An unallocated space refers to a space that isn’t allocated to any volumes, which is not available for storing any new data because there is no file system on it.

That is to say, no programs can write data to the space, and you can also not visit that space on File Explorer.

To utilize this space, you must create a new simple volume from it or merge it into another partition next to it. We could try these two common methods to fix an unallocated space. But before that, it is necessary to recover the data.

Next, we are about to check the possible reasons for unallocated space.

What caused unallocated hard drives/space?

  • Deletion. After deletion, the space of the deleted partition will be marked as "Unallocated" and accessible.
  • Unexpected shutdown. A power surge can cause problems from mild to intense. Sometimes, you may meet errors like white screen of death, corrupted hard drives, and unallocated space.
  • Corrupt partition tables. Each division's starting and ending positions, sizes, and other details are recorded in the partition table. The partitions are highly likely to be lost after the partition table error, resulting in the partitions becoming unallocated.
  • Virus. Malware and viruses can harm your device's file system, partition table, or other crucial components, resulting in partition loss and unallocated space.
  • Physical damage. In the case of a USB flash drive, for instance, unplugging it while it is writing data might result in physical damage to the device or harm to the file system, resulting in unallocated volume.

Now, follow the steps to recover data from unallocated space.

How to recover data from unallocated hard disks?

There are generally 2 methods to recover data from unallocated space. All solutions are listed in descending order of recovery success rate. Check out and get some help.

Method 1. Achieve unallocated hard drive data recovery via data recovery software

Compared to trying hard to restore data from unallocated drives on your own and shipping the unallocated drives to an expensive data recovery service, users would like to find an easier and more cost-effective way.

The safest & easiest way for the majority of users will be using professional data recovery software for Windows.

MyRecover is one of the best data rescue apps that helps scan and restore data from unallocated/formatted/healthy internal/external HDD/SSD/USB/SD card, etc.

yes MyRecover - Recover data easier

  • Keeps the original filenames, file structures, formats, and quality during recovery.
  • Scans and recovers 200+ different kinds of data, including photos, videos, audio, documents, sheets, emails, etc.
  • Support for NTFS/FAT32/exFAT/ReFS and Windows 11/10/8/7 & Server.
Download SoftwareWin 11/10/8/7/Server
Secure Download

Check the steps to recover data from an unallocated hard drive.

Stop using the affected drive after the unallocated hard drive issue to avoid data overwriting. 
The free version is available. For unlimited data recovery with unlimited licenses, upgrade MyRecover to Pro/Tech versions.

Step 1. Download & install > hover the mouse over the unallocated drive > click Scan.


Step 2. Data previewing/sorting/filtering the scan results by Date modified, Type, Size, etc., is available while scanning.


Step 3. Check the Deleted files > go to the file's original location to restore the data with filenames/formats/paths intact. Also, you could check the Other missing files to retrieve files selectively.


What’s more, this app assists you to recover data from formatted hard drives in a breeze.

Method 2. Restore from a backup

Another feasible way is to restore files from a backup. If you are lucky to possess a file backup of the malfunctioned drive, you can directly restore from it.

Except for your backups from an external storage device or a cloud service, Windows also provides backup tools for users.

For example, users can restore files from backup in Windows 10/8/7 using the Backup and Restore feature.

Step 1. Start Control Panel > System and Security > Backup and Restore (Windows 7).


Step 2. Click Restore my files.


Step 3. Click Browse for files/folders > select the files you need > Next.


Step 4. Specify the destination according to your preferences > click Restore.


The Backup and Restore is a good tool to recover permanently deleted files in Windows 10, 8, 7, and 11.

How to fix unallocated space?

Apart from learning how to recover data from unallocated hard disks, users may also need to figure out how to fix it in order to bring the hard drive back to normal.

As mentioned above, users can either create a new partition from the unallocated space or add it to another existing partition.

Method 1. Create a new simple volume

Firstly, you could create a new partition using the free space. The built-in tool Disk Management is available for this purpose.

Step 1.  Right-click the Start button > click Disk Management > locate the unallocated partition/drive/space > right-click on it > select New Simple Volume.


Step 2. Fill in the Simple Volume Size you prefer > click Next.


Step 3. Assign a drive letter and path to this new partition > click Next to go on. Remember to give an unused letter to it.


Step 4. To store data on the new partition, you need to format it first. Tick Perform a quick format.


>> You could also perform disk formatting using a professional partition management tool – AOMEI Partition Assistant- for safety and efficiency.

AOMEI Partition Assistant

Helps users format/clone/delete/convert partitions and partition recovery, etc., in a breeze.

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

Step 1. Locate the unallocated partition > right-click on it > select Create Partition.


Step 2. Decide the new partition size by dragging > assign the drive letter > specify file system > OK.


Step 3. Click Apply to confirm.


Method 2. Add the unallocated space to a partition nearby

Also, merging the free space into another partition is feasible.

You could only add the space to a partition that is physically adjacent/next to it.

Step 1. Start Disk Management > choose the partition you want to extend > right-click on it > select Extend Volume.


Step 3. Select disks and specify the space you want to extend > then click next > finish.


>> AOMEI Partition Assistant also supports merging partitions.

Step 1. Locate the partition beside the unallocated space > right-click on it > select Merge Partitions.


Step 2. Select the unallocated partition > click OK.


Step 3. Click Apply.



This article introduces how to recover data from unallocated hard disks. Users can utilize Windows data recovery tools like MyRecover, backups made in advance, or send them to data recovery services.

To fix this issue, Disk Management and the professional partition management tool – AOMEI Partition Assistant are to help.

Lora ยท Editor
Lora is an editor of AOMEI Technology. She is also a tester and editor of AOMEI Data Recovery Tools. -- "Keep testing, write the most useful tutorials for helping people recover the lost data for Windows and phones" is the most meaningful thing for her. Dedicated to creating helpful tutorials, she hopes her tutorial can assist users to effortlessly solve data loss problems on their personal computers and mobile phones.