Quick | How to Recover Data from Unbootable Windows 10?

How to recover data from unbootable Windows 10? Utilize powerful crashed PC recovery software to recover data from unbootable hard drives and prevent damage via tips.


By Penny / Updated on April 2, 2024

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Is it possible to recover data from unbootable Windows 10?



“My friend’s Surface Book 2 suddenly stopped booting to Windows. I have noticed that when I intend to browse the files on the drive in either CMD (using Windows Recovery environment) or a bootable Ubuntu drive, user files do not show up. To fix the booting issue, I’ve tried fixing MBR through the command prompt in the Recovery environment, Windows automatic startup repair, and System Restore (but there are no restore points), but failed. So how do I recover files from an unbootable computer? Thanks.

- Question from the Reddit community

Recover Data From Unbootable Windows 10

Sometimes, your computer fails to boot, putting all the precious data it houses at risk.

But please don’t be concerned, this article dives deep into why your Windows computer might refuse to boot and provides smart strategies for rescuing your data in these sticky situations.

What causes Windows 10 to not boot?

PCs throw in the towel and become unbootable for various reasons. Your Windows OS plays a big role in this drama. Beyond that, there also exists a myriad of relevant factors.

1️⃣ Power issues

2️⃣ Hardware failure

3️⃣ Accidentally deleted the boot partition

4️⃣ Corrupted file systems or bad sectors

5️⃣ Corrupted BIOS

6️⃣ Corrupted operating system

7️⃣ Blue Screen of Death

How do I recover files from an unbootable computer?

User feedback highlights that accidentally deleting the boot partition takes the crown as the most prevalent cause behind an unbooting PC.

If your case falls into the former, check out the initial section. But if you’re dealing with an external HDD, flip to the second part for guidance.

Part 1. Two ways to boot your unbootable Windows 10

How to recover data from unbootable Windows 10? Please make a bootable USB media with MyRecover and adjust the boot order to prioritize the USB drive. Once this is done, your system is primed for the recovery of permanently deleted files on Windows 10.

Option 1. Make a USB bootable media via MyRecover

The following steps depict how to make a USB bootable media with MyRecover. Some tips deserve your attention before beginning this process.


Please download and install MyRecover on another working Windows PC.

Prepare a blank USB/CD/DVD to prevent this process from erasing all the existing data. For those with budget constraints, consider using AOMEI Backupper Standard for a no-cost file backup solution.

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Step 1. Run MyRecover on another working PC > click Crashed PC recovery.

Crashed PC Recovery


Step 2. Select a feasible way to create a bootable disk based on your needs > click Execute.

Creating a bootable disk grounded on Windows PE is achievable through three distinct methods.

USB Boot Device: To make a bootable USB media.

Export ISO File: Once the ISO is generated, use a third-party burning utility to burn it. Alternatively, employ the ISO for virtual machine booting or burn it onto other devices.

Burn to CD/DVD: To create a bootable CD/DVD.



Step 3. After proceeding with the process, it shows a pop-up window reminding you to perform disk formatting. Please click Yes to continue.

Confirmation Window

Step 4. It will take a few minutes to make a WinPE bootable USB drive. Please wait patiently.

Creation Process

Step 5. Upon completion, a success message will appear. Subsequently, you’ll receive instructions on booting from the created disk and proceeding with the recovery on a crashed PC.


Option 2. Manually connect your unbootable drive to another working PC

While the aforementioned solution proves effective, it may not apply to external HDDs. In this scenario, the current workaround involves manually disconnecting your external hard drive and linking it to another functional PC.

Step 1. Disconnect your external HDD cable > use a screwdriver to unscrew it > pull it out of the case.

Step 2. Connect this external HDD to another working PC using an external hard drive enclosure.


Step 3. Restart your working PC > access the external HDD data > copy your needed files to another storage device.

Part 2. Recover deleted/lost files from the bootable drive

Yet, if there exists data loss on your internal/external hard drive post-access, MyRecover stands as the most effective method to recover permanently deleted files in Windows 10.

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  • Deal with data loss caused by deletion, disk formatting, virus attacks, or system crashes.
  • Recover 200+ file formats: images (JPG, PNG, DNG, TIFF, etc.), videos (MP4, MOV, AVI, etc.), MS Office and WPS files, folders, compressed files, websites, etc.
  • Combined scanning method: Automatically run Quick Scan and Deep Scan to search all the recoverable files.
  • Easy-to-find: During scanning, you can filter and preview your needed files according to filename, file format, saved path, storage size, deleted date, etc.

Step 1. After installing and launching MyRecover. Hover the mouse over the drive saved deleted files before, and click Scan.


Step 2. After clicking Start Scan, MyRecover automatically runs Quick Scan and Deep Scan to detect all the retrievable files on your chosen drive.

During the scanning process, you can filter and preview your needed files according to Filename, Document Type, Path, Size, Date, etc.

For example:

Name: Enter the relevant filename of your needed files to quickly locate them.

Date modified: Set the date (today, yesterday, last 7/30 days, etc.)

Size: Set the file size (<128KB, 128KB~1MB, 1MB~512MB, etc.)


Step 3. Under the Deleted Files/Recycle Bin/Other Missing Files folder, locate the missing files you want to retrieve > click Recover x files.


Please consider upgrading MyRecover to the Pro/Tech edition for a more cost-effective choice.

Further reading: What to do if your PC won’t boot?

When faced with the Windows won’t boot problem, you can consider the following troubleshooting steps to pinpoint and address this issue.

#1. Try a different power source

Check if your PC is charging. If it’s completely unresponsive-no lights, no fans, and no display-it’s like a power issue. Please make sure the power switch on the back is on.

Power Supply

For laptops, double-check the charger’s proper connection and port. Not all USB ports may provide power if you utilize USB-C. If issues persist, please consider replacing the power supply.

#2. Disconnect unnecessary devices

Please unplug extra stuff (webcams, USB headsets, or external hard drives) from your computer. Please see if it boots with just a keyboard and mouse.

Sometimes, a USB flash drive or even the port itself could cause issues. For instance, a Windows computer might not boot with something in the front USB port but works fine afterward.

#3. Check your monitor

If your computer is making sounds but the screen is blank, check your monitor.

❌ Warning:

Please ensure it’s plugged in, turned on, and set to the right input.

Please examine the cables for issues.

Please test by connecting your computer to another display or TV. If it can work, your monitor might need replacing.

Please check the laptop’s brightness. Sometimes, a black screen is just low brightness.

#4. Listen for beeps

Please listen for beeps as you open your computer. One beep usually means all is well, but multiple beeps can signal a problem. Check your Windows or motherboard manual to decode the beeps and find out what’s wrong.

#5. Start your PC in safe mode

If you’re facing the Blue Screen of Death at startup, it could be due to problematic apps, drivers, or hardware issues.

To fix this issue, you need to enter Safe Mode, which is a bit trickier in newer Windows versions. Interrupting the boot process three times often can go to the Automatic Repair screen.

Step 1. Press the power button to turn off your PC > power on > when you see the manufacturer’s logo, power off again. Repeat this cycle three times, and you can enter the winRE (Windows Recovery Environment).

Step 2. On the Choose an option screen, click Troubleshoot > Advanced options.


Step 3. Under the Startup Settings tab, click Restart first. After that, you can press F4/F5/F6 to start your PC in Safe Mode.


#6. Reinstall Windows OS

If Windows starts booting but stops midway, it could be a software/hardware issue. In this case, you can attempt reinstalling Windows to address this issue. Nevertheless, if the PC still can’t boot even after the reinstallation, there’s a high probability of hardware problems.


Related Q&A about unbootable hard drives

How to recover data from unbootable Windows 10? Or how to recover files from a dead computer? You can get the corresponding solutions to solve this problem. Besides, there are some relevant tips about unbootable hard drive data recovery.

Penny · Editor
Penny works as an editor at AOMEI Technology, while she's a tester and editor for AOMEI Data Recovery Tools. She enjoys helping users with data recovery issues on Windows and iPhones using simple and practical solutions. Outside of work, she has a strong affection for pets, particularly giant pandas.