Comprehensive Guide: How to Restore Hard Drive? (2024)

How to restore hard drive? Users can find methods to different circumstances in this post to perform hard drive recovery.


By Lora / Updated on April 2, 2024

Share this: instagram reddit

How do you fix a corrupted hard drive? How to get back data?

The hard disk, as a delicate device, can easily get damaged under a variety of conditions and then cause data loss.

What’s more, except for physical damages caused by jolting and dropping, misoperations and logical damages will leave you in a data loss dilemma.

My hard drive crashed after removing a virus. Also encountered slow pc performance. How can I recover all my data, I tried to slave my hard drive but has a local disk error when I click to open it, and a message "do you want to format it now?" appears. Please advise, I really need to recover my data.

- Question from CCM

If your hard drive gets corrupted, you must be in urgent need of an effective guide to recover corrupted hard drive.

But do not panic! It is possible to recover data from hard drive even if it was corrupted. Here, let’s start with the factors or triggers of hard drive corruption first.


What causes a corrupted hard drive?

A hard drive won’t die for no reason. Check for the following triggers to see if you have run into the same or similar situations.

Improper shutdown. Suppose the power was abruptly shut off when booting up or the computer was forcibly shut down. In that case, it will likely damage the hard drive, causing partition table corruption, partition loss, or even data loss.

Dusty running environment. Dust causes considerable harm to the hard disk. Hard disks can easily absorb dust particles in the air, thus hindering electronic components' heat dissipation. Then the hard disk may get burned because of the electric leakage.

Wear and tear. After a long period of use, the platter and the head assembly are prone to wear out, especially the head assembly with an exact structure.

◆ Virus and malware. For instance, CIH is a malicious virus that can harm the computer system’s hardware. Some users will find files automatically deleting themselves, which indicates your hard drive is infected.

After getting some basic impression of the hard drive corruption problem, we can smoothly come to the second part, cases of a dead hard drive. Here it is divided into two kinds according to the status of the data - data accessible or not accessible.

How to restore hard drive when data is inaccessible?

If you cannot get access to the data on the corrupted hard drive, the first action would be to recover the data first, and next, fix or replace the hard drive.

Phase 1. Recover hard drive data effortlessly

Since it is pretty challenging for users without the expertise to recover data from hard drives, users might as well choose professional data recovery apps to perform hard drive data recovery effortlessly and safely.

MyRecover, a professional Windows data recovery tool designed by the leading benchmark in the data security industry, is equipped with advanced scanning algorithms and methods.

Compared to Windows File Recovery, this tool is way better and more efficient in many aspects.

Enable users to restore deleted files with their filenames, directories, and formats intact. 
Recover 200+ types of data from HDD/SSD/USB/SD card, etc. 
Scan the hard disks at a relatively high speed and success rate. 
Apply to all data loss situations. 
Support Windows OS 11/10/8/7 SP1 and Server.

When a system crash occurs, relying on this tool will be your second-to-none choice.  

Step 1. Launch the program > Hover the mouse over the drive and click Scan to scan.


Step 2.  Files could be sorted by size, modified date, path, etc., helping you find your wanted files quickly.


Step 3. Select the data you need > Recover x files.


Thus you could have all the data recovered and restore hard drive without worries. In addition, this utility can also help users perform SD card data recovery very easily.

Phase 2. Restore hard drive

After extracting the data, now users could perform the repair. To realize it, Command Prompt can be utilized.

Method 1. Restore hard drive with Command Prompt

The in-built tool Command Prompt is also useful, facilitating users to manage their disks in various aspects. E.g., users can utilize the Recover command in CMD to restore readable info from a defective drive.

But it is quite dangerous for green hand users. It requires cautiousness.


  • Please make sure you have made backups or extracted data from the hard drive before cleaning it.
  • Please make sure you select the right hard drive to format before doing any operation.

Step 1. Input cmd or Command Prompt in the search bar of Windows. Choose “Run as administrator”.

Step 2. Input diskpart in the panel.

Step 3. Input list disk to list all the disks.

Step 4. Input select disk 2. Here users need to input the number of the corrupted disk on their device.

Step 5. Input clean to clean all the data on it. Make sure you have chosen the correct hard drive!

Step 6. Input clean partition primary size=247460 to create a new volume on the hard drive. The size of it depends on your own disk.

Step 7. Input activate to activate the new partition.

Step 8. Input quick format to fix it by formatting.

Step 9. Finally, input assign letter=D to give a name to it.


Method 2. Restore hard drive with AOMEI Partition Assistant

Though Command Prompt can be a good helper, it is quite dangerous for users who are not equipped with any troubleshooting experience. It is likely for them to input wrong commands and cause severe problems.

So rather than operating formatting by yourself, it would be much safer if you try the professional software AOMEI Partition Assistant.

This powerful tool helps users manage their hard disks with ease. And as a versatile app, it can assist you in many other aspects.

Well-designed. Concise and clear interface.
Easy-to-operate. Provide users with easy steps, and help users even without troubleshooting experience and computer know-how. 
Highly-compatible. Support Operating Systems like Windows 10/8/7/Vista/XP. 
Powerful. Supported by a team with 10+ years of experience. A standard for partition management software.

Now follow the steps to fix the hard drive in a breeze.

Tips: This feature is free in this program, you could enjoy freeware.
Download Freeware Win 11/10/8.1/8/7/XP
Secure Download

Step 1. Install and run AOMEI Partition Assistant Standard version. Right-click on the partition of your corrupted hard drive, then choose Format Partition.


Step 2. Give a name to the newly created partition, then choose a type of file system. It is recommended to select the original file system but not to change it. Then click OK.


Step 3. Finally, check whether you have selected the correct type and click Apply to confirm.


Step 4. If there is more than one partition on your corrupted hard drive, please repeat the operation to the others.

Thus you have successfully conducted hard drive recovery safely and easily.

How to restore hard drive when data is accessible?

If the hard drive data is still available, but you noticed some symptoms of a dying hard drive like clicking noises, back up your files right now, please. Then, try to fix it by formatting or using other tools.

Phase 1. Back up the data efficiently

Professional backup software can save users from labor-costing operations and wisely manage backed-up data. AOMEI Backupper can help users quickly back up each item they desire with its simple operation and versatile functions.

Block-Level Backup, also known as image-level backup, improves the backing-up efficiency. 
Incremental and Differential Backup. A wise scheme saves you time and space. 
Scheduled Backup, automatically creates backups daily, weekly, and monthly, saving time and labor. 
File Sync. File sync or backup to the cloud, NAS, local disk, or external hard disk.

Steps to operate are offered here.

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

Step 1. Download and run AOMEI Backupper. Go to Backup in the toolbar, and select File Backup.


Step 2. Click Add Folder/Add File or drag the files you need to back up to the panel. Several files or folders can be added, also, you could select the path to save according to your needs.


Step 3. Click Start Backup. It may take a period of time, please wait patiently.


After that, you could check the backed-up files in the target location.

Phase 2. Restore the hard drive

And then, it is time to fix the hard drive by formatting the hard drive.

Method 1. Format the hard drive with Disk Management

One of the simple and most commonly used methods of hard disk damage is to format the hard disk and then re-partition it. This method can fix some logical errors on the hard disk.

Now follow the steps here to perform hard drive recovery.

Tips: Make sure you have selected the correct disk before deleting it.

Step 1. Right-click on the Start menu > go to Disk Management. Locate the disk you need to format, right-click on the partitions > choose Delete Volume to delete them one by one.


Step 2. Then right-click on the unallocated space > select New Simple Volume.


Step 3. Then come to the New Simple Volume > click Next.


Step 4. Specify the size of the new volume > click Next.


Step 5. Assign a drive letter to it > click Next.


Step 6. Here you need to format it before use, name it according to your preference > tick Perform a quick format.


After that, reboot your PC, and check if the hard drive is in good condition then.

Method 2. Restore the hard drive with inbuilt tools (for Windows and Mac users)

How to restore a crashed hard drive? The methods about how to restore a crashed hard drive are provided for Windows OS users and macOS users.

>> For Windows OS users - Restore the hard drive with Disk Management

How to restore hard drive Windows 10? There is another feature users could utilize besides Disk Management.

Tips: If you are using an external hard drive, please ensure it is appropriately connected to the computer via USB.

Step 1. Exit all the running programs > restart your PC. Then go to This PC > right-click on the dead hard drive > choose Properties.


Step 2. Go to Tools > Check.


Step 3. When it detected errors on the drive > click Repair this drive.


Then it will begin to repair the hard drive. The duration depends on the size of your data on it, please wait in patience. After that, you could check if the hard disk runs normally or not.

>> For macOS users - Perform hard drive recovery with Disk Utility

How to restore hard drive Mac? For macOS users, there is also an embedded tool that users can take advantage of.

Disk Utility may fix issues including several apps exiting abruptly, file corruption, external devices not operating properly, and a computer that won't boot.

Tips: Here, you need to run First Aid on each volume on the disk one by one, and finally run First Aid on the disk itself.

Step 1. Select Disk Utility in the utility window in macOS, then click Continue. Click View > Show All Devices in the toolbar.


Step 2. Locate the disk that needs recovery, start with the last volume of it, and click the stethoscope icon named First Aid in the toolbar > click Run.


Step 3. Then run First Aid to each volume from the last one to the first one, then each container, and lastly, the disk itself. When finished, click Done.


Then you could check if the hard drive recovery is successfully performed. If this did not help or failed, try again, or try to back up your data, and then format it.

Or else, you could format it first, and recover data from Time Machine.

>> For macOS users – Recover data with Time Machine

Time Machine is a built-in and free backup software for Mac. It will save your personal data automatically, such as programs, music, images, etc., including permanently removed stuff from the trash.

Step 1. Locate the folder which contains the lost files, find the Launchpad icon in the Dock, and go to Time Machine > Enter Time Machine.


Step 2. Find the files you need to recover and click Restore.


Then your files and data will be back.

This part is for the situation where data on the hard drive is still accessible. Then how about when data is not accessible? Check it in the next part.


In this article, users could be helped to perform hard drive recovery, with some embedded tools in Windows and Mac, and some professional software, the problem “How to restore hard drive?” could be properly settled.

Moreover, users can safely and easily recover hard drive data with the help of the efficient Windows data recovery tool - MyRecover.

When the data on your hard drive is still available, you could back them up first, and then fix the hard drive; if the data is inaccessible, users could extract data from it and then repair it.

Lora · 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.