By Lora / Last update May 12, 2022

When using the hard disk, no matter how careful you are, it is relatively inevitable that some failures will occur and the hard disk cannot read data. You may find your folders disappeared, the software crashed frequently, annoying hitting or clicking sound in the hard drive, or failed in formatting.

The reason may be human error or virus attack, causing hard disk partition or data loss.

hard-disk-drive

At this time, the user needs to recover files from the corrupted hard drive. But before that, let’s take a closer look at some elaborated factors that leads to hard drive corruption.

Factors of hard drive corruption

Hard disk failures are generally divided into these types: logical failure, physical failure, man-made damage, and virus damage. Man-made failure,  virus, or malware attacks can lead to hard drive corruption as well.

Physical failure, literally speaking, it is not difficult for us to know that this is the damage to the hardware of the hard disk itself, such as PCB, heads, platters, and other components.

The factors that cause physical failure are:

  • Platter scratch or the platter is worn due to long-term use.
  • The Head is worn or deformed.
  • PCB burned.
  • Bad sectors.

On the other hand, logical failure refers to the failure of the file system. If some parts of the file system are damaged, data cannot be written or read. Such as partition table corrupted, boot sector damaged, file index damaged, or other metadata damaged.

How to recover corrupted hard drive?

If you encounter a physical failure of the hard disk, which is generally irreversible, please submit it to a professional recovery agency for processing. It may cost much, but if your data is important and losing it can lead to a large loss, it's certainly worth the money.

Conversely, if you encounter a logical failure, then this article will provide users with some effective methods for you to recover corrupted hard drives.

If you need to recover files directly, please go straight on to the second section: How to recover files from corrupted hard drives.

Method 1. Recover corrupted hard drive Through Disk Check

First of all, you have to check the status of your hard drive,

Step 1. Start This PC or My Computer on your PC, and right-click your hard drive.

right-click-the-corrupted-disk

Step 2. Click Properties.  Then go to Tools on the upper-left side of this panel. Click Check.

properties-tools-check

Step 3.  Click Scan Drive.

scan-drive

Then the scanning process will start. Possible errors of the hard disk will be detected. If there are any bad sectors or clusters in your hard drive, they will be reported to you. And then, to recover those errors, follow Method 2 right below.

Method 2. Recover corrupted hard drive with CMD

Using an in-built recovery tool is an advisable way to perform corrupted hard drive recovery. This method can help you fix some bad sectors and some errors.

Step 1. Start Administrator Command Prompt, click Run as administrator.

run-as-administrator

Step 2. Input chkdsk.

input-chkdsk

Step 3. Then input chkdsk d: /f or chkdsk d: /r.

start-the-scanning-process

When the scanning and fixing process is finished, restart the computer and now you have successfully performed damaged hard drive recovery.

Method 3. Recover corrupted hard drive through Control Panel

Running a scan through the Control Panel is also practicable.

Step 1. Start Control Panel on your PC.

system-and-security

Step 2. Click System and Security > Security and Maintenance.

security-and-maintenance

Step 3. Go to Maintenance and click Start maintenance.

start-maintenance

How to recover files from corrupted hard drives?

If things are going through quite smoothly, your corrupted hard drive now will be in good condition. To get lost files from a corrupted hard drive, you could utilize an official tool - Windows File Recovery.

It can retrieve lost files from the source partition/drive (where you have lost files) to the destination (another place to store the recovered files).

To learn how to use Windows File recovery better, and get a more detailed explanation of recovery modes and switches, please get help.

Now please follow the guide to get your lost files back.

Notes:✎...
This tool only supports Windows 10 2004 and above.
If Windows File Recovery failed to create destination folder, please get help.

Step 1. Go to This PC > right-click on the corrupted drive > Properties.

check-file-system

Step 2. Choose a recovery mode according to the File System of the corrupted drive and file loss scenarios.

File system Scenarios mode
NTFS Deleted recently Regular
NTFS Deleted for a while Extensive
NTFS Formatted disk Extensive
NTFS corrupted disk Extensive
FAT and exFAT Any Extensive

Step 3. Choose switches according to your needs.

Switches Meaning Supported mode(s)
/n Filter the scan range: scans for a specific file with its file name/path/type, etc. All
/y: Recovers specific extension groups. Signature
/k Recovers system files. NTFS Segment​​​​​
/segment Segment mode; recovers files under NTFS drives using file record segments. Segment
/signature Signature mode; recovers files under all file system types using file headers. Signature
/u Recovers undeleted files, for example, from the Recycle Bin. NTFS Segment

Step 4. Then get Windows File recovery in Microsoft Store.

microsoft-store-get

Step 5. Input the command:

winfr source-drive: destination-drive: [/mode] [/switches]

If your corrupted hard drive is D: drive, and now you need to recover a whole folder to E: drive, you need to choose Extensive mode. Then the command will be:

Winfr D: E: /Extensive /n \folder name\

winfr-extensive-folder

Then wait for the processing. When finished, you could go to the destination folder to check your recovered files.

But to be honest, it's pretty difficult to use Windows File Recovery because of the hard-to-understand commands. Then how to recover files from corrupted hard drives effortlessly?

WinfrGUI could be your helper.

WinfrGUI - free & easy tool applying to Windows 10 and above

Recovers deleted or lost files within just a few simple clicks, including jpg, png, mov, mp3,mp4,docx,xlsx, ppt, zip, etc.

This tool can restore lost or deleted files in Windows 10 from external or internal hard drives. If you find it difficult to handle complicated commands, why not download freeware WinfrGUI to recover lost files effortlessly?

Download Freeware Win 10 2004 and above
Secure Download
Notes:✎...
Source drive and target drive could not be the same. 
Advanced Settings is available to target folder or file type if needed.

Step 1. Run WinfrGUI > select the corrupted drive > choose another drive as a destination to store the recovered files.

select-a-partition-to-scan

Step 2. Choose a scanning method. Deep Scan is recommended.

choose-scan-mode-to-recover

Step 3. Click Start Recovery.

click-start-recovery

Thus, your lost files could be successfully recovered from the corrupted hard drive.

Related suggestions: avoid hard drive data loss

While it is difficult to avoid wear and tear on some parts of the hard drive day by day, it is also impossible to never make operational errors and never suffer a virus intrusion but to avoid being troubled by these problems again, take good precautions.

  • Back up your important data regularly to minimize the loss when encountering a hard drive corruption.
  • Regularly update the drives and software on your PC.
  • Avoid reading and writing on your hard drive after data loss. 
  • Do not visit dangerous websites, install or use antivirus software to protect your device and hard drive.
  • Use the device with care to avoid bumps on the hard drive, which often can cause damage to the head or platters.
  • Keep the hard drive away from extreme heat or humidity

This article introduced some generally effective methods to recover files from corrupted hard drives, but they are not always foolproof yet. And if these methods don't apply to your problem, ask a professional data recovery service for help to avoid secondary damage.

If you are seeking help to recover data from Windows 11/10/8/7 SP1 and Server, you could utilize AOMEI Data Recovery for Windows, a good data rescue tool.

To avoid creating loss to your work and life due to hard drive corruption, wake precaution, timely backup, and maintenance are always advisable.