How to Recover Data from Corrupted Hard Drive

You can easily recover data and corrupted hard drives as long as you know the possible cause of your problem. Here are 8 effective methods to repair a damaged disk in total.

Lora

By Lora / Updated on July 7, 2023

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When using the hard disk, no matter how careful you are, it is relatively inevitable that some failures will occur, resulting in data loss, or worse, your entire disk. At this point in time, you have two very important things to do.

  • Recover data from damaged hard drive
  • Fix a corrupted hard disk

If you don’t know how to make it, continue to read this article, get the symptoms and possible reasons for the corrupted hard drive as well as the corresponding methods below.

Recover Corrupted Hard Drive and Data

Symptoms and Causes Behind a Corrupted Hard Drive

If you suspect your hard drive is corrupted, check the following symptom to see if it has any of these. You could also get the possible reasons behind the symptom. So you can easily recover data and fix a corrupted hard drive.

  • The drive is not accessible. Even worse, you may find some of your files disappear.
  • Your drive requires formatting, saying a message like “disk not formatted. Do you want to format now?
  • The file system is displayed as "RAW".
  • Sector not found 
  • Invalid media type reading drive. Abort, Retry, Fail?
  • File names contain weird characters.
  • Your hard disk has a blue screen of death.
  • Your computer has a slow performance, even with the simplest tasks, such as opening a file.

The reasons for corrupted hard drives are different. It can be a virus or malware attack, overheating, power surge, file system damage, damaged boot sector, bad sectors, unsafe removal, physical damage, disk aging, etc.

How to Recover Files from a Corrupted Hard Drive

Before recovering a damaged hard drive, you need to recover files from a corrupted hard drive first. Because some of the methods below to recover a hard drive may delete data on it, causing irreversible data loss.

The most effective method is to use a professional data recovery software like MyRecover. It is able to recover 200+ file types from a corrupted hard drive in Windows 7, 8, 10, 11, etc and Windows Server easily and quickly. And the success rate is quite high.

  • Support two advanced scanning methods -Quick Scan and Deep Scan to find all the lost or deleted files, such as Word documents, Excel files, PPT file, PDF, emails, compressed files, etc.
  • Filter specific files or file types quickly and recover them immediately once it’s found. Don’t need to wait until the scanning process is complete.
  • Keep the lost or deleted files with their original name, format, quality, and path.

To recover data from a corrupted hard drive, please download this data recovery software and install it on another working PC. You can free recover files up to 30MB each time.

Download SoftwareWin 11/10/8/7/Server
Secure Download

Step 1. Connect the corrupted hard drive to the working PC with data recovery software - MyRecover. Select the corrupted hard drive or partition on it and click Start Scan.​

select-a-partition-to-scan

Step 2. The combined scanning methods - Quick Scan & Deep Scan will automatically scan all the lost or deleted files on the selected hard drive. All the found files will be displayed below.

scan-lost-data

〓 To find specific files, you have two faster ways in the following:

#1: Type the file name in the Search for files or folders box.

#2: Use the Filter feature if you don’t remember the full name of the file. It has 3 options below. - Type, Data Modified, Size.

  • Type: It will contain all the file types in the local drive, such as, images, videos, documents, mails, webpage, compressed files, etc.
  • Data Modified: It supports today, yesterday, last 7 days, last 30 days, and custom.
  • Size: It allows you to filter file size from less than 128KB to 128KB ~1MB to 1MB ~ 512MB and above, or custom.

To recover deleted Word documents with the Filter feature: Click Filter > Type and select Documents. Then, input DOCX in the Search for files or folders box. It will list all of the detected Word documents on the drive. 

Search for Word Files

Step 3. Select all the critical files you want to recover and click Recover x files. Then, select a location to store these files and it will retrieve files to the selected folder automatically.

select-deleted-word-files-click-recover

Notes:

  • MyRecover will display the number of files to be recovered and their entire size.
  • Select a new location to store the deleted files. Retrieving files to original location may overwrite the space occupied by lost or deleted data, resulting in data recovery failure.
  • It still allows you to recover files from formatted hard drive, external hard drive, USB drive, etc.
  • Except for Windows 7, 8, 10, 11, etc, it still can recover deleted files from Windows Server 2016, 2019, 2022, etc.

How to Fix or Recover Corrupted Hard Drive

If you encounter a physical failure of the hard disk, which is generally irreversible, please contact a professional hard drive recovery service. 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 you with some effective methods to recover a corrupted hard drive.

Method 1. Try Motherboard USB Port or Another Machine

If your drive is inaccessible, except for the damaged disk, it may also be a broken USB port or the computer itself. To rule out these possibilities, you could try to connect your drive to the motherboard USB port and another working PC. If you still cannot access the disk, then the problem is disk-related.

Method 2. Fix Disk Errors on a Corrupted Hard Drive

Windows offers you the disk check feature to find any disk error and fix what they found on the corrupted disk. If your disk has problems, try it.

Step 1. Start This PC or My Computer. Right-click the corrupted hard drive and select Properties

Step 2. Then go to Tools on the upper-left side and click Check

properties-tools-check

Step 3.  Click Scan Drive to find any error on the disk and fix it.

scan-drive

Method 3. Repair Corrupted Hard Disk using Chkdsk CMD

The chkdsk command is the command-line version of disk check and it is more flexible to repair corrupted hard disk. Not only repair disk errors, it also helps to find out bad sectors on it and mark the space unusable.

Step 1. Type cmd in the search box, select it and Run as administrator.​

Step 2. Type chkdsk d: /f /r. Replace d: with the drive letter of your corrupted disk.

Chkdsk f r

Notes:

  • The /f parameter is to fix any found errors.
  • The /r parameter is able to fix any errors on the disk, search for bad sectors and mark the space as usuable.
  • To forcibly dismount the corrupted disk, you need to add the /x parameter.
  • If you don’t add any parameter, this command only displays the disk status and does not fix any errors.

Step 3. If the corrupted disk is a system disk, it will ask you to run this command at the next system startup. Type yes and press Enter to restart the system now.

Method 4. Maintenance of the Corrupted Hard Disk 

You can also start system maintenance to scan and fix disk errors on this corrupted hard drive.

Step 1. Go to Control Panel > System and Security and select Security and Maintenance.​

security-and-maintenance

Step 3. Scroll down to Maintenance and click Start maintenance.​

start-maintenance

Method 5. Scan for Viruses on a Corrupted Hard Drive

If you still cannot access your disk, it is feasible to run antivirus software like Windows Defender or third-party software - Norton Power Eraser to scan for viruses and remove them.

If you want to use Norton Power Eraser, please download Norton Power Eraser on another working PC. Because installing software on the corrupted disk may overwrite the data loss space, causing data recovery more difficult.

Step 1. Connect the corrupted hard disk to a working PC and launch Norton Power Eraser.

Step 2. On the main page, click Scan for Risks. It will fix and fix any potential risk on your system.

Scan for Risks

Method 6: Fix a Corrupted Hard Disk with SFC & DISM

If your disk damage is caused by a file system error, you could try SFC and DISM commands to check the corrupted system files and replace it with a working version. In addition, the DISM command also be able to verify to file system integrity and ensure there is no corruption remains.

Step 1. Press the Windows + X keys and go for the Windows PowerShell(Admin) option.

Step 2. In the command prompt window, type sfc /scannow and press Enter.

SFC Scannow

Step 3. Then, type DISM /Online /Cleanup-Image /RestoreHealth and press Enter.

Restore

Notes:

  • If you modified any system files, like DLL files, this method will revert them back to their original state.
  • If your system fails to boot, you could access to Windows recovery environment and launch Command Prompt here.

Method 7: Update or Reinstall the Disk Drivers

The disk drivers are responsible for communication between the operating system and hardware. If it’s outdated or corrupted, your system may not recognize your disk well. So you could try to fix a damaged hard drive by updating or reinstalling the drivers.

Step 1. Press the Win+R keys, input devmgmt.msc and press OK to start Device Manager.

Step 2. Expand Disk drives and find the corrupted hard disk. Right-click it and click Update drivers.

external-hard-drive-update-driver

Note: To reinstall the disk drivers, click Uninstall Device and complete the rest of the steps. Then restart your system to get new available drivers.

Step 3. Click Search automatically for drivers.

external-hard-drive-search-automatic-for-driver

Step 4. Click Update drivers, it will automatically download and install SSD drivers. Then, restart your computer to make the change take effect.

Method 8: Directly Format the Corrupted Hard Disk

Formatting is the last resort to repair a corrupted hard drive, since it will delete data on the disk or erase disk completely, depending the selected disk formatting option.

Step 1. Right-click the Start menu and select Disk Management.

Step 2. Right-click the damaged hard drive and select Format.

Format

Step 3. Check the Perform a quick format option if you don’t want to erase this disk and click OK. Conversely, uncheck this option.

quick-format-option

How to Prevent Disk Corruption and Data Loss

While it is difficult to avoid wear and tear on the hard drive day by day, you still could take good precautions to prevent damaged disk due to virus, disk format, file system errors, overheating, etc. Below are some feasible suggestions to help you.

  • Be careful with any operation (eg: format) on your drive. Any bumps may cause damage to the head or platters. 
  • keep your drive away from extreme heat or humidity.
  • Regularly update the drives and software on your PC.
  • Back up your disk or important data regularly to minimize data loss due to hard drive corruption. 
  • Do not visit dangerous websites containing viruses.
  • Keep antivirus software like Windows Defender on. You still could use third-party software like Norton Power Eraser.
  • Stop using this drive after data loss. This may greatly increase data loss risk.

Among them, the best way is to create a disk backup including the operating system, installed programs, personal data, drivers, etc. It gives you a chance to recover data from a corrupted hard drive and get your entire disk back quickly. I strongly recommend you free backup software - AOMEI Backupper Standard to create a scheduled backup.

Step 1. Download and run disk backup software - AOMEI Backupper Standard. Select Backup > Disk Backup.

Disk Backup

Step 2. Click + Add Disk button to select the disk you want to backup. Then select the new disk to store the backup image.

Add Disk

Step 3. Click Schedule Backup and enable Daily, Weekly, Monthly, Event trigger or USB plug in option. Then click Start Backup to backup the entire disk automatically.

Schedule Backup

FAQs

✍  What happens if a hard drive is corrupted?

If your hard drive is damaged, you may find your computer performance greatly slow down, even worse, you cannot access the drive and data on it. You may also receive error messages like “The file system is displayed as "RAW" or others.

✍ Can formatting HDD fix a corrupted hard drive?

This is one of the ways to repair a damaged hard drive, but it is not recommended if you don’t try other methods. The full format option will completely erase the drive, rebuild all its file structure and scan the disk to make sure everything is in working order.

✍ How to recover corrupted hard drive without formating?

Before repairing corrupted disk, you need to find out the cause of your problem. Then you could run disk check feature, sfc & DISM, virus scan, etc to fix it.

✍ How do I get files off a hard drive that won't boot?

You can choose to access the Windows recovery environment or another working PC and then move your data to a new location. Please connect your disk if it’s an external hard drive.

✍ Can HDD last forever if not used?

Even if you don’t use the disk, it will go bad one day in the future. It has lube or grease in the bearings of the main spindle or shaft. But over time, these lubricants will dry out.

Summary

This article introduced you to the symptom and possible reasons for corrupted hard drives and how to recover corrupted hard drives as well as data on them. It’s worth mentioning you need to recover data first. Otherwise, the lost or deleted data may be overwritten, making data recovery more difficult. The most effective method is using data recovery software like MyRecover.

There are many things you can do to avoid corrupted hard drives and data loss. The best way is to create a disk backup at a regular time. Even if your disk is physically damaged, you still can restore the disk including everything to a new one. Try free backup software - AOMEI Backupper Standard.

Lora
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.