By Stephanie / Last update May 12, 2022

Case: How can I recover my data from the hard disk?

“Help! Is anyone could tell me how can I recover my data from the hard disk? Any recommended hard drive data recovery software? I just lost everything on my PC! Is it possible to recover disk data? I just lost everything on my 2TB secondary hard drive! Tons of photos, videos, documents, games, game engine projects, visual studio projects, etc. was on there.”

Losing data is an unpleasant situation for most people who live a digital lifestyle. There are various instances in which you may accidentally delete data or empty your computer's recycle bin.

Don't panic if your internal or external hard disk fails or becomes inaccessible, causing you to lose important data. You'll get some useful tips that will allow you to quickly restore lost disk files and get your hard drive back up and running.

Common scenarios of disk data loss

There are various scenarios in which you may lose data due to a crashed hard disk. Data loss can occur as a result of physical damage to your hard drive or as a result of a logical data loss process.

The majority of physical damage scenarios are permanent, necessitating the assistance of a hard disk recovery service. Data loss that isn't caused by physical damage, on the other hand, can be simply recovered with hard disk data recovery software.

Accidental deletion. The most common mistake is emptying the recycle bin. Once it happens, the computer reference to where the files are stored is lost.  

Corrupted or crashed hard disk. Sometimes, the hard disk would be corrupted or crashed due to sudden interruption, power outage, or other logical errors.

Formatted hard disk. Users may accidentally format the partitions of the hard disk and then realize that some important files and documents have been deleted.

How to recover data from internal and external hard disks?

For data loss of the hard disk, data can be recovered with professional data recovery software or Command Prompt. To improve the recovery success rate, before performing hard disk recovery, please take attention to the following tips.

Do not make any new operations on the hard disk

  Do not format or reformat the hard disk

  Do not add new items to the hard disk

Reliable disk data recovery software-AOMEI Data Recovery for Windows

Generally, you could recover data from disks with disk data recovery software as long as your hard drive, SSD, or external hard drive is not physically damaged or broken.  Highly recommended the professional hard drive data recovery software -AOMEI Data Recovery for Windows. This software can recover more than 200 types of files from Windows storage devices, including pictures, videos, audio files, emails, documents, Microsoft files, etc.

Furthermore, it is intended for all levels of hard drive users, even for computer beginners. AOMEI Data Recovery for Windows can assist you in restoring deleted or missing files with a few clicks.   

AOMEI Data Recovery for Windows

Supported Devices: Hard drive (HDD/SSD), External hard drive, USB, SD card, digital cameras, etc.
Supported Cases: Deleting, formatting, virus infection, OS crash/reinstallation, etc.
Supported OS: Windows 10/8/8.1/7/Vista/XP, Windows Server 2019/2016/2012/2008/2003

Download SoftwareWin 11/10/8/7/Server
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Step 1. Download and install AOMEI Data Recovery for Windows on your computer. Select a partition of the disk to start the scanning process. 

select-a-partition-to-scan

Step 2. The program runs the scanning process quickly to search for deleted files and other missing files in this partition.

Tips: During the scanning process, you could recover any file you want by clicking "Recover files". 

scan-lost-data

Step 3. Select the file or the folder that you want to recover and click "Recover files".

recover-lost-data

Microsoft official data recovery tool-Windows File Recovery

Windows File Recovery is an official data recovery application released by Microsoft in 2020. It's a command-line app without a graphical user interface. So it's difficult to use for common users. Currently, it only supports Windows 10 and above. You could get it from the Microsoft Store.   

get-windows-file-recovery

Users need to input commands as the following format: 

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

There are two basic modes to choose from: Regular & Extensive. And there are two advanced modes in the Extensive mode: Segment & Signature. The file system of the disk decides the mode you use.  Regular only supports the NTFS file  system.  Follow the steps below to know how to use Windows File Recovery.

Step 1. Confirm what kind of file system your source drive is. Default only supports NTFS. Segment and Signature support NTFS, ReFS, FAT, and exFAT.    

File system

Examples

FAT and exFAT

SD cards, flash or USB drives (< 4GB)

NTFS

Computers (HDD, SSD), external hard drives, flash or USB drives (> 4GB)

 

Step 2. Check the data loss scenarios.

File system

Circumstances

Recommended mode

NTFS

Deleted recently

Regular

NTFS

Deleted a while ago

Segment, signature

NTFS

After formatting a disk

Segment, signature

NTFS

A corrupted disk

Segment, signature

FAT and exFAT

Any

Signature

Step 3.  Here are some common switches to use. There are different meanings for switches. 

/n: filter. Scans for a specific file by using a file name, file path, file type, or wildcards. 

/segment: Segment mode. A recovery option for NTFS drives using file record segments.

/y:: Recover specific extension groups, using comma to separate.

Examples:

Example 1. If you want to recover the specific document from C: drive to E: drive

(Path: \Users\Documents\FileRecovery.docx)

The command line: winfr C: E: /n \Users\\Documents\ FileRecovery.docx

Example 2. If you want to recover .PDF and .docx document from C: drive to E: drive

The command line: winfr C: E: /r /n *.pdf /n *.docx

Example 3. If you want to recover .ZIP files from C: drive to the Recovery folder on E: drive

The command line: winfr C: E:\Recovery /x /y:ZIP

Windows File Recovery Graphical User Interface Tool-WinfrGUI

WinfrGUI is a free tool invoking the function of Windows File Recovery to help all users utilize Windows File Recovery with a user-friendly interface. Users could recover deleted files from Windows 10 and above with clickable icons. It's easy to use for everyone. Download and install WinfrGUI on your computer.

Download Freeware Win 10 2004 and above
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Using command prompt to recover permanently deleted files in Windows 10/8/7 without software

The command prompt is the most common solution to recover permanently deleted files in Windows 10/8/7 without using any software. Although not 100% effective, it’s worth a try to recover deleted files in Windows. To recover permanently deleted files, the Attrib command needs to be used.

Step 1: Type “Command Prompt” in the Windows search bar and click “Run as administrator”.

Step 2: Type "chkdsk #: /f" then press Enter. (Replace # with the disk you want to recover from).

chkdsk-repair corrupted-hard-drive

Step 3: Type the command "ATTRIB -H -R -S /S /D #:*.*” and press Enter. (Replace # with the drive letter)

attrib-cmd

If you can’t recover the lost or deleted data from the partition of the hard disk or the whole partition is deleted or lost, you could find more partition data recovery solutions.

Bonus tips to avoid data loss from hard drive

How to prevent data from being lost in the future may be the most careful issue for those who have lost vital data. Here are some useful tips to help you avoid data loss from the hard drive.

  • If you hear some abnormal noise like clicking, you need to stop using the device and back up your important files and turn to repair centers for help.
  • Back up your vital data regularly to protect the data. You could use an external hard disk drive or a professional backup tool-AOMEI Backupper to keep your data safe.
  • Keep using antivirus software. Many viruses and malware could attack the hard disk and cause data loss.
  • The storage device should not be used in extreme heat or high humidity environments.

FAQ

✌ How to fix an external hard disk that is not working?

First, try another USB port and computer to see whether the external hard disk could work. And then you need to go to Disk Management to check the external hard disk is visible. If it is, you could create a new drive volume by right-clicking in Disk Management.

Otherwise, the external hard drive may have a hardware issue, driver problem, or a dead drive. You could update device drivers or format the external hard drive. Before formatting the device, you'd better recover data from the external hard drive.

✌ How to recover the lost partition for Windows 10?

If the partition is lost in internal and external hard disks, the easiest way is to recover the lost or deleted partition with professional software. AOMEI Partition Recovery Wizard is highly recommended to recover the entire partition. If you didn’t make any new operation the lost or deleted partition, the data in the partition would come back as well.

✌ How to recover data from a dead hard drive?

If your hard disk becomes unresponsive, try plugging it into another computer to see if it's dead. Look for software that is reputable and effective. To obtain your data, simply follow the recovery instructions. Consult a computer specialist in your area if you are unable to manually troubleshoot and retrieve data from your dead hard drive. However, if you can do it yourself, be sure you have all of the tools you'll need before you begin.

Conclusion

As a result, if your internal hard drive, SSD, or external storage device loses data due to a logical or erroneous operation, and if you lose data on a device that is still usable and recognized by the operating system, your best option is to ask for help from expert hard drive data recovery software to rescue your vital data easily.

If your hard drive gets physically damaged, a hard drive recovery service would be helpful. Anyway, backing up the important data is always the best way to keep the data from being lost. You could try the Windows backup freeware-AOMEI Backupper to make regular backups.