How to Recover Data from Formatted Hard Drive with or without Backups?

How to recover data from formatted hard drive with or without backup? This post with detailed ways to recover formatted hard drive data is worth reading.


By Lora / Updated on April 3, 2024

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“Can I recover data after formatting hard drive?”

In Disk Management, users could manage their disks, such as formatting, deleting, shrinking, and extending partitions/hard drives, changing drive letters, etc.

Some users who are not familiar with it might do some misoperations, like accidentally deleted partitions, or more severely, formatted partitions/hard drives.


How to recover data after accidental format?


Tried to transfer my PS4 data from my external SD drive (WD elements 1 TB) to my PS5. Made a stupid mistake. I accidentally format the drive before I transferred the data to my PS5. Is there anything I can do to recover this?


- Question from tom’s Hardware


Then, is it possible to recover data from formatted hard drive? It depends on how the hard disk is formatted, and how much data in it has been overwritten.


How did you format your hard drive?

When it comes to disk formatting, we are talking about an operation to initialize a disk, which cleans and wipes all the data on the drive.

In general, Disk formatting could be divided into two categories: Quick Format and Full Format, aka High-level Format and Low-level Format.


What is quick format/full format? Does quick format delete files? Check the descriptions here.

Quick Format A quick format only deletes the data on the hard drive, meanwhile, a brand new filesystem will be generated.
Full Format Except for building a file system and deleting all files, it also checks for bad sectors on the hard drive; what’s most important, it writes 0 to the hard drive, which will overwrite the data remained on the disk.

How the disk is formatted will influence the possibility of data recovery. When you quick format a disk, the access to the data won’t be genuinely removed, therefore, you could recover formatted hard drive data in this case.

While for a full format, the data in it will be overwritten by zeros, and thus the data will be gone for good, and you will be out of luck.

In the next part, methods to recover data from quick formatted hard drive will be given with details, let’s walk through all.

How to recover data from formatted hard drive?

In general, you could recover data from a formatted HDD (Hard Disk Drives) because the way that HDD logically deletes only the access to the data but not physically removes it;

While on SSD (Solid State Drive), data recovery is almost possible only with backups.

So, for those who possess a backup or they are using SSD, they could get data from the backup; for those who don’t have available backups, they could also rely on a professional data recovery tool.

Solution 1. Recover files from formatted hard drive via Windows backup

Backup and Restore feature is quite useful. It facilitates users to choose what they want to back up and could set a regular backup routine. If you possess one, just follow the process to undo quick format.

This method only applies to those who have made backups using this feature.

Step 1. Go to Control Panel > System and Security > Backup and Restore (Windows 7).


Step 2. Click Restore my files.


Step 3. Click Browse for files/folders > select the files you want > Next.


Step 4. Specify the destination to store your recovered data > click Restore. It is recommended to save the restored files on another drive but not in the original location.


In this way, you could get back data from formatted hard drive. Also, this method could help you restore deleted files not in Recycle Bin.

Solution 2. Achieve data recovery from formatted hard drive without backup

Without a backup, how to recover files from formatted hard drive? It won’t be a difficult task as long as you commit the correct actions.

Firstly, leave the accidentally formatted hard disk as it was, do not add more items to it, reformat it, and never try to rebuild MBR, etc.

Then, let an efficient Windows data recovery tool take charge and fix everything. MyRecover would be the best choice.

It is equipped with effective and well-developed scanning techs, scanning hard disks for deleted and missing files with ease.

Restore deleted files while keeping all format/filename/path/quality intact. 
Data recovery includes over 200 types of file extensions. 
Work excellently with HDD/SSD/ SD card/USB flash drive in Windows 11/10/8/7 SP 1& Server. 
Compatible with all file systems: NTFS, FAT32, exFAT, ReFS, etc.

Not only for internal hard disks, but it also assists users to recover photos from external hard drives. Download now to recover data from quick formatted hard drive effortlessly.

Download SoftwareWin 11/10/8/7/Server
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Step 1. Install and run the software > Hover the mouse over the formatted drive saved deleted files before, and click Scan.


Step 2. Scanning duration depends on the data size of the partition. You could directly select files to restore or wait for a full result.


Step 3. Go to other missing files > select the files you want, for instance, Images > click Recover x files to get them back.


With this wonderful tool, you won’t meet any trouble restoring permanently deleted files in Windows 10/8/7 and 11 as well.

Related suggestions: minimize the risk of data loss

With or without backups, you could find feasible methods to recover data from formatted hard drives in this article. Using data recovery software can save your time and labor.

What’s more, in case you may meet the same dilemma in the future, a couple of related suggestions will offer some help.

  • Before you know the results, do not delete or format a partition or hard drive in a hurry.
  • Keep your hard drive away from an extreme environment, like a humid, oily, high-heat, and dusty environment.
  • Do not shake or bump your delicate storage devices.
  • Save copies of your important data on an external hard drive to make a backup.

In this case, AOMEI Backupper could help you with its amazing backup features like File Backup, Disk Backup, System Backup, etc.

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.