How to Recover Data from Unbootable Hard Drive (5 Ways)

In this tutorial, you can learn to how to recover data from unbootable hard drive. A useful data recovery tool and other solutions will be introduced.


By Zoey / Updated on December 13, 2023

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Encountering the unbootable hard drive can be a distressing situation. Do not worry, as a solution lies within our comprehensive guide on rescuing data from an uncooperative hard drive. Your valuable files need not face jeopardy just because your laptop is giving you a hard time.

Delving into the intricacies, we'll unravel the potential culprits behind this non-booting conundrum. Following this, we'll present a repertoire of five top-notch techniques to recover data from unbootable hard drive,, ensuring that your data retrieval journey is swift and efficient. Fear not the prospect of losing crucial files; our methods will whisk them away to a haven in no time. Let's embark on this data recovery expedition without delay.

Why is your hard drive unbootable?

The myriad of potential culprits contributing to your laptop's refusal to boot can be as diverse as they are vexing. Ranging from glitches in the operating system to hardware malfunctions, the spectrum of issues capable of rendering your computer inert is broad. Your course of action, whether troubleshooting or considering a new laptop, hinges on identifying the root cause.

Among the prevalent impediments preventing a successful boot, we encounter the following suspects:

  • Faulty electrical connection: Prolonged exposure to thermal cycles in aging computers can disrupt the motherboard's connection to crucial components like memory modules or video cards.
  • Power supply failure: Ailing power cables, batteries, or other components can pose substantial barriers to your laptop's booting process.
  • Operating system failure: Indicators of an operating system collapse include unusual sounds, error messages, or difficulties initiating your computer, often precipitated by corrupted files or malware invasions.
  • Faulty hardware: In the face of hardware glitches, your laptop's ability to boot becomes compromised, with potential culprits ranging from a faltering graphics card to issues with the hard drive or motherboard.
  • Human error: A common disruptor, inadvertent deletion of crucial operating system files can irreparably hamper your system's ability to initiate the boot sequence.

How To Recover Data From a Hard Drive That Won't Boot

When confronted with a non-booting laptop, it's prudent to safeguard your files before delving into the intricacies of the underlying issue. To assist you in this endeavor, we've curated a selection of methods tailored to facilitate data recovery from a stubbornly uncooperative laptop hard drive.

Method 1: Recover Data From an Unbootable Hard Drive with MyRecover

For the first method, employing a reliable data recovery tool stands out as a paramount solution to recover files from unbootable hard drive. Our recommendation is MyRecover, a robust data recovery software renowned for its efficacy in swiftly recovering data from hard drive that won't boot.

Create a Bootable Disk in MyRecover

Download and install MyRecover on a normal working Windows PC. Attach a USB flash drive or insert a blank CD/DVD to your computer.

Download Software Windows 11/10/8/7/Server
Secure Download

Step 1. Launch MyRecover > click Crashed PC Recovery.

crashed pc recovery

Step 2. Select a way to create the WinPE bootable disk according to your needs and click"Execute".


There are three ways available to create a bootable disk based on Windows PE.

  • USB Boot Device: To create a bootable USB Device.
  • Export ISO File: Use this method to make a bootable ISO file. After the ISO is exported, you need to burn it with a third-party burning program. Or, you can use the ISO to boot some virtual machines or burn it to other devices.
  • Burn to CD/DVD: To create a bootable CD/DVD. Here we take a USB Boot Device for example.

Tip: "Add Drivers" allows you to manually add additional and necessary drivers into the bootable disk so that more devices will be available after you boot into WinPE.

Step 3. After you select the way and proceed, there will be a pop-up information window. The USB flash drive needs to be formatted and all data on it will be lost. If there is important data on it, please first make a backup. If you confirm, please click"Yes" to continue.

confirmation window

Step 4. The creation operation will start and you can check the creation process. The progress of creating a WinPE bootable USB drive will take a few minutes.

creation process

Step 5. Once it is finished, you will get a successful message. And, you will get a notice of steps to boot from the bootable disk and then recover from crashed PC. Follow them to recover data from unbootable hard drive easily.


MyRecover facilitates the creation of a bootable USB, enabling you to initiate your crashed computer and seamlessly retrieve your essential files. All that's required are a blank USB, an external hard drive, and access to a functional computer.

Powerful Data Recovery Software
  • Streamlined and efficient data recovery from crashed hard drives.
  • Comprehensive data recovery solutions encompassing system crashes, deletions, disk formatting, Recycle Bin purges, and more.
  • Restoration of lost and deleted data from both internal and external hard drives in a straightforward three-step process.
  • Retrieval of deleted data with the original format, filename, and path intact.
  • Extensive compatibility with over 200 types of recoverable data, spanning photos, videos, office files, zip files, and more.
  • Compatibility with Windows 7/8/10/11 & Server.

This method ensures a swift and effective recovery process, putting your mind at ease when grappling with an uncooperative laptop hard drive.

Method 2: Use System Restore

For the second method, resolving an unbootable laptop and recovering data can be achieved through the strategic use of the System Restore option. This approach not only fixes the booting issue but also allows for the retrieval of valuable data. Prior to initiating this method, ensure you've created a bootable USB drive using the aforementioned steps.

Follow these steps to rectify an unbootable laptop and retrieve data using System Restore:

1. Boot from the bootable USB drive

Initiate your laptop using the bootable USB drive.

Navigate through the Windows Setup screen, selecting the appropriate language and keyboard layout. Click Next.

2. Access Repair options

Click on "Repair your computer."

Repair your computer


3. Go to System Restore

Select Troubleshoot from the options.

Click on Advanced Options > System Restore.

System restore pe


4. Choose the operating system you want to recover.

5. Follow the instructions

Adhere to the on-screen instructions, completing the process by clicking Finish.

6. Restart your computer

Method 3: Recover Data From a Unbootable Hard Driveby Booting from a USB

In the third method, salvaging data from an unresponsive laptop involves the creation of a bootable USB drive, offering a straightforward and effective solution. This approach allows you to initiate your crashed laptop and extract the necessary data. Creating a bootable USB drive is a relatively quick process that can be accomplished with minimal effort.

Follow the steps here:

1. Go to the official Windows download page from a functional PC.

2. Locate on the "Create Windows Installation Media" section and choose Download tool now. Open the installation file.

3. Tap "Create installation media (USB flash drive, DVD, or ISO file) for another PC". Click Next. Set it up according to the instruction.


create installation media


4. Plug a blank USB into your computer. Choose the "USB flash drive" option and click Next. Select your USB drive from the list and click Next to proceed.

5. Once the download is complete, you'll have a bootable USB drive ready for use. Employ the bootable USB drive to initiate your computer now.

Extract the desired data and save it to an external hard drive.

Method 4: Put Hard Drive in Another Device

The fourth method involves a physical approach to data recovery by extracting the unbootable laptop's hard drive and connecting it to another functional device. This straightforward procedure provides an alternative means of accessing and retrieving your valuable data.

Follow these steps to recover your data using this method:

1. Use a functional computer where you can plug in your hard drive properly. Remove the hard drive from the unbootable computer.

2. Once safely removed, connect the extracted hard drive to the identified working device.

3. Access data on the connected hard drive from the working computer.

If successful, proceed to recover the data to a secure location, preferably an external hard drive.

Method 5: Ask for Professional Help

If you have tried all the above methods and still cannot restore hard drive, contacting a professional can be your solution. Please ensure that they are reliable and legitimate.

Final Words

In conclusion, when faced with the frustrating scenario of an unbootable hard drive, the potential loss of access to your data can be distressing. But the good news is that data recovery is indeed possible.

Several methods can be employed to recover unbootable hard drives. Options include leveraging data recovery tools like MyRecover, initiating a boot from a USB drive, utilizing System Restore, and connecting the hard drive to another device. Should these approaches prove unsuccessful, seeking professional help emerges as a prudent last resort.

Zoey · Editor
Zoey works as an English editor of AOMEI Technology. She provides tech information about backup and restore, mobile data transfer, and so on for AOMEI. She hopes that her articles will be greatly helpful for users. She is fond of music, film, and photography.