By Penny / Last update May 10, 2022

Help! Can you help me recover data from hard drives?

   
   
   
       

Hello! I deleted some files and emptied my recycle bin. Today, I want to get them back. Could you give me some suggestions to recover deleted files from hard drives? Or is there any open-source or professional software that can solve this issue? Thanks.

- A user from Spiceworks

Those users who are eager to recover deleted files might panic. Don’t worry. It’s possible to recover deleted files from hard drives with accessible solutions. If your desired deleted files are not in the Recycle Bin like the user, you can read further and select other feasible solutions for your treatment.

How to recover deleted files from hard drives?

The hard drive is known as a hard disk drive (HDD), hard disk, or fixed disk. And HDD has dominated the secondary storage device for general-purpose computers since the 1960s. Therefore, many users are customized to save their documents, photos, videos, and other essential data on hard drives.

But it is unavoidable to suffer data loss while using computers. At the moment, the top priority is to recover data from hard drives in efficient and safe ways. Here are two feasible ways and two data recovery software for your reference.

Way 1. Recover deleted files from hard drives with File History

Built-in Windows, the first use of File History was in Windows 8. If you prefer the Windows feature for hard drive recovery, Windows File History is a good choice for you. You’re supposed to enable File History first, and you can recover deleted files with accessible backups. Recovering Word files also uses this method by setting up a drive to enable it.

Step 1. Enter Control Panel in the Windows search bar and click System and Security.

system-and-security

Step 2. Click “File History” > “Restore your files with File History”.

restore-your-files-with-file-history

Step 3. Click the “Restore personal files” button.

restore-personal-files

Step 4. You can browse all the content or input the name of your needed files in the search box.

Step 5.  Click “Restore” to retrieve your desired deleted files to the original location.

restore-deleted-file

If you want to save your recovered files in a new location, right-click “Restore” and select “Restore to”, then specify the destination location you want.

right-click-restore-restore-to

Way 2. Recover deleted files from hard drives with Windows File Recovery

Apart from that, Windows File Recovery also uses CMD to recover deleted files efficiently. Because one of the most exciting features is that Windows File Recovery can recover deleted files from your hard drives (internal or external drives).

Aimed at file recovery, this command-line program is only available for Windows 10 build 19041 or later from the Microsoft Store. Here comes two basic modes (Regular and Extensive) and two advanced modes (Segment and Signature). Furthermore, NTFS, non-NTFS, FAT, and ex-FAT file systems could be supported by this utility.

Given that Windows File Recovery lacks a graphical user interface, you’re expected to adjust the basic command line winfr source-drive: destination-drive: [/mode] [/switch] for varied situations, then enter your needed command lines.   

Notes:✎...
The source and destination drives must be different. That suggests your recovered files need to be saved in a new location from the scanning drive.   
Avoid using your PC as much as possible. And the space occupied by a deleted file is the free space. So it’s possible to retrieve the deleted files provided that the free space is not overwritten by new data.
 Follow these steps to check your file systems. Click “This PC” and right-click on your source drive, then click “Properties”.

check-file-system

Step 1. Click the “Get” button to download Windows File Recovery from the Microsoft Store, then install it on your computer.

microsoft-store-get

Step 2. Enter "Windows File Recovery" in the search box, and click “Run as administrator”.

windows-file-recovery-run-as-adminstrator

Step 3. Select a suitable mode with this guideline after checking your file system.

 If you deleted your files recently, select the Regular mode directly. Besides, select the Extensive mode.

Step 4. Combine command lines with the following common syntax.

Switches

Meaning

Supported mode(s)

/n

Filter the scan range: scans for a specific file with its file name/path/type, etc.

All

/y:

Recover specific extension groups.

Signature

/k

Recovers system files.

NTFS Segment

/u

Recovers undeleted files, for example, from the Recycle Bin.

NTFS Segment

For instance, you can enter winfr C: E: /n \Users\username\Documents\ in the Command Prompt window, and wait patiently, then you can recover files from the C drive and get recovered files on the E drive.

Step 5. Press “y” to continue. The size of your source drive has an impact on the process. If you want to stop the recovery process, press Ctrl + C.

WinfrGUI (Windows File Recovery GUI)

Windows File Recovery is indeed a powerful program for hard drive recovery. To some extent, it’s not a well-designed utility. Luckily, free WinfrGUI (Windows File Recovery GUI) fills this gap with a graphical user interface.

High quality can deserve your trust because it has enjoyed all the functions of Windows File Recovery. And it’s a user-friendly application for all users to recover data from hard drives with simple clicks without paying.

 Tips: If you suddenly stopped the scanning process, WinfrGUI still can recover data from the scanned data. Please don’t worry about this.
Download Freeware Win 10 2004 and above
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Step 1. Download and install WinfrGUI on your computer. Then select a partition to scan, then select another destination partition or folder to save your recovered files.

select-a-partition-to-scan

Step 2. Select Quick Scan or Deep Scan first. Then click the “Advanced Settings” button and select your desired file types or folders.

choose-scan-mode-to-recover

Step 3. Click the “Start Recovery” button. After scanning, your recovered files could be saved in your destination drive which you’ve chosen before.

click-start-recovery

AOMEI Data Recovery for Windows

WInfrGUI makes it impossible to recover deleted files with their original file names and formats. In this case, AOMEI Data Recovery for Windows is your best bet.

To be more specific, you can use it to recover the deleted/lost data in its original format. Here are other highlights of this professional software. 

Functionality: This professional tool can recover the deleted/lost files from SSD/HDD. And it supports NTFS, FAT32, exFAT, and ReFS in Windows. 

Flexibility: It can recover 200+ types of data. For instance,  Word, PPT, Excel, Photos, Videos, Audios, Emails, Webpages, and Compressed files are retrievable. 

Compabtilty: It can work well with Windows 11/10/8/7 and Windows Server. 

Friendliness: Even newcomers can operate this user-friendly tool with an intuitive user interface and easy-to-follow steps. 

If you're concerned about your data loss because of deletion, disk formatting, system crash, or more,  you can download and install AOMEI Data Recovery for Windows on your PC. Then try it out by yourself. 

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

Step 1. Launch it on your PC. After loading the disk, select the hard drive including your needed files before deletion. Then click "Start Scan".

select-a-partition-to-scan

Step 2.  The combined scanning method Quick Scan & Deep Scan will scan all the deleted files and other lost files on your selected hard drive.

scan-lost-data

Step 3. Choose your desired files and click "Recover x files". And locate a destination path to save your retrieved files. 

recover-lost-data

In conclusion

You can use the solutions above to recover deleted files from hard drives efficiently and safely.  Compared with complicated command lines, perhaps you prefer AOMEI Data Recovery for Windows.

It would be a devastating experience for some individuals to recover data from hard drives. At the moment, it’s necessary to make easy-to-use backups for Windows. A highly praised backup software, AOMEI Backupper can assist you with making automatic, full, incremental, and differential backups within clicks. It also enables you to upgrade disk or data migration with the cloning tech. Why not have a try?