Recover Unformatted Partition: Restore Data & Fix Partition Easily

This tutorial presents how to recover data from unformatted partitions in hard disks and external hard drives with three solutions and how to fix the unformatted hard drive.


By Lora / Updated on March 14, 2022

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What is an unformatted partition?

An unformatted or RAW file system can’t be recognized and mounted by Windows operating system, as a result, Windows invites you to format it in order to create a new file system. Pay attention to not format it. Generally, the file system becomes unformatted or RAW with the following common error messages.

The disk in drive is not formatted. Do you want to format it now?
F is not accessible. The file or dictionary is corrupted and unreadable. You need to format the disk in drive F before you can use it.
Do you want to format it? F is not accessible.
The volume does not contain a recognized file system.

An unformatted partition cannot be opened in Windows, but data stored in the unformatted partition may usually be recovered by using effective and professional partition recovery tools.

Partition recovery is the process of recovering data from a deleted, formatted, RAW, unformatted, or damaged drive, and you could use partition recovery software to restore data from an unformatted partition.

After retrieving data from the unformatted partition, using Windows built-in tools or freeware to repair and format it for reuse.

How to fix the unformatted partition?

There are three ways to fix the unformatted partition. After you recover the data from the unformatted partition, Windows built-in tools could help you to fix it.

Method 1. check the unformatted hard drive for errors via Windows built-in tool

Error Checking, a built-in Windows utility, is created to scan internal and external drives for faults. When you insert the external hard drive to the computer, this tool will automatically be shown in a popup. If not, you could follow the steps to check errors manually.

Step 1: Open This PC/My Computer, right-click the unformatted partition, and select “Properties”.

Step 2: Click on “Tools” and find error checking. Click “Check” to proceed.


Step 3: If the tool checks errors on the unformatted partition, a message “Restart your computer to repair the file system. You can restart right away or schedule the error fixing on next restart.” will be shown. If this method couldn’t solve the hard drive unformatted error, method 2 and method 3 may help a lot.


Method 2. Formatting the unformatted partition in Disk Management

Formatting the unformatted partition is the quickest and easiest solution, after which you need to run anti-virus software to scan all of your hard drives. The unformatted partition uns

Step 1: Press Win + R and input “diskmgmt.msc” in the Run window to open Disk Management.

Step 2: Right-click the unformatted partition and select “Format”.


Step 3: Go to This PC or My Computer to check whether the partition is accessible again.

Method 3. Repair unformatted partition via freeware

There is another choice to fix and format the unformatted partition for some users who are not familiar with the Diskpart command to fix an unformatted partition.

AOMEI Partition Assistant Standard, a free disk manage tool, to help you solve kinds of partitions problem. With multiple functions, AOMEI Partition Assistant Standard wins a lot of reputation from computer users.

With the freeware, you could check for bad sectors in the partition and rebuild the MBR of the unformatted partition. If all the methods don't work, AOMEI Partition Assistant also supports formatting the partition.

Download Freeware Win 10/8.1/8/7/XP
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Check bad sectors on the unformatted partition

Step 1: Install and open AOMEI Partition Assistant Standard. Right-click the unformatted partition. Select “Advance”> “Check Partition”.


Step 2: Tick “Check whether there is bad sector on the partition” in the popup menu and click “OK”. Then click “Start” to proceed.


Rebuild MBR of the unformatted drive

Step 1: Right-click the unformatted hard drive and select “Rebuild MBR”.


Step 2: Set the type of MBR for your current operating system and click “OK”.


Step 3: Go back to the main interface, click “Apply”> “Proceed” to complete the operation.


Format the unformatted partition

Step 1: Right-click on the unformatted partition and select “Format Partition”.


Step 2: You could name the drive by editing “Partition Label” and change file system in the popup window according to your needs. Click “OK” to proceed.


Step 3: Click “Apply” in its main interface to complete partition formatting.

How to recover data from an unformatted partition?

For users who don’t have the backup of vital data, once the partition is formatted, the files stored in the partition will be erased cleanly. Before formatting it, the first thing is to move the data in the partition to a safe place. A third-party data recovery software would be the best choice.

When it comes to retrieving data from unformatted partitions, there are a few options. Recoverit Data Recovery is a safe and reliable unformatted partition recovery tool that can recover all data from an unformatted partition.

Step 1: Select your unformatted partition and click “Start” to process.


Step 2: The tool will scan the partition automatically. Then all the data will be displayed and you could preview the files and click “Recover” to store your data.


Step 3: After recovering all the data in the unformatted partition to a safe place via the software, then you need to open This PC or My Computer to format the partition.


Right-click on the unformatted partition and select the Format option on the pop-up menu. Then tick NTFS or FAT32 under the File system label. Then click "Start" > "OK".

Further reading: what to do when you formatted a wrong partition?

After you formatted the wrong device and how to unformat the drive? For a Mac user, Unformat Mac Hard Drive would be helpful. For Windows users, you could follow the tips below to unformat your drive safely and get all data back immediately.

When you formatted a wrong partition in a hard drive, an external USB drive, or an SD card, there are two things you need to do:

  • First, stop using it. Do not make any new operation to the hard drive or storage devices to protect the data from being overwritten or covered.
  • After that, get assistance from professional and reliable data recovery software.
  • Besides, always backup all your vital data in other storage devices or an easy backup tool-AOMEI Backupper to help you find your files back easily.


To sum up, if you want to reset or return your device's file system to a previous format, you could do so after saving the recovered data to another secure location. With the help of a dependable data recovery tool, unformatted partition recovery would be a piece of cake.

Finally, to protect your valuable files from getting formatted, it's a good way to make a full backup of your vital data. You may either copy and paste files one by one by hand or use trusty file backup software to back up all of your data at once.

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.