Recover Formatted Hard Drive – 6 easy steps to follow

How to recover formatted hard drive?

how to recover data from formatted hard drive

How to recover formatted hard drive?

‘How can I recover formatted hard drive with deleted data’ is a question I have come across several times from computer users. There is no need to panic if you have accidentally formatted your hard disk containing important files. With the help of right tools you still have chances to restore your valuable files, data or photos even after format either yourself or by a professional data recovery company who can help you to recover most, if not all, of the erased data on the disk.

Possibility to recover formatted hard drive with deleted files

Let us first look into the practicability to recover formatted hard drive with the files and data on it. Formatting of a storage device, such as a hard drive, is done to prepare the drive so that your computer can recognize it for eventual storage of user data or sometimes when you want to convert the FAT File System to NTFS File System. While formatting, the operating system checks the disk for reliability of the sectors, marks bad sectors, and creates a new directory structure, or internal ‘address table’ onto the disk for use at a later date to locate information on the disk. During the formatting process most of the files on the disk except for the data on the ‘address table’, remain untouched and no data on the disk actually gets erased. They just don’t become visible as they are no longer part of the directory structure. This offers good chance to recover formatted hard drive/disk with apparently lost data using a good data recovery program. But remember, once your formatted partition is overwritten by new content, you will lose the chance to restore your vital data, files or photos back from the formatted drive.

Here I will try out a free but powerful program namely, ‘EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard Free’, which once saved my day from a hopeless situation when I ended up formatting the wrong drive on my computer. The step by step guide given below will show you how to recover formatted hard drive with the help of this free format recovery software in few simple steps.

Before we can begin, there are a few basics we need to follow:

  1. Do a back-up before you try the recovery;
  2. Don’t install the software on the drive where you lost your data to keep your data protected from overwritten;
  3. Ensure to save the recovered files& data to a place other than the formatted drive to avoid overwriting of original data;

Steps to recover formatted hard drive with ‘EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard Free’

Step-1: Download and install ‘EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard Free‘ on your computer;

Note: If you cannot boot the computer, connect the hard drive to another computer as slave to recover lost data.

Step-2: Launch the program after installation and select the file types you want to recover from the ‘lost file types select’ window that appears displaying 6 different categories. By default, all the categories are checked on the page. Click the ‘next’ button;

recover formatted hard drive

Step-3: From the interface window that appears select the location (partition/drive) from where you lost your data and click the “Scan” button to start finding the lost files/data. If you lost your partition, select “Lost Disk Drives” and “Scan” to continue the recovery process;

recover data from formatted hard drive

Step-4: The initial scan will display the status of recovery in the process bar in the upper part of the interface window that appears. This first scan will be very quick and it will list all the files that are simply deleted or cleaned from the recycle bin. Next to the process bar there are Stop and Pause buttons to allow you to temporarily pause the scan and resume it later.

A pop up window will remind you to use Deep Scan for a further recovery initially after you get the first scan result. Use deep scan for a further sector by sector detail scan by clicking ‘deep scan’ button at the bottom left of the initial scan result interface. This will take longer than the first scan. Wait for the scanning process to complete. Do not interrupt the process in the midway if not necessary;

how to recover data from formatted hard drive

Use Deep Scan under the following 2 situations:

1. You cannot find the files you need from the first scan.
2. The recovered files cannot be correctly open.

Step-5: The final scan result interface displays all the recoverable files and folders. The interface is divided into 3 parts. At the left is the Directory Tree list, the window in the middle displays all the files and folders under the folder selected in the left window with more info (date and type). The window at the right side displays a thumbnail and info for the file selected in the middle window. It provides a ‘preview’ option to preview the listed recoverable files one by one. After the preview, select the files you want and press ‘Recover’ button to recover and save them on your PC or storage device;

recover formatted hard drive

Step-6: Save the recovered files on another partition or drive instead of the formatted one, for it may result in original data being overwritten and permanent data loss;

how to recover data from formatted hard drive


Now that you know how to recover data from formatted hard drive, here is a piece of advice to avoid a distressing situation as a result of unforeseen loss of precious data from your hard drive.

While it is true that you can safely recover formatted hard drive with all your apparently lost data on it with the help of the right format recovery software as mentioned in this post, it is better to be able to get the data back quickly than have to go through these lot of extra things every time a drive crashes or gets formatted mistakenly. Therefore, in my opinion the best data recovery solution is one that you can carry out on your own, which is data back-up. Backing up important files on a regular basis could be a lifesaver in case of data loss due to unforeseen eventuality.

3 Responses to “Recover Formatted Hard Drive – 6 easy steps to follow”

  1. Castle Computers

    Sep 22. 2015

    Recovering data from a hard drive is always quite difficult to do. You’ve written a fantastic guide here. We’ve also written an article on a very similar topic and would be happy for you to use the information within our article also.

    Reply to this comment
  2. David

    Apr 25. 2016


    When data is saved to a hard drive it is stored in available or “free” sectors, these sectors are then marked as “used” and the information relating to these sectors are stored in header tables which tells the hard drive where that data can be found for future use.

    When a file is deleted (or the drive formatted) then the header tables are deleted and the sectors containing that data are marked as “available”. What is important is that the original data is still present however it can no longer be found without the associated header table information and can now be overwritten by new data (because sectors are now marked available).

    Thanks for sharing this informative postc with us…

    Good Read!!

    Reply to this comment
  3. Oliver Powell

    Aug 08. 2016

    Recovering data from hard drive are now easy with the Stellar Phoenix Data Recovery Software. Actually, I have reached this software from Guys, I have used this software, and trust me, this software has the potential to recover your data very easily… Thanks for sharing the post with us…

    Reply to this comment

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