Guide To Recover Data From Formatted Hard Drive [2024]

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Summary: Formatting a hard drive is fine when done intentionally on a correct drive without any important data on it, if you had done it on any other drives and lost data on the hard drive without any backup? Then this detailed guide will help you perform formatted HDD data recovery. Read till the end for more useful tips and solutions on it.

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How To Recover Files From Formatted Hard Drive?

Recovering data from a formatted hard drive is possible and the chances of recovery completely depend on what level of formatting was done in the drive. I.e., Quick Formatting or Full Formatting.

Quick Formatting: Only deletes the record of the files, so that the data is still existing on the hard disk, only the OS will not be aware of this and cannot access the data. The space can be overwritten by new files.

Full Formatting: In full formatting, all the data blocks are overwritten with zeros look for bad sectors in the process, and take more time to complete.

The chances of recovering data from a quick formatted drive are higher than from a full formatted drive and it is even higher if you haven’t used the drive after formatting to avoid the data overwriting.

Apart from all these, you need to choose a proper method that helps to recover the deleted data
Preparing hard drive for recovery. The next section will assist you with that. Keep following:

3 Solutions To Retrieve Data From Formatted Hard Drive

1. Use Data Recovery Software:

If you haven’t backed up your hard drive before formatting then you must know how to recover the formatted drive without backup. SFware Data Recovery software is a simple easy-to-use software that is efficient in recovering files after formatting a hard drive.

Works on both internal hard drives and external hard drives on both Windows and Mac OS.

Free Download for WindowsFree Download for Mac

Steps to Recover Formatted Hard Drive using SFWare Data Recovery Tool:

Step 1: Launch the tool, select your hard drive, and click on the hard drive and click on Scan

Step 2: View the Folders (Deleted Files and Lost and Found Files) for the recovered files from you hard drive

check for the recovered files and folders in the respective folders


Step 3: Locate files that you need to recover.
(Make use of the search box and Filter options)

locate the recovered external hard drive data


Step 4: Double-click to preview any file.

preview the recovered files from the hard drive

Step 5: Choose the files and Click on Save to restore them on your device.

save the recovered data on your preferred locations

NOTE: Make sure to save it in a new location to avoid the chances of losing the file again.

2. Recover Data From Backup

In case you have taken a backup of your hard drive data on any external hard drive or cloud storage, now is the good to use them if you have done it you don’t have to worry about overwriting, full format, or any other loss scenarios.

If you are using backup utilities like the Windows File History feature then almost all the minute changes will be recorded, and you can retrieve the formatted hard drive data from file history.

  • Search for “Restore your files with File history” to open the file history window
  • Select the files that you would like to restore and click on the restore (green button), for a new location right-click on the file and choose Restore to.

choose the file history option to recover the data

3. Windows File Recovery Tool

You can download Windows File Recovery from the Microsft store and recover the formatted hard drive using this command: winfr source-drive: destination-drive: [/switches].

Ex: winfr C: D: /n \Users\Documents\test.Docx (Rember to keep the source drive must be different from the destination drive)

After the recovery process, a recovery folder is created “Recovery_<date and time> “on the destination drive.

The drawback of this tool is that it hasn’t been updated in a while and there is a chance of data overwriting in case of any errors.

Other Solutions To Restore Data From Formatted Hard Drive

If none of the DIY solutions worked, you can opt for a reliable formatted hard drive recovery service near you and let the experts handle this situation.

Make sure you opt for a service that has a good reputation and is reasonably priced to perform the recovery services.

Data recovery services

Situations Where Hard Drive Formatting Is Unavoidable

There are several situations where formatting the hard drive is inevitable, beware of these and plan to take a backup before doing these so that you can prevent data loss.

  • OS installation.
  • Changing the partitions on the hard drive.
  • Virus and Malware attacks.
  • Hard drive corruption.

Additionally, Formatting a hard drive is recommended to avoid hard drive issues like frequent crashes, freezing, or slow response times.


Make sure you take precautionary measures like taking a backup, password protection, using read-only for important data, and being mindful while formatting a hard drive.

We hope the solutions listed in this article helped you recover data from formatted hard drive with detailed information about formatting and recovering as well.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Can I undo the formatting?
No, there is no undo option available to reverse the formatting.

2. Is it possible to recover files from a wiped hard drive?
Recovering data from a wiped hard drive is a difficult job if it’s overwritten with 0 & 1 then the data is ruined

3. How to recover photos from a formatted hard drive?
Yes, you can recover photos from a formatted hard drive using a capable recovery tool like SFware data recovery tool.

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