The Best Way to Recover Files From a Formatted Windows Hard Drive

One of the most problematic disk issues you can experience as a Windows user is to be faced with an accidentally formatted hard drive. You may have purposely formatted a disk and then in hindsight realized that contained information that you need. Perhaps someone accidentally formatted your D drive when they meant to format the F drive. Regardless of how you arrived at this point, you will need to perform a hard drive recovery in order to get the important data from that formatted disk.

Recovery can be done in a number of ways. The easiest would be if you had a recent backup of the drive in question. Then it would be a simple matter of using your backup media to enact an HDD recovery which would give you access to the files that were blown away during the drive format.

We all know that best practice suggests that everyone backs up their machines regularly, perhaps even every day. In many cases, users of personal computers do not follow best practices and may not engage in creating backups of their machines at all. If you are faced with needing data from a formatted hard drive with no backup then you need to use hard drive recovery software.

How Does Formatting Affect Your Files?

When a hard drive gets formatted, your computer’s operating system can no longer reference the data on the disk. Until the drive sectors are overwritten, there is a possibility of recovering the data that resided on the disk prior to its formatting. The files are still there and the pointers required by the operating system can be recreated by using data recovery software.

To minimize the chances that any of your data will be lost by being overwritten, you should immediately stop using the drive in question. When using data recovery software such as Disk Drill for Windows, download and install the program on a different drive or partition.

Let’s take a look at how you can recover deleted files on Windows if you have inadvertently formatted a drive.

Restore Deleted Files From a Formatted Drive with Disk Drill

When faced with a stressful situation such as recovering from a formatted hard drive, the last thing you need is a complex recovery procedure. Disk Drill removes the complexity from data recovery. Even a user with only average computer skills can make use of this powerful application. Here are the steps to follow to recover your files with Disk Drill.

  1. Download and install the free version of Disk Drill which allows you to recover 500 MB without purchasing a fully licensed copy of the app.
  2. If you are trying to recover data from your boot disk, restarting your machine can cause further damage to your files. Use Disk Drill’s facility to create a boot drive with its Create Boot Drive Wizard and then use the newly created drive to run Disk Drill.
  3. Launch the program and select the drive from which you want to recover files.
  4. Click the “Recover” button to initiate the scan. You will be presented with a list of files to preview what the tool can restore.
  5. Select the files that you want to recover and choose a restore location that is different from their original location.
  6. Click “Recover” a second time to perform the actual file recovery. When complete, go to your recovery location and verify your files have indeed been successfully restored.

Hopefully, all of the files that you wanted to recover can be accessed and restored by Disk Drill. It’s undoubtedly your best chance of recovering files from a formatted hard drive.