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How to Access Hard Drive without Formatting

Updated on Dec 29, 2018 by Jean to Data Recovery


Hard drive suddenly needs formatting before you can open or access data on it? This page introduces the best hard drive recovery software to help access hard drive without formatting and open raw hard drive without formatting.

You need to format the disk before you can use it

"This is the exact error I got when trying to open a removable disk on Windows 10. External hard drive suddenly needs formatting. I am so worried about the pictures and files there. Is there any way to access data on a hard drive without formatting?"

you need to format the hard drive before you can use it

Do not format the disk before finding a way to access data on it

Windows would ask you to format a connected hard drive when something went wrong, such as hard drive developed bad sectors, hard drive corrupted and its file system becomes RAW. What would be the consequences of the matter? Apparently, we can't open the drive normally, and the worst part is, which all of us would try every means to avoid, the massive data loss.

So, stop for a while as soon as external hard drive gave not formatted error, close the dialog box and take the right steps to rectify the problem without losing your important data files.

How to Open Hard Drive and Access Data Without Formatting

In order to access hard drive without formatting, there is no other way but ask help from a data recovery program. EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard is able to read the RAW file system and recover data from a RAW drive. You can download the demo version of the hard drive recovery software and give it a try.

How to start hard drive recovery with EaseUS hard drive recovery software:

Step 1. Choose a location to scan.

  • Make sure that all hard drives were correctly connected and recognized by the software. Refresh an external hard disk if necessary.
  • From which drive was data lost? Choose the relevant hard drive partition by left-clicking on it.
  • Click the Scan button.
select your hard drive and click scan

Step 2. Wait for the scanning results.

  • It takes a while for EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard to complete the scan, all depending on how much disk space is used on the selected hard drive.
  • As you see, the "Deleted files" result would come our first, later it's all lost data result.
  • You can try to recover lost data as soon as it shows up even though the scanning process has not finished yet.
scan the lost data on the hard drive

Step 3. Filter the result and recover data.

There are multiple ways for you to find the target files. Anyway, choose the quickest method.

  • Lost Partition Files: more lost data are going to be found on your selected partition and put in this section if it was formatted or deleted in early time.
  • Extra Files: a deep-scan result for raw files even though the file names and file paths have been lost. 
  • Filter: extremely useful when you're looking for a specific type of files such as pictures, documents, music, videos, etc.

Select files and click the Recover button. (You can always choose to preview files before purchasing a license code for a full hard drive data recovery. )

select files and click recover

How to Repair & Open a Hard Drive Without Formatting

After you successfully export and recover data from inaccessible hard drive with EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard, you can now try to repair the corrupted hard drive using cmd, and open it without trouble anymore.

Step 1. Open Start and type cmd to open Command Prompt window.

Step 2. Type chkdsk g:/f and hit Enter. (Replace g with the correct drive letter)