Why Do You Format a Hard Drive

There are several reasons why you may need to format a disk. When you format a disk, the operating system erases all bookkeeping information on the disk, tests the disk to make sure all sectors are reliable, marks bad sectors, and creates internal address tables that will be used later to locate information. In a word, you need to format a disk before you can use it.

This can be useful in a number of situations:

  1. - If you're selling or giving away your computer, you'll want to format the hard drive first to make sure that all of your personal data is erased.
  2. - If you're upgrading to a new hard drive, you can format your old one and use it as extra storage space.
  3. - If you're upgrading to a new system, you need to format a disk to be compatible with a new computer system or device.
  4. - If your hard drive has become corrupted, formatting it may fix the problem.

Of course, formatting a hard drive also means that you'll lose any and all data that was on the drive, so be sure to back up anything important before proceeding.

How Was a Hard Drive Formatted

The first step in formatting a hard drive is to open up your computer's settings and access the disk management tool. This will allow you to view all of the drives connected to your computer, including any internal or external storage devices. Depending on your operating system, you may have several different tools available for managing your disks and partitions.

Once you've identified the drive that needs to be formatted, you'll need to select it and choose a format type. Most modern systems support multiple file formats, such as FAT32 or NTFS. It's important to choose a format that is compatible with both your existing computer system and any new devices you may want to connect in the future.

Whether you're formatting a hard drive, flash drive, or other types of storage media, the basic steps are generally the same: connect the disk to your computer, open any necessary formatting software, and follow the prompts to complete the process.

Can a Formatted Hard Disk Be Recovered

Can a formatted hard disk be recovered? The short answer is yes - it is possible to recover data from a formatted hard disk using specialized data recovery tools. While formatting the hard disk erases all existing files and other data stored on the disk, it does not completely overwrite or remove this information. Instead, it simply reorganizes the location of this data and leaves it in a state that can be read by most data recovery tools.

There are several factors that can affect the success of recovering data after formatting a hard disk, including the type of format used and how long ago the formatting occurred. Some types of formats may offer better recovery results than others, and if you perform frequent backups of your important information, you may be able to restore files that have been lost due to formatting.

If you are looking to recover data from a formatted disk, there are several tools and techniques that you can use depending on the circumstances of your situation. Some options include using dedicated data recovery software, working with a professional data recovery service, or attempting to restore the information yourself by rebuilding the partition table on your hard disk.

Ultimately, whether or not it is possible to recover data after formatting depends on many different factors - so if you have lost important information due to a formatted hard disk, it is best to use a data recovery tool or consult with a data recovery expert for advice specific to your situation.

How to Recover Formatted Hard Drive with Data Recovery Software

Many users do not back up data before formatting the disk, so you need to know how to restore the formatted disk without a backup. EaseUS data recovery program can help you restore data from formatted hard drive on both Windows and Mac computers.

 Download for Win Recovery Rate 99.7%
 Download for Mac Trustpilot Rating 4.7

With the constant data recovery research and development, EaseUS data recovery software has been helping worldwide users with deleted, formatted, and inaccessible data recovery for over 10 years now. It's known to be the top-notch data recovery program, in terms of ease of use, deep scan speed, high data recovery success rate, and quick customer support.

Learn how to recover formatted SD card.

To recover formatted hard drive data with EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard, follow the three-step guide below:

On Windows 11/10/8/7:

Note: To guarantee a high data recovery chance, install EaseUS data recovery software on another disk instead of the formatted disk. 

Step 1. Launch EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard. Choose the hard drive partition which you've accidentally formatted and click "Scan".

select a partition and click scan

Step 2. This formatted hard drive recovery software will start scanning for all the lost data and files. After scanning, you can click "Filter" to filter a specific file type to quickly find files you need. Or click Search files or folders to select data that you want to recover.

select scanned files

Step 3. Preview the scanned files. Then, select the ones that you wish to recover and click "Recover". Choose a new location to store the files and click "OK".

recover files from formatted HDD

On Mac systems:

 Download for Win Recovery Rate 99.7%
 Download for Mac Trustpilot Rating 4.7

Step 1. Search for lost files

Select the disk location to search for lost files (it can be an internal HDD/SSD or an external hard drive) where you lost data and files. Click the "Search for lost files" button.

Recover Data Step1

Step 2. Go through the scanning results

This software will immediately scan your selected disk volume and display pictures, documents, audio, videos, and emails on the left pane.

Recover Data Step2

Step 3. Select the file(s) and recover

Click the data to preview, and click the "Recover" button to have them back.

Recover Data Step3

How to Recover Formatted Hard Drive with Data Recovery Services

If the formatted recovery software can't restore files from formatted hard drive, don't panic! There are data recovery services that can help you recover your data. You can also consult with a data recovery expert from EaseUS to get started. With professional assistance, you can recover your data and get back to work.

Consult with EaseUS Data Recovery Experts for one-on-one manual recovery service. We could offer the following services after FREE diagnosis:

  • Repair corrupted RAID structure, unbootable Windows OS and corrupted virtual disk file (.vmdk, .vhd, .vhdx, etc.)
  • Recover/repair lost partition and re-partitioned drive
  • Unformat hard drive and repair raw drive (BitLocker encrypted drive)
  • Fix disks that become GPT protected partitions


There are a few different ways that you can recover files from a formatted hard drive. If you have a backup of your data, you can restore your files from the backup. If you don't have a backup, you can try the best hard drive data recovery software - EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard to recover your files.

EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard is capable and powerful in retrieving lost data but with certain conditions. The sooner you perform the recovery, the higher chance you have to get back lost data. Compared with other recovery methods, what's the 100% working way to protect data? Apparently, a regular hard drive backup.

Making a backup of data can be easy, like the copy and paste method. But for large hard drive backups, perform it automatically and smartly. Choose EaseUS free backup software to create a hard drive backup. It's easy, fast, and convenient. With a real-time backup at hand, you can restore data at any time when it's lost. And most importantly, you're guaranteed a 100% recovery rate to recover data from backup. Try to keep a good habit of doing backup for important working documents, photos, videos, and music, to achieve a risk-free digital life.

 Download for Win Recovery Rate 99.7%
 Download for Mac Trustpilot Rating 4.7

Recover Files from Formatted Hard Drive FAQs

Here are more guides on how to recover data from the formatted hard drive. If you have these questions, read on, and you might just find an answer to your questions.

1. How to recover a formatted hard drive on Mac?

To recover a formatted hard drive on Mac:

Step 1. Select the disk location (it can be an internal HDD/SSD or a removable storage device) where you lost data and files. Then, click the "Scan" button to perform the format file recovery.

Step 2. EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard for Mac will immediately scan your selected disk volume and display the scan results on the left pane.

Step 3. In the scan results, select the file(s) to recover and click the "Recover Now" button to get them back.

2. How to recover folders from a formatted hard drive?

If you accidentally formatted a hard disk with important data on it, then you can use EaseUS data recovery software to restore folders from hard drive data after formatting it.

Step 1. Run EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard. Choose "Select Folder" under Specify a location. Browse for the location where you lost the folder and click "OK" to scan.

Step 2. You can search for the target folder or use the Filter feature to find a certain type of file in the folder.

Step 3. You can preview the recovered folder. Then, click "Recover" and choose a new & secure location on your PC to keep the recovered data.

3. How to recover a formatted external hard drive?

We recommend you try EaseUS hard drive recovery software to restore a formatted external hard drive:

Step 1. Connect the external hard drive to your computer.

Step 2. Run EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard and scan the external hard drive.

Step 3. Filter the scan results and preview the recovered files.

Step 4. Click "Recover" and specify a safe recovery location.

4. Is it possible to recover files from a formatted SD card?

Recovering data from a formatted SD card is just as straightforward as recovering formatted internal hard drives. All you need to do is open EaseUS data recovery software and select the SD card to scan. Then, you are able to restore SD card files after formatting it.

5. How to recover data from a formatted hard drive with backup?

On macOS systems:

If you use Time Machine to back up files for your Mac, perform the following steps to use the backup storage media to restore files from a formatted drive.

Step 1. Connect the backup storage media of the Time Machine to your Mac.

Step 2. Open a Finder window in the folder that contains the lost files.

Step 3. Open Time Machine and find the files you want to recover.

Step 4. Press the Space Bar to preview the file.

Step 5. Then, click Restore to recover the item.

On Windows systems:

Windows has different backup and restore features. Here, we will show you how to recover files from a formatted hard drive with File History on Windows 10:

Step 1. Click the Search box and type file history. Click "Restore your files from File history" from the search results.

Step 2. Then, the File History window will open. All the backed-up files and folders will show up. You can preview the files to find the right version to restore.

Step 3. Select the files you want to restore, and then click the green arrow to restore the files.

Step 4. There might be a naming conflict when you restore files. You need to choose "Replace the File in the Destination Folder", "Skip This File", or "Compare Info for Both Files" according to your needs.

6. How to recover a formatted hard drive using CMD?

You can use Windows File Recovery to recover data from a formatted hard drive with command lines:

Step 1. Open Microsoft Store, search and install Window File Recovery.

Step 2. Launch Windows File Recovery, and use the syntax indicated below to start the process of recovering deleted files.

The basic command line is winfr source-drive: destination-drive: [/switches].

For example winfr C: D: /n \Users\Documents\test.docx

Step 3. You can then follow the on-screen instructions to recover data from the formatted hard drive.

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Updated by Brithny

Brithny is a technology enthusiast, aiming to make readers' tech lives easy and enjoyable. She loves exploring new technologies and writing technical how-to tips. In her spare time, she loves sharing things about her favorite singer - Taylor Swift on her Facebook or Twitter.

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Approved by Mahesh Makvana

Mahesh is an experienced computer tech writer. He's been writing tech how-to guides for about 8 years now and has covered many topics. He loves to teach people how they can get the most out of their devices.

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