How to Repair Corrupted Hard Disk Without Formatting in Windows 10/8/7

Roxanne updated on Jan 06, 2021 to Data Recovery | How-to Articles

How to repair corrupted hard disk or external hard drive? You can learn five effective ways to fix corrupted hard drive on Windows 10 without formatting. Use EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard to recover data from corrupted HDD and get back lost data.

Top 5 Ways to Repair Corrupted Hard Disk 

Hard drive corruption is a logical issue caused by bad sectors, file system errors, physical damage, and more. Today, we are going to walk you through the solutions on how to fix corrupted hard drive. Here is the overview of these HDD repair fixes.

Workable Solutions Step-by-step Troubleshooting
Recover corrupted HDD data first EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard can quickly access and restore files from corrupt hard drive...Full steps
Fix 1. Run disk check to fix HDD  Use Windows built-in disk check tool to repair corrupted HDD. Open This PC, right-click the hard drive...Full steps
Fix 2. Run CHKDSK san in CMD Use the CHKDSK scan to repair corrupted file system. Or apply a partition manager to repair HDD...Full steps
Fix 3. Run SFC scan to repair HDD SFC scan helps fix the damaged Windows system files that may cause hard drive corruption. ...Full steps
More HDD repair solutions Update the Disk Driver to Fix HDD Without Formatting > turn to a professional data recovery service...Full steps

Corrupted Hard Drive Overview

Sometimes, your hard drive or external hard drive can be damaged and become unrecognized or inaccessible in Windows 10/8/7 due to various reasons, like power supply and connection errors, virus issues, file system errors, bad sectors, software/hardware issues, or physical damage.

Corrupted hard drive symptoms

When a message shows hard drive corruption, you might see the following corrupted hard drive symptoms:

  • External hard drive not recognized, reading, or showing up while plugging into PC.
  • Get "X:\ is not accessible. The file or directory is corrupted and unreadable" error message.
  • The hard drive has a drive letter in My Computer but becomes inaccessible and says: "You need to format the disk in the drive before you can use it".
  • The hard drive becomes RAW and prompts a 'disk needs to be formatted' error. 
  • Hard disk shows 0 bytes and more.

Whether it is an internal hard disk or an external hard drive, you can find solutions to repair corrupted hard disk. The most direct way to fix a corrupt hard disk is formatting it, which will definitely cause data loss. In this post, we will explain a few practical ways to fix corrupted hard drive without formatting. That is to say, fix corrupted hard disk without data loss.

Also read: Fix/Repair Corrupted USB Drive Without Formatting

First Thing to Do: Recover Data from Corrupted Hard Drive 

If you have important data on the corrupted hard drive, you should recover your lost data with a professional data recovery tool's help at the very beginning.

EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard can access and restore files from the corrupt hard disk and external hard drive quickly to ensure data security. With this top-notch file recovery program, you can:

  • Recover lost pictures, documents, videos, documents, and emails from the corrupted hard drive.
  • Recovers data from RAW drive/partition in HDD, USB flash drive, pen drive, and SD card.
  • Recover data from a formatted hard drive and external hard drive within a short time.

Now, download this trustworthy data recovery software and follow the steps below to recover data from the corrupted hard drive. 

Step 1. Choose the external hard drive

Since you're going to recover data from the external hard drive, run EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard and choose the exact drive where you lost data. Click Scan.

select external hard drive

Step 2. Scan for lost data

The software will start immediately to scan all over the selected drive for all lost data. During the scan, you could see more and more data showing up in the results.

scan external hard drive

Step 3. Preview and recover data

After the scan is over, check the scan results for the desired data. You can preview the file by double-clicking on it. Click Recover and choose another location to save the recovered data.

preview and recover data

Quick Tips to Fix Corrupted Hard Drive

Now that you've got back the crucial data, you can use the ways here to fix damaged hard drive.  But try these simple fixes first to repair minor drive corruption issues : 

  • Run an antivirus scan.
  • Check the power supply.
  • Change the USB port.
  • Try the hard drive on another PC; check if it can be detected. 
  • Change the drive letter assigned to the storage media to restore the corrupted hard drive. 

Advanced Ways to Repair Corrupted Hard Disk on Windows 10

If the simple fixes don't work, don't fret; continue to repair damaged hard disk using the following methods.

Fix 1. Check and Repair Disk to Fix Corrupted Hard Drive

To fix file system errors that lead to hard drive corruption, you can use the Windows disk check tool for help.

Step 1. Open This PC or Computer, right-click the hard drive, and select "Properties".

Step 2. Click "Tools > Tab Error checking > Check".

Step 3. Select "Check local disk" and click "Start".

run a through disk check to fix corrupted hard drive

Close all running and open programs, select the option to let the system check upon the next boot. After this, restart the PC. You can recheck your disk to see if it works.

Fix 2. Run CHKDSK Scan to Repair Damaged Hard Disk 

When the hard drive's file system gets corrupt and you can't access the hard disk, you can run a CHKDSK scan to repair corrupt hard drive without formatting.

CHKDSK command prompt checks the file system and file system metadata of a volume for logical and physical errors. If used without parameters, CHKDSK displays only the volume's status and does not fix any errors. If used with the /f, /r, /x, or /b parameters, it fixes errors on the volume. 

The "/f" parameter tells CHKDSK to fix any errors it finds. "/r" tells it to locate the bad sectors on the drive and recover readable information. "/x" forces the drive to dismount before the process starts. 

Step 1. Next to the Windows Start menu, in the "Search Windows" box, type cmd.

Step 2. On the search result, right-click on the Command Prompt and select Run as administrator.

Step 3. Type the command: chkdsk E: /f /r /x.

Here you should replace E with your drive letter. 

fix corrupted hard drive with cmd command

If you are a computer beginner and not familiar with the CMD command, you can use EaseUS partition manager to check and repair corrupted file system with a click. 

Step 1. Open EaseUS Partition Master on your computer. Then locate the disk, right-click the partition you want to check, and choose "Check File System".

Check Partition - Step 1

Step 2. In the Check File System window, keep the "Try to fix errors if found" option selected and click "Start".

Check Partition - Step 2

Step 3. The software will begin checking your partition file system on your disk. When it has completed, click "Finish".

Check Partition - Step 3

Fix 3. Run SFC Scan to Fix Damaged HDD

SFC checks system file integrity and replaces a corrupt or damaged system file with a cached copy. It helps fix the damaged or missing Windows system files that may cause drive corruption. Follow the steps below:

Step 1. Type Command Prompt in the search bar, right-click it, and choose "Run as administrator".

Step 2. Type sfc /scannow and hit "Enter".

run sfc scan to repair corrupted hard disk drive without formatting

If the drive is an external device, follow this command: sfc /scannow /offbootdir=c:\ /offwindir=c:\windows.

Replace letter c: with your hard drive letter. Wait for the scan to finish and then restart the system. Check if you can access the drive.

Fix 4. Update the Disk Driver to Fix Corrupted Hard Drive Without Formatting

If a driver issue causes the hard drive corruption, you need to update the disk driver. There might be some issues with your device driver installed on your PC. Follow the details below:

Step 1. Right-click on This PC/My Computer and choose "Properties".

Step 2. In the taskbar on the left, click Device Manager and expand "Universal Serial Bus controllers". Then you'll see a yellow exclamation mark if your disk driver is out of date.

Step 3. Right-click and choose "Update driver".

Step 4. Choose "Search automatically for updated driver software..."

update drivers

Fix 5. Seek Help from Professional Data Recovery Services

If the corruption is severe and the above solutions fail to repair corrupted hard drive, you can ask for help from EaseUS's technical support team.  They provide 1 on 1 remote assistance service to fix HDD/SSD issue, recover partition, wipe data, etc. 

Do You Need Specialized Data Recovery Services?
You may need further help for tough data loss situations like reformatting drive, RAW disk, partition loss, repartition failures, and system boot error. Consult with EaseUS Data Recovery Experts for cost-efficient one-on-one manual recovery service. They could offer the following services after FREE diagnosis:
1. Unformat the drive
2. Repair the RAID, RAW disk, or operating system
3. Recover lost partition (the one that cannot be recovered by software)


Hard drive corruption is a common issue for lots of users. When your hard drive gets damaged, the data is not lost. Use EaseUS data recovery software to access and restore data from corrupted hard disk above all. Then, choose the correct method to repair corrupted hard drive without formatting.

Bonus Tips: How to Prevent Hard Drive Corruption Effectively

  • Run antivirus scan frequently
  • Check your disk with the CHKDSK tool regularly
  • Safely remove external drives before unplugging
  • Do not force shutdown your computer
  • Update disk drives in time
  • Use the data recovery tool to protect your data

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Frequently Asked Questions

1. Why choose EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard?

"EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard is the best we've seen. It's far from perfect, partly because today's advanced disk technology makes data-recovery more difficult than it was with the simpler technology of the past, but it's fast and efficient..."PCMag

"The first thing you'll notice about EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard Pro is that its interface is very clear and uncluttered, with only a small collection of self-explanatory controls. You won't find lots of extra options hidden in a system of hidden menus, either; what you see really is what you get."techradar

"Recover lost files, even after deleting a partition or formatting your drive."Macworld

2. Why cannot I recover 2GB data for free?

It is recommended to check the version installed is Free or Trial because they are different versions.

Trial has data preview function but cannot save any files, while the Free version enables to recover 2 GB files. The default free space is 500 MB and you may share the product on social media to get another 1.5 GB.

3. Why cannot the recovered files be opened?

A file is saved as 2 parts on the storage device: directory info (which is comprised by file name, time stamp and size info, etc.) and data content.

If the files with original file names and folder structures cannot be opened, one possible reason is the corrupted directory info. There is still a chance to recover the data content with the RAW Recovery method in our software.

4. Why isn't it suggested to recover the files back to the original drive?

The storage structure of the lost files would be altered or damaged by any changes on the drive. If you save the recovered files back to the same drive, the original data structures and data content would be corrupted or overwritten, which causes permanent data loss. So you should prepare another disk to save the files.

5. How can I check whether my data is recoverable or not before purchase?

The Free version helps you save 2GB files, so verify the recovery quality of our product before purchase.

6. How long does it take to scan the drive?

It strongly depends on the capacity of your hard drive and the performance of your computer. As reference,most drive recoveries can be completed in around 10 to 12 hours for a 1-TB healthy hard drive in general conditions.

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