How Do I Recover Files from Formatted Hard Drive

Jean updated on Oct 21, 2020 to Storage Media Recovery | How-to Articles

To recover formatted hard drive data with EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard, it takes three simple steps: choose the drive to scan, preview and recover data. Meanwhile, spend a few minutes learning how to securely protect important digital data, and how to avoid future data loss in case you format a hard drive by error.

Video Guide: How to Recover Formatted Hard Drive

  • Choose the partition. Launch EaseUS formatted data recovery software after the installation. 
  • Select wanted files. After the scanning process, you can click "Filter" to filter a specific file type to quickly find wanted files.
  • Recover files to a secure location...

Information Update: EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard has released the new version, with its user-interface greatly improved. Refer to the matched user guide in the below part.

Why Do You Format a Hard Drive in Windows 10/8/7

Format commands are typically run to prepare a new logical drive for use - enabling the installation of an operating system, programs, and user data. The format command has been around for a long time, formerly there were stand-alone DOS format programs before being integrated into Windows.

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

In fact, hard disk formatting does not occur alone to a new drive. it happens all the time in our daily computer life. For example:

  • The hard drive itself develops problems: long-term use of a drive could become slow, inaccessible, crash a lot, etc.
  • File system requirements: different operating systems require different file systems, so perhaps you need to convert NTFS to FAT.
  • Human errors: Just hit the wrong button and accidentally formatted the drive.

Part 1. How to Recover Data from a Formatted Hard Drive

All the above manners would erase data completely from the hard drive. What if the data is unintentionally lost by formatting? Is it possible to recover data from a formatted hard drive? Yes, as long as you find a reliable hard drive recovery program.

For your information, formatting a disk does not erase the real data. All the erased data doesn't disappear from the hard drive until fresh data is written to the space, where marks as 'delete'. When you accidentally or intentionally format a drive in Windows Explorer, Windows Disk Management, or Command Prompt DiskPart before creating a backup, take it easy, EaseUS data recovery software comes in handy.

With consistent 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. It's acknowledged to be the top-notch data recovery program, regarding ease of use, deep scan speed, 99%+ data recovery success rate, and prompt customer support. 

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

Step 1. Choose the partition.

Launch EaseUS formatted data recovery software after the installation. Choose the hard drive partition which you've accidentally formatted. Click "Scan".

select a partition and click scan

Step 2. Select wanted files.

After the scanning process, you can click "Filter" to filter a specific file type to quickly find wanted files.

select files

Step 3. Recover files to a secure location.

Select the data files you wish to recover. Click "Recover". Choose a location to store the files and click "OK".

recover files
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)

Part 2. How to Restore Lost/Deleted Hard Drive Partitions

If you delete the hard drive partition itself, you can get back the whole partition with a partition recovery program - EaseUS Partition Recovery. With it, you can recover deleted or lost partition. What's more, it supports all kinds of partitions including FAT, NTFS, Ext2, and Ext3 volumes in Windows.

To recover a lost or deleted hard drive partition (the whole partition) with EaseUS Partition Recovery, follow these steps.


Step 1: Run EaseUS Partition Recovery on your PC.

Select the disk or device where you lost partition(s), click "Scan" to continue.

Select disk to scan lost partition.

Step 2: Wait for the scanning process to complete.

Let the program scan the selected disk and find the lost partition(s).

Scan lost partition.

Step 3: Preview and restore the lost partition(s).

Double-click on the partition which is marked as "Lost" with "Good" recoverability.

Preview lost partition

Preview the content of the lost partition. Click "OK" and click "Proceed" to start restoring the lost partition.

Select found partition to restore.

Step 4: Click "Recover Now" to finish the partition recovery process.

Note: If the program warns you that there is a conflict, back up the listed partition with essential data to an external hard drive first. Then execute the final operation to restore your lost partition.

Finish partition recovery.

How to Ensure a 100% Data Recovery on a Formatted Hard Drive (Bonus Tip)

As clearly explained before, formatting only clears data on the address tables, and data finally disappears once you write new data to the marked space. So, stop using the hard drive to store new data, and that's the key to use software to recover as much data as possible after format. 

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

Doing a backup of data can be easy, like the 'copy and paste' way. But for large hard drive backup, do it automatically and intelligently. Choose EaseUS free backup software to create a hard drive backup. It's easy, fast, and convenient.

Download tb_free.exe

Step 1. To back up an entire hard disk or simply its several partitions, the best backup plan is "Disk/Partition". Choose this backup mode and let's begin.

choose disk/partition backup mode

Step 2. On the popup window, choose the hard drive or partition(s) you're going to back up. A check symbol appears after you clicked the mouse.

choose the hard disk/partition you want to back up

Step 3. Click the "Browse..." button in the "Destination" area to choose a backup location. Here, you can choose any location that is available to you, such as the local hard disk, folders, Network drive, NAS device or Cloud storage, including GoogleDrive, DropBox and OneDrive. You can explore all the connected drive by clicking the icon in front of each directory.

choose a backup location

Step 4. Now edit your disk backup image by adding a "Plan name" and "Description" to it.

Do not forget the advanced backup plans in " Backup options", where you can compress the backup image, encrypt the backup for privacy protection and even enable a sector by sector backup.

choose disk/partition advanced backup options

At the same time, you can turn on the "Schedule" in order to create a hard disk/partition backup on a regular basis like daily, weekly, monthly or upon an event according to the schedule set on your own. 

set a disk/partition backup schedule

And the "Image-reserve strategy" lets you manage the increasingly growing backup images economically, you can preserve the backups in a setup time or quantity.

set a disk/partition backup image-reserve strategy

Step 5. Not all the customizable hard disk/partition backup solutions are necessary but try to make full use of the necessary ones. Finally, click "Proceed" to start at once.

For safety, disconnect the physical storage device you used as a backup drive after the backup process is over.

With a real-time backup at hand, you can restore data at any time when it's lost. And most importantly, you're guaranteed with 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.


To recover files from a formatted hard drive: download the best hard drive data recovery software - EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard; select the drive and click Scan; choose wanted files and click Recover.

To restore lost hard drive partition: download EaseUS Partition Recovery; select the disk or device where you lost partition(s), click "Scan" to continue; double-click on the partition which is marked as "Lost" with "Good" recoverability; Click "Recover Now" to finish the partition recovery process.

How to Recover Formatted Hard Drive FAQs

If you have other questions, you can read on to get additional help.

1. How to recover formatted hard drive on Mac?

To recover 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. Click the "Scan" button.

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

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

2. How to recover data from a formatted hard disk in Windows 10?

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

3. Can a hard drive be recovered after formatting?

Yes, as long as you find a reliable hard drive recovery program. For your information, formatting a disk does not erase the real data. All the erased data doesn't disappear from the hard drive until fresh data is written to space, where marks as deleted. Therefore, you can retrieve data from a partition after formatting.

4. It is 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.

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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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