Can a hard drive be recovered? Have you ever asked how to recover data from a hard drive, especially when your files got lost or removed due to deleting, formatting, or other reasons? Follow to find the easiest way to perform hard drive recovery on Windows and Mac computers with ease.

How Do I Perform Hard Disk Recovery to Recover All My Lost Files?

"Last night, when I was planning to continue with my paper, I could not find it anywhere. Then I remembered that the day before yesterday I deleted some useless files and documents from the hard disk and then I emptied the recycle bin immediately. Is there any way to get my lost files back?"

If your internal or external hard drive is not accessible and you are losing precious data, don't worry. In the following, you will unveil some practical tricks that will help you quickly restore lost disk files, making your hard drive work properly again.

About Hard Drive Recovery

In this part, you will learn:

  1. 1. What is hard drive recovery?
  2. 2. HDD recovery solutions for different hard drive errors

What Is Hard Drive Recovery

Hard disk

Do you know what is a hard drive recovery process? Basically, hard drive recovery is a process of restoring lost files from your hard drive and making malfunctioned hard disk working properly again.

In a word, to perform data recovery on hard drive, you have two steps to go: ①. Recover data from hard disk drive; ②. Fix or repair malfunctioned hard drive.

HDD Recovery Solutions - For Different Hard Drive Errors

The ways to perform disk recovery may be different if your hard drive is having different errors. Here we collect three solutions for hard drive recovery:

  1. #1. Use Hard Drive Data Recovery Software
  2. #2. Try Manual HDD Recovery Fixes - For Logical Errors
  3. #3. Turn to Hard Drive Recovery Service - For Physical Error

So how to pick up the right solutions? As long as your hard drive or external hard drive can be detected by the computer, turn to Part 1 to recover data from the hard drive first. Then try the fixes in Part 2 to repair and make the hard drive work properly again.

If your hard drive is physically damaged or partially broken, you need to turn to Part 3 and request for hard drive recovery service so as to bring your hard drive back to life.

Follow the guidelines below, and let's start to make your hard drive or external hard drive work again.

Part 1. Hard Drive Recovery Software

Applies to: Recover files from hard drive due to deleting, formatting, internal errors like RAW, corrupted, bad sectors, etc., and virus infection errors, etc.

Generally, as long as your hard drive, SSD, or external hard drive is not physically damaged or broken, you can use disk recovery software to recover data from the hard drive.

Go through the following two phrases, and you'll successfully get everything out of your problematic hard drive with ease.

#1st. Best Hard Drive Recovery Software Free Download (Recommend)

To save your time and energy, we would like to recommend you try EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard. This software can recover files like photos, videos, audio files, emails, documents, Microsoft files, and Adobe files from all types of storage devices. It even works to recover data from a corrupted or crashed hard drive.

Besides, it's designed for all levels of hard drive users, especially friendly for beginners. Whenever you lose files on a hard drive, or whether you have data recovery experience, EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard can all help.

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

  • Supported OS: Windows 10/8/8.1/7/Vista/XP, Windows Server 2019/2016/2012/2008/2003
  • Supported Cases: Deleting, formatting, virus infection, OS crash/reinstallation, disk becomes RAW/inaccessible, partition loss, etc.
  • Supported Devices: Hard drive (HDD/SSD), External hard drive, Hybrid Hard Drive (SSDH), USB, SD card, CF Card, digital cameras, etc.

Further Guide:

We have tested dozens of disk recovery programs and compiled the 10 best hard drive recovery software for you, including EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard, Recuva, TestDisk, Disk Drill, and more. Go to check detailed instructions.

Note that if you need to restore unlimited data, we suggest you activate this software to the full version in advance.

#2nd. Recover Data from Hard Disk Drive

EaseUS data recovery software is widely popular for its usability. With it, you can perform hard drive data recovery with only a few simple clicks. Follow the to recover data from your hard disk immediately:

Step-by-Step Guide: Recover Files from Hard Drive

If you prefer a detailed step-by-step guide, follow it to learn how to perform hard drive recovery with ease.

Step 1. Scan the hard drive partition

Select the drive on your hard disk where you lost or deleted files. Click "Scan" and let EaseUS data recovery software scan for all lost data and files on the selected drive.

select a location and scan hard drive

Step 2. Check the results

When the scan completes, you can apply the "Filter" feature or click the "Search files or folders" option to find the lost files on the hard drive.

Find and preview all lost hard drive data

Step 3. Restore lost hard drive data

Select wanted files that you lost on the drive and click "Recover" to save them to another location.

Restore lost hard drive data.

Video Tutorial of Hard Drive Data Recovery Guide:

If you are a Mac user, you can also download the Mac version of EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard and apply it to effectively recover data from a hard drive on Mac.

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

After restoring data from the problematic hard drive, you can try the manual fixes as listed below to repair the malfunctioned disk to work again.

Part 2. Try Manual HDD Recovery Fixes (Fix Logical Disk Errors)

Applies to: Fix and recover hard drive from logical errors, like RAW, inaccessible, not showing, not detected, or even crashed errors.

There's a video tutorial that compares the Data Recovery Software and Local Recovery. Watch the video below to check the pros and cons of these two recovery methods.

If you are having one of the following symptoms on your computer disk, it means that your disk contains a logical error:

  • You received the "you need to format the disk in drive X before you can use it" error message
  • Your hard drive has a RAW file system and thus becomes inaccessible
  • The hard disk is not showing files in Windows
  • Your hard disk is crashed, damaged, corrupted, or dead

Having these issues, you can revert back to Part 1 and restore vital data from the hard drive first. Then you can try the following fixes to repair your disk back to work normally:

  1. Fix 1. Use CHKDSK Command
  2. Fix 2. Format Disk to NTFS using Disk Management
  3. Fix 3. Update Hard Disk Driver

Fix 1. Fix Inaccessible/Unreadable Hard Drive using CHKDSK Command

Applies to: Fix hard drive inaccessible, unopenable, unreadable, etc., issues caused by file system error.

Running chkdsk can hopefully fix the file system errors, however, it can also result in total data loss. So, perform data recovery in advance, and then continue with the CMD method.

Step 1. Press the Windows + R keys and type cmd.

Step 2. Right-click "Command Prompt" and choose "Run as administrator".

Step 3. Type the following command: chkdsk E: /f /r /x and hit Enter:

Replace E with the drive letter of your inaccessible or problematic hard drive letter.

Step 4. Type exit to close the command window.

Fix 2. Fix Inaccessible or RAW Hard Drive by Formatting to NTFS in Disk Management

Applies to: Fix inaccessible, RAW hard drive by formatting and changing its file system to NTFS using Disk Management.

When your hard drive becomes RAW or inaccessible, the other way is to format the disk, changing its file system to NTFS. However, as this method may cause data loss, we suggest you use hard disk recovery software to restore your data first.

Then you can start with the following steps:

Step 1. Right-click on This PC or My Computer, select "Manage".

Step 2. On Computer Management, click "Disk Management".

Step 3. Locate and right-click on the RAW hard drive, select "Format Volume".

Step 4. Reset the Volume label, change the File system to NTFS, and tick "Perform a quick format".

Click "OK" to confirm.

Format RAW hard drive to NTFS.

Fix 3. Fix Hard Drive Not Showing Up/Not Recognized by Updating Hard Drive Driver

Applies to: Fix hard drive not showing up, not recognized error by updating disk drive driver.

When your hard drive fails to show up, or not recognized by the computer, you can fix it by updating its drive driver. Here are the steps:

Step 1. Right-click on This PC or My Computer, select "Manage".

Step 2. On Computer Management, select "Device Manager".

Step 3. Expand Disk drives, right-click on your hard drive which is not showing up, and select "Update driver".

Update hard disk driver

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

Wait for the process to completes and then restart your computer. You should be able to access and visit your hard drive again. If nothing shows up or the hard drive still doesn't work, refer to fixes and solutions in Part 3 for help.

Part 3. Turn to Hard Drive Recovery Service

Applies to: Recover files from a physically damaged and even partially broken hard drive.

When your hard drive or external storage device gets damaged or physically broken, as the listed symptoms here, you'll need a manual hard disk recovery service:

  • Data recovery software fails to restore hard drive data
  • Hard drive gets water-drawn
  • Hard drive gets broken or burnt
  • Hard drive gets partially damaged
  • Hard drive spins then stops, or spins loudly
  • Hard drive is covered with scratches, not detected

As for hard drive recovery service providers, they are separately located around the world. As we know the data recovery service is expensive, therefore, you'll need to make a decision carefully.

Here we collected 3 manual data recovery service providers for you to pick up one and bring your lost data back:

#1. EaseUS Hard Drive Recovery Services

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 the hard drive and repair the RAW drive (BitLocker encrypted drive)
  • Fix disks that become GPT-protected partitions

#2. Ontrack

Ontrack is a worldwide trusted data recovery service provider, and it covers a wide range of data recovery on computer hard drives, mobile phones, etc.

#3. Seagate

Seagate offers a complete data recovery service plan for small and big business owners. If you are one of them, you can try the respective service provided by Seagate.

NOTE: As the average cost of hard disk recovery service is about $500 - $1200 or so, and we suggest that if your lost data are not that valuable, your best choice is to buy a new hard drive. Data recovery or hard drive recovery service is not an economic option for normal people.

The Bottom Line

On this page, we explained what is hard drive recovery, the differences between hard drive data recovery software and hard drive recovery service.

Accordingly, if your internal hard drive, SSD, or external storage device loses data due to false operation or logical error, your best choice is to turn to professional hard drive data recovery software for help. For quick and secure data recovery, EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard is recommended for you to try.

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

But if your hard drive gets damaged or physically broken, you may turn to a hard drive recovery service for help. As for professional providers, Ontrack gains a high reputation that you can give it a try.

Our Suggestion:

Although performing data recovery after data gets lost is useful, it's better to make a backup of your important files elsewhere. By doing so, you can recover data from the backup easily when data loss happens.

Hard Disk Data Recovery FAQs

If you have more questions about hard disk or hard drive recovery, refer to the following questions and answers.

1. How much does it cost to recover hard drive data?

How much does it cost to recover a hard drive and bring all the missing files back? In fact, the average hard drive recovery cost in 2022 is from zero to thousands of dollars.

Here is the average price of both hard drive recovery software and hard drive recovery service:

  • Hard Drive Recovery Software: $0- $100
  • Hard Drive Recover Service: $500 - $1200, even more

Note that some free data recovery software produced by professional data recovery service providers can also help to recover a certain number of your hard drive files for free. If you want one, you may give EaseUS free data recovery software a try.

2. What is the best hard disk data recovery software in 2023?

Speaking of hard disk data recovery software, you can Google it online, getting overwhelming results from various tools provided by different producers. So how to effortlessly and quickly search for a suitable one for your case becomes the next question.

Compared to worldwide software, we collected 15 best hard drive recovery software that you can try:

  1. #1. EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard
  2. #2. Stellar Data Recovery
  3. #3. Disk Drill
  4. #4. Recuva
  5. #5. Recover My Files
  6. #6. Acronis Revive
  7. #7. R-Studio
  8. #8. Data Rescue
  9. #9. OnTrack EasyRecoery
  10. #10. Wise Data Recovery Software
  11. #11. Puran Data Recovery
  12. #12. Glary Undelete
  13. #13. Orion File Recovery
  14. #14. PC Inspector File Recovery
  15. #15. TestDisk Data Recovery

Among the list, EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard isn't the most expensive but the most practical data recovery software. As long as your hard disk drive is not physically damaged and the lost data on the disk is not overwritten by new content, you can use it to recover data from your hard drive.

3. What to do when a hard drive loses data?

When you lose data on a hard drive or SSD, it's highly recommended that you stop using the drive immediately. Do not save any new files on the drive.

Then you should turn to reliable hard drive recovery software as recommended in Question 2 for help.

4. Can files be recovered from a failed hard drive?

When your hard drive fails to boot or is unable to boot up, you cannot access the saved data on the drive. To recover the data, you'll need reliable bootable data recovery software for help.

EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard Pro with Bootable Media is mainly designed for data recovery cases of any system crash or starting problems. You can try it to rescue your files when the hard disk is dead, damaged, or failed.

Follow to learn how to recover data from a failed or dead hard drive.

5. How to perform hard drive recovery on Mac?

It is very desperate if critical business documents, music, photos, or videos get lost from your Mac or Windows PC.

The good news is EaseUS Mac data recovery software makes data recovery simple. When you need to recover files from a Mac hard drive – either internal or external, EaseUS can make it quickly in 3 steps:

  1. 1. Scan Mac hard drive
  2. 2. Preview lost file
  3. 3. Recover data.

For a step-by-step guide, you may refer to Mac Hard Drive Recovery for help.

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Updated by Cedric

Cedric Grantham is one of the senior editors and data recovery specialists of EaseUS who lives and works in Chengdu, China. He mainly writes articles and how-to tips about data recovery tutorials on PC and Mac. He has handled 10,000+ data recovery cases and is mainly good at data recovery of NTFS, FAT (FAT32 and ExFAT) file systems, and RAID structure reorganization of RAID 0, 5, and 10.

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Approved by Evan Galasso

Evan Galasso is a digital forensics and data recovery engineer with over 10 years of experience in the field. He presents opinions on the current state of storage media, reverse engineering of storage systems and firmware, and electro-mechanical systems of SSDs and HDDs.

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