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How to Recover Data from Unknown Not Initialized Hard Drive

Updated on Jun 13, 2019 by Jean to Resource


Disk 1, unknown, not initialized...Will initializing hard disk erase data on it? This page shows you how to recover data using EaseUS drive recovery software when hard drive not initialized error occurs. Try it to initialize disk without losing data.

External Hard Drive Showing Unknown, Not Initialized

"A WD 2TB external hard drive, which I've been using for two years, is now having a problem. It does not read and shows in Windows 10 Disk Management as (Disk 1, Unknown, Not Initialized). Will initializing hard disk format it? The drive contains many picture files, and they're very important to me. How do I retrieve data from the uninitialized hard drive?"

"Disk (0, 1, 2...), unknown, not initialized and unallocated" is one of the common hard disk errors that makes us upset. When a hard drive becomes uninitialized, you can no longer access data there. Then, how to initialize disk without losing data becomes a problem. Recovering data using EaseUS data recovery software after fixing hard drive not initialized issue can be a solution. 

How to initialize disk without losing data when hard drive not initialized error occurs

Phase 1. Initialize disk to fix hard drive unknown, not initialized issue. 

Go to Disk Management -> right click the drive that needs to be initialized -> choose "Initialize Disk" option.

Now the uninitialized drive should be fixed, which will be later recognized by Windows so that you can use it again without any problem.

If the disk you need to initialize is a new disk, you can continue to partition the disk according to your needs. However, if the disk you want to initialize has data existing on it, you will need to recover data from the initialized disk following the paragraphs below.

Phase 2. Recover lost data after initializing the hard disk

Will initializing hard disk make data unrecoverable? Since initializing hard disk will lead to a blank or even garbled disk, with failing or failed circuitry or perhaps you might just have some corrupted data.

At this moment, data recovery becomes a smart choice. You can try to rescue lost, deleted and corrupted data with EaseUS hard drive data recovery software, which helped millions of users with successful data recovery from unrecognized hard disk, unallocated hard drive partition, RAW hard drive, formatted hard drive, virus infected hard drive and more.

When your hard drive data lost after fixing the drive that becomes unknown, not initialized or unallocated, you can always try EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard to bring lost data back with simple steps.

Notice: When your hard drive/external hard drive becomes uninitialized, please find fixes and resolve this issue firstly.
After fixing the not initialized error, try powerful hard drive recovery software to restore your lost data now.

Step 1. If it is an external hard drive, please connect it to the PC first.

Step 2. Run data recovery software to scan data.

  • Select the location of your hard drive/external hard drive.
  • Click "Scan" to start scanning lost data on the hard drive。
Run hard drive recovery software.

Step 3. Preview and restore.

Once the scanning process completes, you can preview and find your lost files by browsing them in these tabs:

  • Delete Files: All your deleted files are listed here.
  • Drive (with your device name): It loads all found files there.
  • Lost Partition Files: Check first if it's for formatted recovery.
  • Extra Files: Finds all files that lost names or paths on your drive. (It suits your situation the most right now.)
Preview and find lost hard drive data from not initialized error.
  • And you can double-click the found files one by one to preview.
  • Then select and save them to a secure location on your PC or other storage devices by clicking "Recover".
Restore lost data on hard drive from not initialized error.