How to Recover a Formatted Hard Drive

Recover a Formatted Hard Drive in a Few Clicks

Drive formatting is a great option to have when you need to wipe your hard drive or external storage media clean and start fresh with a desired file system. But what if it is formatted unintentionally or you realize afterwards that information was still needed? How to recover a formatted hard drive? It is impossible to locate any existing data on the storage after a format because the operating system has no idea how to find it. However, even with a format (unexpected or intentional), the data remains on the drive until something new comes along to take its place.


If an unexpected format or hindsight after reformatting is weighing you down, all you need is a dependable recovery utility capable of getting back this information. Stellar Phoenix Windows Data Recovery – Home Edition is just the tool you need. This program is capable of locating data on a freshly formatted drive and storing it to a desired location on your computer. With Windows Data Recovery, you can locate retrievable data with the advanced scanning features and perform the following tasks:


  • Organize results differently
  • Review found files
  • Retrieve everything on the drive
  • Customize the file retrieval
  • Search for specific files
  • Preview files prior to finishing


Stellar Phoenix Windows Data Recovery – Home Edition is the perfect tool to have available on how to recover a formatted hard drive. This is because it can be used to retrieve all drive data, certain files, or lost/deleted volumes on the drive. It also offers additional features for mobile phone recovery and regaining information from corrupted drives. To get started, you must install Windows Data Recovery, connect any external storage, and open the application. The tutorial below will show you how to perform an advanced scan for a selected volume and complete the recovery.

Free Trial

Buy Now

Regain Lost Data in 4 Steps

Stellar Phoenix Windows Data Recovery is easy to use and makes the recovery process a snap. All you need to do to get started is install the right version on a Windows computer and open the application. If you will be recovering data from an external drive, it will need to be connected to the computer first. This allows the utility to detect it and provide the drive as a selection for recovery.


Step 1: Select the Formatted Drive. Click on Drive Recovery if it is not already expanded on the screen. Here you will need to select what will be scanned for retrievable files. To do so, click on the drive name in the list. In this example, the C:\ drive will be scanned.



Step 2: Initiate the Drive Scan. Windows Data Recovery will need to scan the drive in order to find recovery items. For formatted drives, it is best to perform an Advanced scan. This will look deeper into the drive and find as much recoverable data as possible. To choose this option, tick the radial next to it in the right panel. Then click on Scan Now located above the scan type options.



An Advanced Scan has two steps: 1) Scanning of Metadata and 2) Scanning for Files. For the first step, you will see a progress bar and abort button in the upper right pane of the utility window.



For the second step, you will see a count in the progress bar showing the number of files currently scanning and an abort button. On the left side, a tree view will begin to populate with several folders.



Step 3: Configure Files for Recovery. With Windows Data Recovery, you have two options:

1.    Retrieve all data.

2.    Retrieve certain files.


The utility defaults to a Classic View where all scan results are displayed based on their location on the drive. This view is fine if everything will be recovered from the formatted hard drive. To complete the recovery, tick the checkbox next to the drive name at the top of the tree view. Every file will be selected and all you have to do is finish the recovery by clicking on the ‘red disk’ icon.




To customize your file selections, first click on the tab labeled File Type List above the tree. This changes the file organization to type rather than location. For example, now you will see several folders in the tree view such as Documents, Graphics & Photos, and Videos. They are further organized by format for each type.



Click on a folder name to expand it in the tree or simply tick its checkbox to select it for recovery. You can select entire types such as Documents or expand these folders to choose specific formats such as doc or xls.



Individual files may also be chosen for recovery by clicking on the format folder when the tree view is expanded. Each item for that format will be displayed in the bottom right of the window. You can use the checkboxes to make or remove selections as needed.

Additionally you can click on a file name to preview it in the top right of the window.



Step 4: Regain Chosen Data. In order to finish the data recovery, you will need to click on Recover. This is the red icon at the bottom of the utility window. Once you click on the icon, the utility will prompt you to choose a save location for the data. Then sit back while Stellar Phoenix Windows Data Recovery completes the file retrieval.


When you format a drive, just remember the data is not actually gone until it is overwritten. Stellar Phoenix Windows Data Recovery – Home Edition can be used to locate any salvageable data and store it to wherever you choose. After installing the utility, complete the steps how to recover a formatted hard drive as discussed in the tutorial:


1.    Select the formatted drive.

2.    Initiate the drive scan.

3.    Configure files for recovery.

4.    Regain chosen data.


Free Trial

Buy Now