How to Recover Files From Formatted Hard Disk Free

Updated to File Recovery Tips by Nancy on Sep 7, 2022 | Approved by Jennifer Allen

You may find yourself in a situation where you have accidentally formatted your hard drive and thus lost all your data files. It is a rather messy position and may happen for many reasons, like:

Various reasons lie behind your hard drive being formatted, ranging from technical issues to human error. What should you do if you encounter similar problems? Can I recover files lost after formatting my hard drive? Don't worry. Next, we will help you understand the "format" and how to get back your files for free.

Quick Navigation
Part 1. What Are the Consequences of Formatting Classification and Formatting Disks?
Part 2. What should I do after Accidentally Formatting My Hard Drive?
Part 3. Best Ways to Recover Files from a Formatted Hard Disk on Mac/Windows Free
Part 4. Alternatives to Recovering the Formatted Hard Drive for Free
Part 5. Comparison of the Free Formatted Hard Drive Recovery Methods
Part 6. Scenarios When It Is Impossible to Recover Data from HDD/SSD
Part 7. Tips for Preventing Data Loss and Formatting Your Hard Drive Accidentally

Part 1. What Are the Consequences of Formatting Classification and Formatting Disks?

Format refers to performing a factory settings-like operation on a disk or partition, which erases all files on the existing drive. It has the following two modes:

No matter which format mode you use. After finishing the hard drive erasing, all saved data will be gone. You still have a chance to recover deleted files from a formatted hard drive for free.

Part 2. What should I do after Accidentally Formatting My Hard Drive?

First of all, please check that critical files are backed up. If not, please follow the preparations below to ensure the successful retrieval of lost files.

There are two options when we choose a hard drive: solid-state drives (SSDs) and Hard disk drives (HDDs).

If you are using SSD, there is still a chance to extract data by disabling TRIM before restoring. So here's how to go about it.

How to Disable TRIM of SSD on Windows PC

  1. Open the search window by pressing the Win + S keys, then type cmd and click Run as administrator.
  2. In the opened window, type: fsutil behavior set DisableDeleteNotify 1 Press Enter.
  3. Disable TRIM of SSD by restarting the computer.

Type fsutil behavior set DisableDeleteNotify 0, the TRIM will be enabled.

How to Disable TRIM of SSD on Mac

  1. Open the Terminal from Applications > Utilities.
  2. Disable TRIM by using the command sudo trimforce disable. Then press return or enter.
  3. Confirm your command and proceed by hitting Y.

You can also type sudo trimforce enable to Enable TRIM.

After disabling TRIM, the chance of recovery can be significantly improved. Next we start the process of retrieving data from the formatted hard drive.

Part 3. Best Ways to Recover Files from a Formatted Hard Disk on Mac/Windows Free

Suppose you want to restore data from a hard drive after formatting for free without backup. In that case, you can only use file recovery software or look for a local data recovery service. So, which one is the best option? If you choose a service provider, you must send the hard drive to the point of reference. The staff member will evaluate a price based on the amount of data recovery. Here may be creating the risk of data leakage. So, there is no doubt that using software is the best choice. Here, you can use iBeesoft Free Data Recovery.

It is a comprehensive file recovery freeware for macOS and Windows and a much-preferred tool to recover deleted files from formatted disk/partition free. You can return permanently lost photos/images, documents, videos, audio, and more. Also, it can repair corrupted files while carrying out the search process. It can also restore data when hard drive shows 0 bytes.

How to Recover Files from Formatted Hard Disk Free in Windows 11/10

  1. Download. and install the iBeesoft data recovery software. It is fully compatible with Windows and is malware-free, so feel free to hit the download button to get the program.
  2. Launch the formatted disk recovery application and cancel unwanted file types by selecting "Go to setting."
  3. You will find the list of hard drives in the first window. For example, if the formatted disk is an external hard drive, connect it with your computer, hover over the list, and select the "Scan" button beside the formatted hard drive.
  4. Preview the recoverable files. The tool will scan missing and hidden files apart from searching the deleted files. Wait till the scanning process is complete.
  5. Now find and select your lost files to save them in a new location on your computer by clicking "Recover."

How to Restore Files from Formatted Hard Drive on Mac Free

  1. Click the Download button and get the iBeesoft Data Recovery for Mac. Then install it on your system.
  2. You have launched the free Mac data recovery software. You will find that all supported file types are selected. Keep the ones you require, deselect the rest, then hit "Start" to recover formatted hard disk on Mac free.
  3. Once on the next window, you can see the disk list, covering all the Mac main and connected external hard drives. Extract erase data by selecting the "Scan" button.
  4. The recoverable files will be listed in categories. You must pick the file type from the left panel and preview it in the right panel.
  5. Select the required files and click "Recover." Then find a safe spot to save the recovered files from the formatted disk on Mac but take care not to save them to the formatted hard drive.

Part 4. Alternatives to Recovering the Formatted Hard Drive for Free

Although the two methods below can help you find deleted files after formatting the hard drive. But only if you have a disk backed up before.

Ways 1. From the Previous version

You can use the previous version to back your earlier data after formatting for free. Follow the below steps to do this.

  1. Find the formatted hard drive in Explorer.
  2. Please select it and right-click to select "Properties."
  3. Tap on the option that says Previous Versions and select a backup time.
  4. In the end, select the "Restore" button to return your files.

Ways 2. From Time Machine

Time Machine is an in-built backup and recovery application available to Mac users to protect their data with backups. Follow the steps below to help you recover files from formatted hard drive on Mac free.

  1. Connect the Time Machine backup storage media to your Mac.
  2. Open the "Time Machine".
  3. Find the files you want to recover using Time Machine's on-screen navigation.
  4. Press the Spacebar to preview.
  5. Tick the files you need and click "Restore" to save them.

Part 5. Comparison of the Formatted Hard Drive Recovery Methods

The three different recovery methods- iBeesoft Data Recovery, the previous version, and Time Machine- have unique advantages and disadvantages. Here's a comparative study to understand this better.

Part 6. Scenarios When It Is Impossible to Recover Data from HDD/SSD

While there are ways to recover data from formatted hard drive free, you may also end up in difficult situations where it becomes impossible to get lost files back. Such unrecoverable cases are usually because for the following reasons:

Part 7. Tips for Preventing Data Loss and Formatting Your Hard Drive Accidentally

Although formatting your disk can solve multiple problems, if done improperly can cause you to encounter unexpected issues, like data loss. Follow the below-given tips to prevent data loss and to format your hard drive accidentally.

Conclusion

Many times you find that formatting is the best possible solution to various issues related to file systems. However, this process tends to clear your hard drive completely, and thus, you must know how to recover a formatted hard drive free. Here we have taken you through several easy, quick, and effective ways to help you gain access to any file you may have lost in the process.

FAQ