How to Recover Files From Formatted Hard Disk Free
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:
- 👊 Human errors lead to accidentally formatting a hard drive.
- 👽 Installed malicious programs/infected with viruses that caused the hard disk to logical failure and had to be formatted to ensure that it could be used commonly.
- 🚒 You need to reset it to factory settings for system corruption, Incorrect operating system installation, and other reasons.
- 💣 Your device shuts down suddenly due to a power outage, causing the disk to directory corruption.
- 😞 When opening the hard disk/partition prompts that a format is required. This action is necessary to fix this error.
- 🔃 To change the drive file system, such as converting FAT32 to exFAT, NTFS to APFS, etc., you must format it.
- 🚫 The volume is out of space and needs to be repartitioned or formatted to clean up.
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:
- 🔹 Quick Format: It just deletes files on the hard disk, similar to how you use shift+del to delete files in the system. It just marks the data on the hard disk as deleted and hidden. So, you can recover files after quick format.
- 🔹 Full Format: It clears all data on the target disk, regenerates the boot information, initializes the file allocation table, and repairs bad logical sectors. Therefore, free formatted hard drive recovery chances are low if you use this mode.
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.
- 🛑 Do not perform read and write operations on the formatted hard drive, which can effectively prevent data from being overwritten.
- 🗳️ Choose software with a high recovery rate and don't install it on your formatted hard drive. It may cause data overwriting and permanent loss.
- 🏷️ Know the type of hard disk (HDD/SSD) for the next step. You can skip and start recovering formatted drive free directly if it is an HDD.
There are two options when we choose a hard drive: solid-state drives (SSDs) and Hard disk drives (HDDs).
- 🔹 HDD is an early data storage device within your computer and stores data magnetically with the help of spinning disks. It has only two working states read and write. After formatting it, it hides the saved file and waits to write new data. Thus, you can quickly recover files from formatted HDD free.
- 🔹 SSD's working states are reading, erasing, and writing. This means that after formatting, it clears the sectors first and waits for new data to be written. Hence, it becomes difficult to recover data after formatting SSD.
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
- Open the search window by pressing the Win + S keys, then type cmd and click Run as administrator.
- In the opened window, type: fsutil behavior set DisableDeleteNotify 1 Press Enter.
- 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
- Open the Terminal from Applications > Utilities.
- Disable TRIM by using the command sudo trimforce disable. Then press return or enter.
- 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
- 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.
- Launch the formatted disk recovery application and cancel unwanted file types by selecting "Go to setting."
- 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.
- 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.
- 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
- Click the Download button and get the iBeesoft Data Recovery for Mac. Then install it on your system.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Find the formatted hard drive in Explorer.
- Please select it and right-click to select "Properties."
- Tap on the option that says Previous Versions and select a backup time.
- 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.
- Connect the Time Machine backup storage media to your Mac.
- Open the "Time Machine".
- Find the files you want to recover using Time Machine's on-screen navigation.
- Press the Spacebar to preview.
- 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.
- Chances of reverting to the latest version
- Repair corrupt unreadable files
- Recoverable additional requirements
- Support system
- iBeesoft Free Data Recovery
- Windows and Mac
- Previous version
- Time Machine
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 of the hard disk's hardware is damaged, preventing the hard disk from functioning correctly, and identifying or accessing data.
- ✏️ Continuous usage of the disk leads to overwritten data.
- ⚽ When the hard disk has bad sectors, still using it will cause the head to be damaged or the disk to be scratched.
- 🎡 Full Formatting or Not disabling Trim of SSD.
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.
- 💼 Back up drive regularly
- ⛱️ Keep the hard drive working environment clean and proper shutdown/removal.
- ⛑️ Defragment the hard drive regularly and do not use complex drive compression techniques.
- 📜 Select the correct file system
- ⚙️ Don't interrupt the repartition.
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.
Formatting is an operation that initializes a disk or partition, which usually results in the erasure of all files on the existing disk.
Yes, we may format our hard disk due to accidental operation, which will cause the critical files to disappear! The formatted hard disk can be recovered if you do not use it to save new data or defragment after formatting.
If you have a habit of backing up your data, you can use the built-in apps like File History, Previous Versions, Recovery Drive, etc. in Windows 11 to help find files lost due to formatted hard drives. If not, you can use specialized format recovery software (iBeesoft Data Recovery) to help you.
The Format operation cannot be undone like we delete files, but you can use software to help you unformat SSD or HDD.
No, the Command Prompt (CMD) in the Windows system uses specific commands to complete the corresponding work. While Command Prompt can repair damaged hard drives, it cannot help you with file recovery.
Yes, the formatting deleted files will not be erased. You can use free unformat software and follow the steps below to retrieve the files from a formatted hard drive.
- Download and install iBeesoft Data Recovery
- Run it and select the formatted disk/partition to start scanning
- Preview the extracted files
- Select the needs and save them