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How to Restore Files from Corrupted/Crashed Drive?

Avatar Pooja Awana Updated On - 27 Sep 2019

Consider this: – Hard drive is badly corrupt, and you need to restore the data out of it. Adding to the worst, even the backup is not there. Files and folders were not backed up earlier. Completely caught in a strenuous situation! Now, what can be done?

If you had backups, then the situation could have been different. Data would be easily restored without any helping hand. Since no choice is left now, you can yourself try backing up the data and recovering the files folders from corrupt hard drives.

Symptoms of Corrupted Hard Drive:

Yes, the backbone of your computer is corrupted i.e. hard drive, that stores complete data of the system. Hard drive (it does not matter an internal or external hard drive) can be damaged and become unrecognized or inaccessible in Windows 10, 8, 7.

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Here are some of the common symptoms corrupted hard drive:

  • Drive reading invalid media type.
  • File system displayed as RAW.
  • Warning given by Windows asking you to format the drive – “disk not formatted. Do you want to format now?”
  • File names appear with weird characters.
  • Message pop-ups such as – “Sector not found.”
  • After plugin of the external drive into PC, it does not read or show up anything saying – “External Hard Drive is not recognized.”
  • The hard drive storage memory is shown as 0 bytes.
  • My Computer shows the drive name, but while opening it says: “You need to format the disk drive before you can use it.”

Main Causes of Hard Drive Corruption:

There are many reasons for hard drive corruption:

Reason 1: Corruption Due Physical Damages

It is generally caused when the hardware gets crashed due to overheating of HDD, R/W head crash, poor contact data line, magnetic platter scratches, short circuit in control circuit board, sudden power failures, etc.

Reason 2: Hard Drive is too Old

Hard disks do have a certain service life. Beyond that, it may face errors and disasters.

Reason 3: Due to Damaged File System

The file system of an operating system manages and organizes files on the storage device. In simple terms, it is the door through which data is accessed on hard disk partitions. Hence, if the file system on internal HDD gets corrupted, the complete disk becomes inaccessible.

Reason 4: Corruption Due to Virus Attack

Due to virus attack, all the boot files that are stored in internal HDD will be damaged or permanently deleted. This may cause boot failure and your crucial data will be at high risk.

Reason 5: Corrupt Boot Sector

If the boot sector gets damaged, you not be able to start your machine and your internal HDD data will become inaccessible.


Try given methods that can help in restoring the data. You can use the methods considering the issues you are facing.

Method 1: Run Scan Disk CHKDSK to Fix Corrupted Hard Drive

Follow the steps mentioned below:

Step 1: Press Windows + X, select Command Prompt (Admin)

Step 2: To check for errors in the corrupted hard drive, type chkdsk and click Enter

Step 3: Suppose the corrupted drive is D, type chkdsk D:/f/r/x to fix the drive errors.

Where “D” is the drive, “f” tells chkdsk to fix errors, “r” locates bad sectors on the drive and helps recover readable information, and “x” dismounts the drive forcefully before the process starts.

Method 2: Run a thorough Disk Check to Fix Corrupted Hard Disk

Step 1: Open This PC or My Computer or Computer, right click >> Properties.

Step 2: Click Tools >> Error Checking >> Check.

Step 3: Select Scan Drive, restart your PC once the process is completed.

Method 3: Repair Corrupted Hard Drive Using Control Panel

Step 1: Press Windows + X and select Control Panel
Step 2: Click System and Security >> Action Center >> Maintenance >> Run Scan.
Step 3: Click Restart.
Just in case, none of the above methods works for you, we suggest you go for a third-party data recovery tool for Windows system.

Automated Windows Recovery Method

Try Kernel Windows Data Recovery software, if everything is in vain. Kernel for Windows is an efficient Windows Data Recovery tool that helps to recover data out of the corrupted hard drive.

Follow the 3 Quick Steps and Recover your Data Instantly:

Step 1: Simply select the corrupted drive or external HDD for data recovery.

Step 2: Preview all the recovered data from the selected drive in its original format.

Step 3: Finally, restore the data by mentioning your desired saving location.

Now you have recovered your data. You can use it again smoothly.

Facing a bad time and having difficulties because of corrupted hard disk? Learn about a few powerful hard drive recovery methods that will help you recover data.