Hard drive data loss is always a hot topic among computer users; they run into various problems that will result in data loss. The natural response of users would be seeking ways to recover needed files from hard drive as soon as possible. In today’s post, some solutions will be listed to help deal with the data loss issues properly.

Though hard drive is relatively tough when compared to flash drive and compact disk, problems can still be found, even if the hard drive has not been used for a long time. This is likely to cause data loss.

If you search in Google, you’ll find a lot of users show interest in hard drive data recovery. Noticing this, I think it’s necessary to talk about how to recover data from hard drive in different cases. After that, I’ll tell you the things you should notice to ensure data integrity and enhance the possibility of complete data recovery.

recover data from hard drive

Recover Data from Hard Drive in Different Cases

Computer failure refers to the physical damage or software program error occurred in computer system. The former is called hardware failure while the latter is often called soft failure.

Practice has proved that 70% of the computer failures are soft failure. Here, I’ll introduce 4 types of common reasons to lead to computer failures. The methods for recovering lost data from hard drive will be given as well.

Partition Table Damage

Partition loss can also be caused by accidental deletion since some people are not quite familiar with the partitioning software when they’re using it.

Besides, partition table records some important information about the hard disk partitions, so it is the most favorite place of boot virus. If the hard disk partition table is damaged by virus or other reasons, hard drive partitions will not be recognized properly by system. Therefore, partition loss will occur and make a system unbootable.

How to recover data when partitions are deleted by accident:

Step 1: get the hard drive data recovery software – MiniTool Power Data Recovery.

MiniTool Power Data Recovery TrialClick to Download100%Clean & Safe

Step 2: install the software and run it immediately.

Step 3: select “Hard Disk Drive” from the left pane and specify the target hard disk from the right pane.

select Hard Disk Drive and specify the target hard disk

Note: You can also click on the “Unallocated Space” to scan if this space is released by deleting your partition.

Step 4: click on the “Scan” button and wait for the scan.

Step 5: browse the found files carefully during or after the scan to pick out the files you need.

browse the found files

Step 6: check all the files you want to recover and click on “Save” button to specify storage location for them.

The trial edition can only help you to scan disk and preview lost files. You’re suggested to get a license for upgrading the software to full edition, in order to recover files out.

If the partition is deleted from an external hard drive, you should connect it to the computer at once. But, if you fail to see the external disk after proper connection, you must troubleshot this and make it appear before starting data recovery.

How to recover when partition table is damaged by virus and the system can’t boot:

Method 1: Using MiniTool Partition Wizard

Since you can’t enter the system, you should find another computer to get the bootable edition of MiniTool Partition Wizard and then use it to boot without OS so as to recover partition.

Step 1: get MiniTool Partition Wizard on another computer, run it and choose “Bootable Media” (which is only available in a full edition) from Tool Bar.

Choose Bootable Media from Tool Bar

Step 2: follow MiniTool Media Builder to make a bootable disk/CD/DVD easily.

make a bootable disk

If you have made a boot disk, please disconnect it from computer now. If you have made an ISO file, please burn it to your USB drive/CD/DVD.

Step 3: connect the bootable USB drive or CD/DVD to the computer which can’t boot. Then, restart the computer and press corresponding button to enter BIOS.

Step 4: change the boot order to make this bootable disk you’ve made the first boot device. Save changes and exit.

Step 5: choose “Partition Wizard” in the MiniTool PE Loader interface. After that, you’ll see the main interface of MiniTool Partition Wizard.

choose Partition Wizard

Step 6: select the target disk with deleted partition and click on “Partition Recovery” from the left pane.

select disk and click on Partition Recovery

Step 7: now, you should follow the Partition Recovery Wizard to finish deleted partition recovery easily.

At last, you should select the disk and choose “Rebuild MBR” to try to fix the problem and make the system boot again.

Method 2: Using MiniToool Power Data Recovery

To recover data from the deleted partition while system can’t boot (recover data from failed hard drive), you should resort to MiniToool Power Data Recovery Bootable Edition.

The data recovery process is similar to above partition recovery process.

Step 1: get MiniTool Power Data Recovery on another computer, run it and choose “Bootable Media” (which is not available in trial edition or free edition) in the lower left corner.

click on Bootable Media

Step 2 ~ Step 4 are the same with previous method.

Step 5: choose “MiniTool Power Data Recovery” in the MiniTool PE Loader interface. After that, you’ll see the main interface of MiniTool Power Data Recovery.

choose MiniTool Power Data Recovery

After that, you’ll see the main interface of the hard drive data recovery software.

Step 6: select “Hard Disk Drive” and specify the disk to scan.

Step 7: browse scan result and choose files you need.

Step 8: click on “Save” to recover them to a safe location.

Shop now to get the software mentioned above.

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Master Boot Program Damage

The master boot record (MBR) is believed to be the most sensitive part of hard drive. And the master boot program in it is used to detect the correctness of hard drive partition and determine the active partition. After that, it is responsible for handing over the boot right to the operating system in active partition.

As a result, if the hard drive master boot program has been damaged, you cannot boot computer from the hard drive.

This case is very similar to the first situation of partition table damage case. So, you are also able to make use of the MiniToool Power Data Recovery Bootable Edition for recovering lost data from external hard drive. The recovery process is exactly the same as said before.

Improper Operations

Sometimes, if you are not familiar with the computer system or not careful enough when operating on the computer, you’re going to make some mistakes, such as deleting files or formatting partitions unintentionally.

To recover files deleted mistakenly from hard drive, you should do the following things.

  • Run Power Data Recovery and select the place in which deleted files are located.
  • Click on “Scan” to detect lost files.
  • Check deleted files from the scan result and save them to another drive.

check deleted files to recover

The steps to recover data from a formatted partition are basically the same.

Physical Damage

Physical damage of hard drive refers to the scratches, stains and other factors that could damage the constituent components of hard drive. Not like the data loss caused by soft failure, this kind of data loss is beyond the capacity of any hard drive recovery software.

So if you really meet this problem, the only choice of you is to send you computer hard drive to professional recovery agencies, which will use special tools and methods to try to recover data from hard drive.

However, you are only able to take a chance to recover data on bad hard drive by doing so; whether the data in the hard drive can be recovered or not depends greatly on the damage degree and damage part.

Tips for Enhancing Data Recovery Success Rate

In order to recover data from hard drive as much as possible, users are interested in finding ways to enhance data recovery success rate.

Well, what should you do to avoid causing secondary damage to data? There are things that you should pay high attention to.

Avoid Unnecessary Operations

After you find important data were lost, you must be so anxious that you will choose to constantly restart computer or plug and unplug mobile devices in an attempt to be able to retrieve data.

But unfortunately, this is completely wrong. Secondary data damage is likely to be caused during this process. The best reaction is to save and close pending documents, close unnecessary programs and turn off the computer.

Analyze the Causes of Data Loss

What I want to say by encouraging you to find possible causes is trying to recall what you have done to computer or what abnormal phenomenon was occurred before data loss. No matter it belongs to hardware failure or soft failure, you should stop operating the computer or mobile device immediately. And then search for corresponding solutions to recovering lost data from storage devices like internal external hard drive.

Stop Writing New Data into the Device

Data loss caused by soft failures like accidental deletion, virus attack and unintentional deletion can be solved easily by resorting to powerful hard drive data recovery software as long as the lost data have been overwritten yet. Writing new data into the device which contains lost data would be very harmful.

Seize Time to Start Hard Drive Data Recovery

Whether it is a hardware failure or soft failure that caused the data loss, you must take actions to try to get back lost data as soon as possible. The possibility of recovering recently lost data is indeed larger than that of recovering data lost a long time ago.

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5 Components of Hard Drive Data

Data saved on the hard drive can be roughly divided into five parts according to their different characteristics and functions:

  • MBR area
  • DBR area
  • FAT area
  • DIR area
  • DATA area.

MBR (Master Boot Record) Area

Locate in cylinder 0, track 0, sector 1 of the hard drive. However, in the total-512-bytes master boot sector, MBR only takes up 446 bytes. Another 64 bytes are given to the DPT (Disk Partition Table). And the last two bytes are “55, AA”, end mark of the partition.

DBR (Dos Boot Record) Area

Usually locate in cylinder 0, track 1, sector 1 of the hard drive. It is the first sector that operating system is able to access directly and includes a bootstrap program and a BPB (Bios Parameter Block).

FAT (File Allocation Table) Area

Locate after DBR area. In order to realize the linked storage of files, system must accurately record the state of clusters – which clusters have already been occupied by files – and specify the number of the next cluster for each occupied cluster (we all know that files are stored on hard drive in the basic unit of cluster. One cluster can only have one file, while one single file may be divided and saved into different clusters). For the last cluster of a file, it has to specify that there is no successive cluster.

DIR (Directory) Area

It is next to the second FAT (FAT backup). It records the information like the starting unit of each file in root directory and file attributes. When locating the file location, operating system is able to know the specific location and size of a file in hard drive by looking at the starting unit in DIR area and the FAT.


This area locates after DIR area. It contains the real content of data on hard drive and occupies most of the hard drive space.


All in all, you should be careful enough when using or managing valuable data. Once data are missing from hard drive, you have to stop what you are doing right away. Then, follow the steps shown in above content to recover lost data from hard drive as fast as you can.

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