Do you know what low-level format is? Can low-level format be recovered? How to recover data after low-level format? This article from MiniTool offers you detailed information about these questions.

Can Data Be Recovered After Low-Level Format

Contrary to high-level format, low-level format, also called LLF, bypasses the file system layer and writes data directly to storage media, which is an operation performed directly on disk sectors. When there are a lot of bad sectors on the disk, you can low-level format the hard disk to initialize the disk and re-partition the sectors.

However, low-level formatting of a hard drive can physically damage the disk, and after low-level formatting of a disk with data installed, all data will be erased and cannot be recovered. Therefore, it is recommended that you do not low-level format the hard disk under normal circumstances.

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How to Recover Data After a Failed Low-Level Format

As mentioned above, after a low-level format is complete, the data on the disk cannot be recovered. However, you still have a chance to recover your files in the following cases.

  • The low-level format fails or is disturbed due to various reasons, such as a sudden system crash or a power failure.
  • You terminated it during the process of low-level formatting.
  • The bad sectors are not completely cleared.

In these situations, to recover data after low-level format, the best data recovery software – Minitool Power Data Recovery is recommended here. It is an all-in-one file recovery tool that can help you recover many types of files (emails, pictures, documents, videos, etc.) in all file storage devices including hard disks, external hard drives, USB flash drives, and so on.


Tip: The Minitool Power Data Recovery Free Edition supports recovering files of no more than 1 GB for free. To break this limit, you can choose the full edition.

Now let us see how to recover data after low-level format with Minitool Power Data Recovery.

Step 1. Download, install, and launch MiniTool Power Data Recovery.

MiniTool Power Data Recovery FreeClick to Download100%Clean & Safe

Step 2. Under the Logical Drives section, find and select the low-level formatted disk and click Scan (Or you can double-click it to start scanning).

select the target drive to scan

Step 3. Preview and select all wanted files, then click Save to choose a storage path for them (Never store them in the original path).

save all desired files


Note: In case of data loss due to mistaken operations, it is suggested to back up your files regularly.

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Wrapping Things Up

To sum up, after low-level formatting a hard disk successfully, the files stored on the hard disk cannot be restored using any data recovery software. However, if the low-level formatting is not finished or failed, you can use MiniTool Power Data Recovery to get your files back.

If you have any questions about using this file recovery tool to recover data after low-level format, please feel free to contact us via [email protected]. Or you can leave your comments in the comment area below.

Low-Level Formatting FAQ

Does low-level format erase all data?

Yes. All the data on your drive will be erased after completing low-level formatting. And there is no way to recover lost data on a low-level formatted hard disk even using professional file recovery software.

Is it possible to recover data after formatting a hard drive?

Yes. You can recover data from formatted hard drive with MiniTool free data recovery software.

What is the advantage of low-level formatting?

A low-level format will restore the hard disk to its factory state. Therefore, it is possible to automatically repair logical bad sectors or soft physical bad sectors of the hard disk by low-level formatting of the disk, and shield (hide) internal physical bad sectors at the same time.

It can also clean large numbers of virus files stored in disk sectors.

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