How Can I Recover Files from a Corrupted Hard Drive?

How to Recover Data from a Corrupted or Crashed Hard Drive [2022]

When your hard drives become corrupted, you may experience a variety of functional problems as well as the loss of data saved on it. It displays errors like “The file or directory is corrupted and unreadable,” displays as RAW in Windows disk management tool, or fails to boot when trying to access such a hard drive (if internal). This article provides a step-by-step methods to recover data from corrupted hard drive.

The following factors can cause the hard disk to become corrupt:

  • Virus Infiltration: Viruses are hostile programmes that can corrupt your hard disk’s file system.
  • Damaged Master Boot Record (MBR): If your internal hard drives’s boot sector (the hard drive sector that contains MBR) is damaged, the drive becomes corrupt and will not boot or load the operating system (OS).
  • Bad Sectors: A hard disk drive (HDD) has millions of data-storage sectors. Some sectors (bad sectors) are unable to write or read data at times. Hard drive corruption occurs when there are too many faulty sectors.
  • Age and Use: A hard disk that has been used for a long time deteriorates and may become corrupted as a result of this deterioration.
  • Unsafe Removal (if external): Unsafe removal of external hard drives from the system can cause corruption as well.

Follow the steps outlined in this post to recover data that has been lost due to hard drive corruption.

Methods to Recover Data from Corrupted Hard Disk

Method 1: Run SFC Scan

You can use System File Checker to recover data from an internal hard disk that won’t boot due to corruption (SFC). It’s a Windows command-line application for repairing and restoring data from corrupted Windows system files. Follow the steps outlined below to accomplish this:

  • To turn on your Windows system, press the power button.
  • When you see the manufacturer’s logo, hit the power button again to turn off your system.
  • Do this procedure three times more.
  • Turn on the system for the fourth time and allow it to fully load this time.
  • This would bring up the “Choose an option” screen.
  • Navigate as follows from this screen:

Select Troubleshoot >Advanced options >Command Prompt

The Command Prompt window would open because of this.

Note: If your computer is bootable but your files are lost due to drive corruption, you do not need to run Command Prompt through the procedures listed above. You may simply do this by writing cmdinto the text box in the bottom-left corner of your window. To open the Command Prompt window, right-click the command prompt and select Run as administrator.

  • Type DISM.exe /Online /Cleanup-image /Restorehealth into the command prompt before executing SFC Scan.
  • The steps outlined above are applicable to Windows 10, 8.1, or 8. (This step is optional for other Windows versions.)
  • Press Enter after typing SFC /scannow.

Note: Close the Command Prompt window only when the verification is 100% complete. After this, you’ll be able to examine the scan results. If you can’t fix the corruption using this approach and it’s an external hard drive, connect the infected hard drive to another Windows PC and try the procedures below.

Note: If the corrupted hard drive is internal, convert it to an external hard drive using a USB enclosure.

Method 2: Use the Windows Error Checking Tool

The built-in error-checking utility in Windows looks for and attempts to rectify disc issues. This utility can be used to repair minor hard disc corruption. Take the following steps:

  • Open Windows Explorer on the computer to which the corrupted hard drive is connected.
  • Select Properties from the right-click menu of the hard disc (partition)
  • Select the Tools tab.
  • Select the Check button.

[NOTE]: The same techniques can be used to check and resolve problems on other hard disc partitions.

  • Check whether you can access your data after restarting the machine.

Method 3: Execute the command CHKDSK

CHKDSK is a command-line tool that can be used to repair hard drive file system corruption and other disk-related problems. As a result, it assists you in recovering data from a corrupt hard drive.

Follow the steps below to get started:

  • On the machine to which your corrupted hard drive is connected, run Command Prompt as an administrator.
  • In the Command Prompt window, type the command listed below and press Enter.

chkdsk /f /r x:

Where x denotes a hard drive partition’s disc letter.

/f is used to correct errors.

/r looks for bad sectors and attempts to read data from them.

  • Restart the system after running the same command for the other partitions, using their corresponding drive letters.
  • Check to see whether you can access data on the hard drive now.

Method 4: Seek the help of a professional data recovery company.

If the problem remains after attempting the above solutions, the hard disc is significantly corrupted. In this instance, it’s best to seek the assistance of a data recovery professional like Stellar, who can safely conduct data recovery chores and properly recover the lost data.

Stellar Data Recovery is one of the most well-known data recovery companies. Stellar’s data recovery professionals work in a “controlled environment” at the Class 100 cleanroom facility to recover data from corrupted hard drives. This ensures that data saved on hard drives, which are sensitive data storage devices, is kept safe. Aside from that, they utilize proprietary data recovery tools and materials to ensure that up to 100% of the data is recovered. Stellar data recovery brings you every data recovery option you could need, at a transparent and reasonable data recovery cost


Hard drives might become corrupted for a variety of causes. When this happens, all of the information on the device is lost. To avoid hard drive corruption, protect it with powerful antivirus software, “safely remove” (if the HDD is external) before ejecting, and carefully shut down the system rather than turning it off directly.

If your hard drive becomes corrupt, you can try to repair it with the in-built tools described in this article. If this doesn’t work, you’ll need to seek the guidance of a hard drive recovery professional to fix the problem and recover data from a corrupted hard drive.