Your hard disk is usually your trusty partner that stores all of your data on your computer. However, if a problem occurs and there is an error on your hard disk, you are at potential risk of losing your data. Don't worry. Here is how to recover hard drive data without formatting:

hard disk drive repair data recovery

Part 1. How to Get Lost/Deleted Data from Hard Drive/Disk without Losing Data Using iMyFone D-Back Hard Drive Recovery Software

Your hard disk is usually your trusty partner that stores all of your data on your computer. However, if a problem occurs and there is an error on your hard disk, you are at potential risk of losing your data. Don't worry. Here are ways to recover hard drive data without formatting.

By far, the easiest to use and most convenient software to fix a corrupted external hard drive is iMyFone D-Back Hard Drive Recovery. With this software, you can recover anything from documents, pictures, videos, audio files, and more

Supporting a range of devices and data repair from your computer, external hard drive, and recycle bin, iMyFone works on both Mac and Windows.

Free download the app and by using only 3 easy steps, you can use it to fix a corrupted hard drive without losing data.

Step 1. Open the software and select the location you want to recover.

select location external device

Step 2. The software will start scanning. Kindly wait until the process is completed. 

scan external device

Step 3. After the scanning, you can quickly look through the scanned results and preview them. Click on the files you want to recover and click on the "Recover" button. 

preview files from external devices

Part 2. What Causes Corrupted External Hard Drive

To avoid future hassles, you might be wondering why the hard drive becomes corrupted in the first place. Once you can understand the reasons and the warning signs of a corrupted external hard drive, it can be easier to avoid this from happening in the future as it can be rather inconvenient and problematic.

Here are the common reasons:

● Malware Or Corrupt Files

A common reason for corrupted external hard drives is usually viruses or malware that are causing damage to your computer. If you use faulty apps or open new files without scanning them first, this can happen. In this case, the external hard drive is corrupted, and you start losing data and files.

● Power Surges

Whenever or wherever you use your computer, you want to ensure that it is supplied with a consistent and proper power supply. Sudden power surges can interrupt the flow of energy within the system and cause damage to the data on the external hard drive.

● Overheating

One of the leading causes of losing corrupted external hard drives is overheating. When your system hard drive is not being provided with adequate ventilation or if your CPU fan is not working, it can cause your computer to overload and lose data. You may notice this happening if you hear clicking sounds from your hardware or notice that the fan moves slowly.

● Physical Damage To The Hard Drive

Physical damage to the hard drive can also be a reason for its losing data. It includes damage from water (through spills, flooding, or dripping liquids) and physical force such as striking the hard drive or dropping it somewhere. The hard disk is not meant to be waterproof or damage resistant; hence it must handle with care to avoid any damage to the data it stores.

● Errors Caused By Humans

Alternatively, there might be some mistakes you are making that are causing damage to your data to be lost.

These errors might include accidental deletion of files or data, forcing a shutdown without closing files, improper software installation, or installation of unauthorized software. Thus it would help if you were careful not to make these common mistakes.

Part 3. How to Fix/Repair a Corrupted External Hard Drive/Disk without Formatting

If you already have a corrupted external hard drive and are wondering how to fix an external hard drive without formatting it or whether it's even possible, then you're in luck. This section will reveal how you can select a corrupted hard drive without losing data.

Repairing your hard drive might cause you to lose data, so it's better to be safe and recover your data first.

Method 1. Restore Corrupted System Files from the External Hard Drive

You can easily and quickly fix the corrupted external hard drive by formatting it through the following steps below:

Step 1. Connect your external hard drive to the PC causing the problem.

Step 2. Right-click the device and select the "Format" option.

format the drive option

Step 3. Set a new file system, NTFS or FAT, for the drive.

change the drive file system

Step 4. Click OK and it's done.

Method 2. Run a CHKDSK Scan

When you cannot access the hard disk because it is corrupted, run a CHKDSK scan, you can do this by following these steps:

Step 1. Type CMD in the "search windows" bar.

open the cmd option

Step 2. When you see "command prompt," right-click on it and select "Run as administrator."

Step 3. Now type the command "chkdsk A: /f /r /x" in the command prompt window (replace A with your drive letter here) and press enter.

type the chkdsk command

/f,/r, and /x are perimeters of the scan.

/f will fix any errors found, /x will make sure the bad sectors on the drive are located, and /x will compel the drive to dismount before going through with the process.

Method 3. Run an SFC Scan

Alternatively, you can also learn how to repair a drive without formatting by learning how to run an SFC (system file checker).

It replaces corrupt files, ensures the integrity of the files on the system, and fixes lost or damaged files.

You can do this by:

Step 1. Opening the command prompt window.

Step 2. Type in "D: \> SFC/scan now" (where D is your drive letter) and hit enter.

write the sfcscan command

Step 3. Wait till the scan is complete.

Step 4. Reboot your computer.

Step 5. Now, you should be able to access an error-free hard disk.

Method 4. Update the Disk Driver

You can use this method when a driver issue is causing corruption. Follow these steps:

Step 1. You can update your driver if your device manager's Universal serial bus controllers show a yellow exclamation mark.

computer management options

Step 2. When you right-click on your drive, select "update driver," and then choose "select automatically for updated driver software," you can start the update.

update the drivers

Part 4. Bonus Tip: How to Avoid Losing Data on Your External Hard Drive/Disk

You should also know how to avoid this problem from happening in the first place. It can save you the time, money, energy, and hassle of hard disk damage repair in the first place. Luckily, you do not need to go out of your way to do this; it can be done by

● Keeping Your PC Clean

If your computer is prone to overheating frequently, you should take the time to clean it up and inspect it thoroughly for dust and dirt. You might notice a stark difference in performance after a thorough cleanse, and your pc might not overheat as much. If it doesn't overheat, losing data is significantly reduced.

● Handle With Care

 You must handle your hard drive with care and maintain it well. Protect your hard drive from physical damage (including rubbing, jarring, dropping, moisture, liquids, and temperature changes).

● Monitor Drive Health Regularly

Being well aware of your driving health can keep you aware of and prepared for any possible future mishaps.

There are devices and software that can help you monitor your drive health.

An excellent way to ensure your drive health is by not overloading it with more data than it can take. You should know the limits of your external hard drive and stay within those parameters. 

● Eject Devices Properly

Many people often habit removing any connected devices to the PC improperly (i.e., without using the "remove device" option). The reason this can be problematic is because 

1. It can disturb the transfer of files and cause your hard disk to be corrupted 

2. It can lead to sudden power surges that damage the hard disk.

Thus it would help if you remembered to use the "remove device" option before pulling out any device to ensure that your data is safe.

Part 5. FAQs about Hard Drive/Disk Recovery

5.1 How to format the disk in drive without losing data

You can do this by first connecting the hard drive to the computers, locating the external drive on your pc, right-clicking on it, and then checking "Quick format." 

After that, you can conveniently recover your data using iMyFone D-Back Hard Drive Recovery Software.

5.2 How can I save data on an external hard drive without formatting

You can use the steps mentioned above to recover data using iMyFone D-Back Hard Drive Recovery Software and save it on any location on your external hard disk.

5.3 Can a hard drive be repaired without formatting

Luckily, it is possible to repair a hard drive without formatting. You can run a CHKDSK scan, update your disk driver, or even use an antivirus. If that does not solve the issue, you can also seek professional help.


Thus using this guide, you can now be aware of the do's and don't when it comes to taking care of your data and external hard disk and avoid losing your data. Alternatively, suppose you have lost your data. In that case, you can quickly recover it by using iMyFone D-Back Hard Drive Recovery Software and then fix your corrupted external disk drive after saving your data in a safer location.