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Formatting a computer hard drive is a serious matter, but not quite as serious as some people would assume. Contrary to popular belief, formatting a hard drive does not erase everything on the drive. In fact, it doesn't erase anything at all. What it does do is to remove the files from the computer's File Allocation Tables (FAT), essentially telling the computer that it is safe to use this space. But until the computer uses that space, the files are still there and can be easily recovered. If you have lost important data due to a hard drive being formatted, or maybe just want to see what used to be on that used computer you bought, keep reading to learn how to recover data from a formatted hard drive.

How to Recover Data From a Formatted Hard Drive

Step 1

Understand that formatting the hard drive does not remove the data from your computer. As long as nothing else is written over the top of the data, it is still available and can be recovered. It is simply invisible, so to speak. You should, however, make an attempt to recover the data as soon as possible, to help prevent the space from being used by another file or program.

Step 2

Evaluate the options that are available to you from a data recovery software. There are a large number of software products available that will recover the data from a formatted hard drive. "Uneraser" is one of the most popular, but there are many available with prices ranging from free to expensive. Doing an online search for "hard drive recovery" or "data recovery software" will give you a large number of options to choose from.

Step 3

Download and install the software that you selected in the previous step. If you selected a software package that costs money, you will need to pay before you can download the program. Otherwise, follow the product instructions for how to install the recovery software onto your computer. This is normally an automated process that requires little interaction from the user, if any at all.

Step 4

Open the software and follow the on-screen instructions to recover the data from your hard drive. At this point it is basically up to the software to do all of the work. As long as no other files, including the data recovery software you just downloaded, have rewritten the hard drive space, you should be able to recover what was previously there.
If you can not recover format data in this way, you can try WiseRecovery which can recover your deleted or lost files due to situations of corruption, formatting, virus attack, etc. With WiseRecovery you don't need to worry about your lost data any more.

How to Save Format Data with WiseRecovery

Step 1

Download WiseRecovery Software, install it and launch it. Click the "Start Scan" button on the main window of WiseRecovery.

Step 2

You can see the list of all volumes found on your computer, select the exact drive and click the "Next" button to start scanning. If you can't see the drive, please make sure your external drives are connected, and click 'Refresh' button.

Step 3

It will take about 2-10 minutes to scan, it depends on your disk size and files amount on the disk. After scanning is finished, you can preview text document and files.
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