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Formatting a computer's hard drive refers to the process of deleting all existing information and rewriting the main file structure of the drive. Restoring information from a formatted drive can be necessary where you discover that you formatted by mistake, or where important files were left on the drive. This can potentially be accomplished with file recovery software, but there are no guarantees. Several file recovery software packages are available for free or on a trial basis.

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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