How To Recover Data From Hard Disk

It is a simple task to delete files from the hard disk. However, if you unintentionally delete a file or lose it for no apparent reason, recovering it can be difficult.

Hard drives also are prone to mechanical failures as well as logical errors. This could result in data loss or even prevent you from accessing the data. Data recovery is simple in the event of unintentional deletion or minor logical errors. However, if the drive has suffered physical damage, data recovery can be difficult and must be handled by a professional.

This article will look at how to recover deleted or inaccessible data from a hard drive in Windows, Mac, and Linux operating systems.

Recover Data From Hard Disk on Windows

On Windows, there are many third-party apps available to restore the data from the hard disk. However, in this article, we will recommend some native Windows tools that can be used to do the same. 

Restore Data from the Recycle Bin

If you have deleted a file from the Hard disk, it is possible that it has been sent to the Recycle Bin. You can bring back the files by restoring them from the recycle bin in that case. 

  1. Open the Recycle bin.
  2. Find the deleted file. 
  3. Right-click on it and select RestoreRestore files from recylce bin
  4. Check the file in its previous location. You will find it restored from the recycle bin. 

Note: This method will not work if you have permanently deleted the file using the Shift + Delete key, as it will bypass the recycle bin. 

Recover Data from File History

A Windows recovery tool named the File History Utility comes to use while recovering deleted files. However, to use this feature, users must have set a backup of the data. 

  1. Press Windows Key + R and type control
  2. Go to System and Security > File Historyfile history option
  3. From the left panel, click on Restore personal Files.restore personal files
  4. Select the file you want to recover and click on the green Restore button.
    restore file history

Recover Hidden Files

The files on your hard drive might be hidden for different reasons, such as maintaining system integrity, virus and  malware infection, system issues, or other causes. This may cause you not to be able to access the files. If your files in the hard drive have suddenly disappeared, then you can use the attrib command to remove their hidden status and recover the files. 

  1. Press Windows Key + X and open Terminal (Admin).
  2. Now, type the drive letter of the drive where the file is to be restored and hit enter.
    For instance, if the Drive is E:, type E: and hit enter. change directory
  3. Now, execute this command and hit enter. This command clears the attributes of the files from the desired drive from where you want to recover the files. 
    -h -r -s /s /d *.*recovery command
  1. Finally, check the drive and see if the data is restored. 

Using the Windows File Recovery tool

There is a Windows recovery tool named the File History Utility that comes to use while recovering deleted files. However, to use this feature, users must have set a backup of their data. 

  1. Go to the file explorer and check the File system of the desired hard drive. 
  2. Go to the Windows Store and download the Windows File Recovery application. 
    Windows store for recovery tool
  3. Launch the application with privileged access. 
  4. Now, you can use the following commands to recover the data from the drive. 
    winfr <Source-Drive> <Recovery-drive> /<mode> /n <switches>windows recovery utility
  5. If the file system on the drive is NTFS and it is not corrupted, use the Regular mode, which is the utility’s standard recovery option for this file system. You can, otherwise, use the extensive mode, which is suitable for all file system types. 

Here’s how to use this command. To recover the documents from the C: drive and to a recovery, drive D: use this command. 
Winfr C: D: /regular /n \Users\<username>\Documents\ recovery command for documents

To recover the documents with extension .pdf from the C: drive to the recovery drive D:, use the command this way,
Winfr C: D: /extensive /n *.pdf 
recovery command for pdf

Repair Disk With CHKDSK

The hard drive may sometimes have some logical errors and thus, users may not access the data inside the drive. In such instances, running CHKDSK scans can help you fix the issues with it and recover the data inside. 

Here’s how to use this drive repair utility l to recover the data. 

  1. Press Windows Key + R to open Run.
  2. Type cmd and press Ctrl + Shift + Enter. This will launch the command prompt with elevated privileges.
  3. Now, use this command line to run the chkdsk scans on the affected drive. 
    chkdsk <DriveLetter> /r
    To use this command on an error-affected disk, for instance, E:
    chkdsk E: /r 
    chkdsk r command
  4. The scan process will take a while. After it is done scanning and fixing the issues with the drive, you may want to restart the computer and then check if you can retrieve data from the hard disk.

Recover from the Cloud Storage

If the data on your hard drive is backed up on the cloud storage, you can recover the lost data back to your local device. Even if deleted, the synced files on the drive can remain in the cloud storage’s recycle bin for some time. 

Recover Data From Hard Drive on Mac

If you haven’t cleaned up the Trash bin after the data was deleted, you can go and recover your data from the bin. To do so, open the trash icon and locate the deleted file. Right-click on the file and select Put back.

To recover the data from the hard drive on Mac, you must use the backup and restore utility known as the Time Machine. If you have backed up the data from the hard disk using the Time machine, you can retrieve it easily using these steps. 

  1. Click on Apple Menu.
  2. Go to System Settings.
  3. Click on General from the sidebar.
  4. Launch the Time Machine utility.Time machine
  5. The application will give you a timeline of the backups made by it. 
  6. Find the folder in the list of backups.
  7. Select the file and click on Restore.

Recover Data From Hard Drive on Linux

On Linux, there are multiple data recovery utilities you can use. Foremost is one of the most convenient applications among those, which lets you choose and restore different file types. 

Here’s how to use this application. 

  1. Run this command to check the drive volumes on your computer.
    lslbk command
  2. Now, execute these command lines one by one to install the package named Foremost .
    sudo apt-get update 
    sudo apt-get install  foremost
  3. Now, enter this command to recover the data from the desired drive. 
    foremost -i /dev/sdb1 
    recover  from foremost
  4. Here, /dev/sdb1 is the partition. Replace it with the partition of your choice by verifying it using step 1.  
  5. Now, you can check the directory from the file manager, and you will see the files recovered. The output file is inside the root directory. 

Visit a Data Recovery Professional

If your hard drive has met some kind of physical damage, all the methods suggested in this article might not work. In such instances, visiting a recovery professional and retrieving the data is ideal.

high angle hands repairing hard drive
Hard Disk Repair

Damage in the read/write heads or the actuator arms of the hard drive can be fixed, and data can be recovered from it. However, if the platters in the mechanical drives have incurred damage, the restoration process becomes more difficult. 

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