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How to Recover Data from Unbootable Hard Drive

Wondershare Recoverit Authors

Aug 23, 2023 • Filed to: Answer Hard Drive Problems • Proven solutions

Q: How Can I Recover Data from Unbootable Hard Drive?
"My hard drive won't boot the operating system and my project documents are on the hard drive. Please, how do I get them, my defense is in a few days?"

Data, today, is life. The business of data in our world today is a trillion-dollar one. We base all of our decisions, both trivial and life-threatening ones, on data. And that shows just how important can and has been.

Now, your files might not be needed to stop a missile but it is quite important to you, and losing them will cost so much. Having an unbootable hard drive can be caused by a lot of reasons. However, the reason is not the most important thing here, getting your data is.

The good news is that with the right software you can get your data from an unbootable hard drive. Don’t panic, but rather, relax and follow all the steps in the article. Therein lies the solution to your trapped data.

  • Part 1: Possible Reasons behind the unbootable hard drive
  • Part 2: What you need to recover data from unbootable disk
  • Part 3: How to recover data from a hard drive that won't boot

Part 1: Possible Reasons Behind Unbootable Hard Drive

Hard drives are, without a doubt, the most important storage type among all varieties of permanent storage used in personal computers. They house all programs and programs that make the system works. in short, hard drives are the center of the personal computer.

When an important entity like the hard drive then becomes unbootable, the situation that occurs means that it is unable to load the operating system on it. When you are unable to load or boot your system, then your files and data become unrecoverable.

The reasons behind unbootable hard drive are numerous. Some of these include:

1. Hardware failure

It has been over 50 years in the development of hard drives and we cannot say the hard drive is perfect. It is far from being perfect. One of the major reasons why a hard drive can become unbootable is a fault in one or more of its hardware components. The hard drive has a read/write head which works on the platter. These heads are not supposed to meet or touch, however, has it has often been found, these heads do meet. And when this happens, damage occurs and it renders the hard drive unbootable.

The controller board and even the platter can be corrupted due to various reasons. When any of these occurrences happen, you have on your hand, an unbootable hard drive.

2. Heat

Hard drives are susceptible to heat, but that is not good for their proper functioning. When a hard drive gets too hot, its platter will expand the real problem occurs when the temperature reduces – contraction. When this happens, micro-cracks that result from the distorted magnetic surface is what is discovered and this will lead to a comprise in the stored data.

3. Liquid damage

Most products in the market today are not designed to be water-resistant or even any liquid at all. When a liquid is then spilled on a computer device, it can render it useless. Your hard drive, in this situation, can become unbootable. If the system is working when the liquid was spilled, the system can go off on its own accord and not come back on when the power button is pressed.

Liquid damage is a major reason why your hard drive can be unbootable.

4. Power surge

When the flow of electricity is interrupted, a power surge can occur. This can make the read/write heads of the hard drive to function improperly. What can also happen is the heads failing to get back to the parking zone – this is often caused by an insufficient amount of power. All of these can leave your hard drive unbootable.

Power surges can be caused by lightning or power line interference. Unfortunately, when this happens, there is little to what can be done to prevent it.

5. Human error

Reasons behind unbootable hard drives can also be caused by you or any other person using your system. Accidentally deleting the operating system files can lead to failure of the system to boot. While human error might be unintentional, it is the most common reason for hard drive failure.

Part 2: What You Need to Recover Data from Unbootable Disk

Before you begin your journey of recovering data from your unbootable hard drive, there are certain things you need to have. This set of equipment will make the process easy and fast. Let’s get into these things and for what purpose you need them.

1. A hard drive data recovery tool: this is the software that can be used to recover your data on the unbootable hard drive. Such software can access hard drives that are corrupt and fetch files therein. While there is numerous software in this category nowadays, Recoverit stands out. Not only can you access the files on an unbootable hard drive using Recoverit, but you can also get deleted ones too. Recoverit works by allowing you to create a bootable media from a bootable CD/DVD or USB drive. And it works well with all leading versions of popular operating systems.

2. One bootable CD/DVD or USB Drive or a second bootable hard drive: since your computer is not working presently, you will need one of these devices to help you recover your data. A bootable CD/DVD or USB drive will simply serve as a bootable drive with which Recoverit will work on.

3. A workable computer: you will also need a workable system. It is on this computer system that you will download and install Recoverit. You will also create bootable media from this computer.

Part 3: How to Recover Data From Hard Drive That Won’t Boot

Here comes the answer to your question. In other to recover data from your hard drive that won’t boot, you will need to create a bootable media and thereafter, recover your data using the created bootable media.

Let’s get started.

a. How to create a bootable media

Step 1. Download Recoverit

The first thing to do is to get Recoverit on a workable computer. Go to recover.wondershare.com and download the software.

Step 2. Launch Recoverit.

Having downloaded Recoverit, the next step is to launch the software. When you do, different menus like "Deleted File Recovery", "System Crash Data Recovery", "Recycle Bin Recovery", etc., are what you will see. Choose the "System Crash Data Recovery" from the menu.

Crash computer recovery

Step 3. Create a bootable media

Crash computer recovery

Step 4. Format drive

Crash computer recovery

The next step is to create a bootable media from the USB drive or CD/DVD. Ensure the drive is connected to the workable computer system, then the next window after choosing "System Crash Data Recovery" will show you the options of drives you have connected to the computer. Choose the right driver from the options and click the "create" button.

The next window is simply a warning. Be advised that Recoverit formats the drive you are trying to turn into a bootable media. Once you are sure that the drive is correct, go ahead and click the "format now" button.

Step 5. Bootable drive complete

The next window will show a progress bar that shows the files being added to the drive you and its conversion taking place. Once it is done, you will get a "Bootable USB flash drive completed" message.

Create usb bootable drive

b. Recover data using the bootable media

Step 1. Set computer BIOS

After creating the bootable media, you will need to set your unbootable system BIOS. Set the BIOS to boot your computer with the bootable media you created using Recoverit. In other to enter BIOS, power on the computer and press the BIOS function key to enter BIOS. On most systems, the BIOS function keys are F2, F10, F12, or Delete.

Step 2. Restart the unbootable computer

Now, having set the BIOS, plug in the bootable media and power on the system. Once it is on, the Recoverit interface will come up. Choose the "Deleted Files Recovery" from the menu.

Step 3. Select the right hard drive

The next window will show you the list of drives on the computer. Choose the unbootable hard drive and click the "start" button.

Preview recovered file

Step 4. All-around recovery

Upon clicking the "start" button, a quick scan will be launched automatically and you will able to see all the files in on the hard drive. If you can't see a particular file you are looking for, choose the "All-Around Recovery". This will give you a deeper search.

Preview recovered file

Step 5. Recover your data

After scanning the hard drive, Recoverit allows you to preview your recovered data. Once you are satisfied, click the "Recover" button to save your data.

Preview recovered file

Closing Words

Recovering data from an unbootable hard drive is easy with Recoverit. It does not matter the type of file you want to recover, Recoverit can access it. You can easily create a bootable media and can help you retrieve your data from an unbootable system.

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