How to Unformat Hard Drive with file recovery freeware?

How to unformat hard drive if you accidently formatted a hard drive? This article is supposed to provide the best solution to unformat hard drive and recover files from formatted FAT/NTFS hard drive with unformat software such as easy recovery software - EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard Free Edition.

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As we know, hard drive format is a process of preparing a hard disk or other storage medium for use, including setting up an empty file system. When you format a hard drive, the Operating System erases all bookkeeping information on the disk, tests the disk to make sure all sectors are reliable, marks bad sectors (that is, those that are scratched), and creates internal address tables for later use to locate information. Every Hard Disk should be formatted before use. And formatting a disk involves two quite different processes known as low-level formatting and high-level formatting.

High-level formatting: a process of writing the file system structures on the disk for storing programs and data.

Low-level formatting: a process of formatting hard drive surfaces and installing characteristics like sector numbers that are visible to, and used by, the disk controller hardware.

It is not necessary to format hard drive through low-level format because it will physically damage the disk and cut short the life of the disk. A high-level format will be sufficient for most purposes by wiping out the control structures and writing new ones. The old information is lost and the disk appears as a new one after a high-level formatting.

Unformat means to recover everything from the newly formatted disk. However, high-level format can be unformatted while low-level format cannot be.

Can you imagine the situation when you accidentally format the hard drive and then realize the important data gets lost? Usually, people format seemingly unnecessary disks only to find out that they really need them later.

When you encounter such case, you have to recover the lost files from formatted hard drive.

Why we could unformat:

When you format hard drive, the Operating System resets the FAT or MFT on the disk. The reason that you can no longer see the files under Windows is that the MFT tells the Operating System that the drive letter does not contain any files, but the files are still where they were. That's why we could unformat a disk. The "unformat" means to transfer the files on the formatted hard drive or partition to a separate one.

Restore a disk erased by the FORMAT command or restructured by the RECOVER command in DOS.

UNFORMAT drive: [/J]

UNFORMAT drive: [/U] [/L] [/TEST] [/P]


drive: Specifies the drive to unformat.
/J Verifies that the mirror files agree with the system information on the disk.
/U Unformats without using MIRROR files.
/L Lists all file and directory names found, or, when used with the /PARTN switch, displays current partition tables.
/TEST Displays information but does not write changes to disk.
/P Sends output messages to printer connected to LPT1.
/PARTN Restores disk partition tables.


unformat c:

Command specifies to unformat drive c: if it is formatted.

Additional information

This program is designed to only be run in MS-DOS versions 5.0 to 6.22. If you have upgraded to Windows 9x, Windows NT, Windows 2000, Windows 2003, Windows XP, Windows Vista or any other Operating System, this command will not restore any information but may possibly cause additional issues with the Hard Drive.

If you have lost computer files and you would like to recover, Data Recovery Wizard may help you. It is a simple tool to unformat FAT and NTFS hard drive.

Data Recovery Wizard Free Edition is a fully automatic unformat freeware that recover data from damaged or high-level formatted drives. It scans the disk first and then restores the original structure of files and folders.

To unformat files from formatted drives, please follow this procedure:

1. Click the "Complete Recovery" button on the main window of Data Recovery Wizard Free Edition.

unfomat hard drive

2. Select the file types you want to recover. Tick 'Search all lost files automatically' to find all lost file types. Tick 'Ignore bad sectors' to skip bad sectors when scanning.

Select file types

3. The second screen on the "Complete Recovery" mode will display a list of volumes found on the drives. If the volume does not have a drive letter, then the volume will be listed at the hindmost and the drive letter will be replaced by "*".

4. You should choose the formatted volume that you want to recover and click "NEXT" to start searching this volume.

5. The Intelligent Searching module will scan the selected volume, collect and analyze every byte on the volume, then show you a list of volumes which are possible on it.

unformat fat/ntfs drive

6. After this scanning is finished, Data Recovery Wizard Free Edition allows you to choose 4 volumes at best to recover the data. And then, press "NEXT" button. The Data Recovery Wizard Free Edition will launch the "Building directory" procedure to search the files. You will see file/folder tree soon.

unformat files

7. Select the files and save the data.

EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard Free Edition is a read-only unformat software to quickly and safely unformat hard drive and recover files from formatted FAT/NTFS hard drive, external hard drive, USB easily and safely under Windows 2000/XP/2003/Vista/2008/Windows 7. Besides unformat function, this hard drive data recovery tool also can recover deleted files, do partition recovery and recover lost data due to virus infection, software crash, unexpected shutdown and other unknown reasons.

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