11 ways to recover a formatted disk and how to recover files

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Do you know when your computer starts crashing a lot and you think the only way out is to format it? Well, in situations like these, the first thing you should do is make a backup of all your files, because nobody wants to lose anything they have stored, right?

However, we know that there are cases in which the backup wasn’t made and the machine was formatted anyway. What then? What should you do?

In this article, we will teach you 11 ways to recover formatted disks. It’s not complicated, but it does require a lot of attention and caution. Read on and stay up to date!

What is formatting?

Although most people do this to their disk, few know what formatting is.

Formatting, in computer science, is the procedure that completely empties a hard disk so that it can be reused. Basically, there are two types of formatting:

  1. Physical: this formatting is done at the factory, after the disk has been manufactured. It divides the space into tracks, sectors and cylinders and isolates bad blocks. Furthermore, it cannot be undone.
  2. Logical: logical formatting is the best known type of formatting and does not alter the physical structure of the disk in any way. With logical formatting, the hard disk is as good as new, because an internal address table is recreated so that it can be used again later.

Today, we are only going to focus on logical formatting, which is done precisely to free up disk space so that you can reuse it to save new files.

Why is the disk formatted?

Relatively quick and simple to do, formatting is done when one of the following occurs:


Often, your computer’s data processing can be very slow 一 and this can happen for various reasons, such as lack of care for the physical equipment or overload in the use of software.

These issues can compromise the machine completely, so for prevention purposes, formatting is carried out.


Because of the convenience of having everything at our fingertips, many files end up being saved on the disk unnecessarily. And this excess of files can compromise the functioning of the device.

That’s why a cleanup is always recommended:

  • The data takes up a lot of disk space;
  • Websites take a long time to load;
  • The machine is slow.

Virus attack

The internet isn’t always used for good, so much so that there are thousands of types of virus out there. And when your computer is unprotected and is the target of one, you should first check whether your antivirus can reverse the situation.

If not, try restoring the system and, if still nothing is resolved, it’s time to format the machine.

File system problem

If you’ve ever experienced a Windows or Mac error, it’s not unusual. In fact, there are different errors that can appear from time to time.

To prevent this from happening, try undoing the last system update. If that doesn’t work, format your disk.

Repairing damaged sectors

When a sector of your disk is damaged, it is very likely that commands will not be answered. And then two things may have happened:

  1. Physical damage;
  2. Software error.

If your case is the latter, you could risk losing all your data. So, before that happens, format it.

Operating system with errors

The operating system is the most important element of a machine, as all the programs and applications are found in it.

So if your computer is having system failures, try to find out what’s causing them. If it’s something easily fixable, fix it as soon as possible. If not, format it.

Is it possible to reverse a format?

Deleting data from a hard disk accidentally (and without making a backup) can happen, but the good news is that you can recover a formatted disk!

When something like this happens, remember that the sooner you do the procedure, the better your chances of having access to your data again. So when a disk is formatted by mistake, never do the following:

  • Partition the hard disk;
  • Saving new items;
  • Install the operating system or any type of program;
  • Format it again;
  • Testing unreliable software.

To put it another way: don’t do anything to the hard disk, as this could compromise it completely. Why? We’ll explain!

When a disk is formatted, you can’t view any files. However, the data is still there, because it hasn’t been 100% deleted. In fact, the space that the files occupied before is now available 一 but as long as nothing is saved, you can recover them.

That’s why you need to act quickly. And if you don’t know how, we’ll get there!

Can I recover files from a disk that has been formatted several times?

Now that you know it’s possible to recover a formatted disk, it’s time to answer another question that many people have: is it possible to recover files from a disk that has been formatted many times?

The short answer is: it depends. If new data is saved on a hard disk that has just been formatted, there is a high risk of partial or total loss of the data contained before formatting.

For example, if you had a disk full of photos from a trip and, for some reason, it had to be formatted, you can recover those photos. But if you saved a game on that space before recovering them, the next time the disk is formatted, it will be much more difficult to recover the photos. Only professionals will be able to do the job effectively and there’s a good chance that some of the photos will be lost.

By the way, if you need to recover deleted photos from your phone, check out this article.

How do I recover files from a formatted disk?

When you format a disk, it’s very easy to reverse the procedure and recover your files. To do this, you need reliable and secure software.

Check out 11 of them below that we’ve put together for you!

Please note: the procedures mentioned here do not guarantee 100% recovery of the formatted disk. Therefore, in cases of loss of important data, the best course of action is to look for a professional data recovery company, such as Bot, so that the process is safe and the result is more efficient.

EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard

Good-looking software with versatile functionality, EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard promises to recover data from a deleted, hidden, lost or RAW-format partition. It also offers 500MB of recovery in the free version (for both Windows and Mac) and can give you another 1.5GB if you share the program’s link on social networks.


Unlike EaseUS, Recuva doesn’t have such an attractive design, but it’s still one of the most popular options when it comes to recovering a formatted disk.

With the application, you can recover photos, videos, documents and any other type of file you need. The program’s main functions are available in the free version and, if you don’t want to install anything on your machine, it also has a portable version.

Disk Drill

An easy-to-use program, Disk Drill does a very fast job and is able to find duplicate files in just a few seconds. The coolest thing is that it displays the deleted files organized in folders, which makes it much easier to find what you’re looking for.

Like EaseUS, Disk Drill offers 500MB of recovery in the free version. For more, you have to pay for the Pro version.

OnTrack EasyRecovery

With OnTrack EasyRecovery you can search for your deleted files via a logical drive by name or type. In addition, the program can find data on local or external hard drives, MP3 devices, tablets and smartphones.


R-Studio can recover any files that you have saved on your formatted disk, as well as those that have been removed by viruses, partition reformatting, disk errors or malfunctions.


Unlike other programs, which have an interface common to everyday programs, TestDisk is an open source tool. This means that it operates entirely via the command line.

With the program, available for Windows, Mac, Linux and DOS, you can not only recover files, but also rebuild the disk’s boot sector.

Puran Data Recovery

Puran Data Recovery relies heavily on simplicity and ease of use, which guarantees fast disk recovery.

The software performs an in-depth analysis of the disk and manages to find all kinds of files, whether music, video, images or those relating to the system configuration that were mistakenly deleted.

Glary Undelete

A free program for recovering formatted disks, Glary Undelete recovers both files and folders deleted by accident. It can also recover those deleted by bugs, crashes and viruses.

Wise Data Recovery

Data recovery software for Windows, Wise Data Recovery is a lightweight and easy-to-use application. With a simple scan of your computer, it can detect the files that have been deleted. What’s more, you also have the option of searching by file name, which can make the search much easier.

Among the files that Wise Data Recovery recovers are images, videos, compressed files and emails.

Recover My Files

Using this program, you can recover files that have been erased from your disk, deleted from the recycle bin or those that were inside a folder that was accidentally deleted completely.

Recover My Files is very versatile and has a great way of getting your files back, whether they’re on your hard disk, emails, memory cards, mobile devices and more.

Stellar Data Recovery

One of the most famous programs for recovering lost data, Stellar Data Recovery has several functions and allows you to scan, find and recover deleted items from your disk, SSD, USB flash drive and many other external devices.

Its big difference is that you can select the type of file you’re looking for even before the scan is done. With the free version of the software, you can recover up to 1GB of data.

How Bot can help

If you’re afraid of doing the data recovery procedure yourself because the lost files are so important, don’t worry. Bot is here to help!

A leader in data recovery in Portugal, our company works with disks, SSDs, mobile phones, USB flash drives and many other devices. Present in dozens of Brazilian and Portuguese cities, Bot guarantees quality and professionalism in what it does, so much so that our approval rating is 99%.

Among the clients we have worked with are Globo, Ferrero, Volvo, Coca-Cola and Itaú. And now we want to serve you!


After this text, I’m sure you will be much calmer the moment a file is deleted when your disk is formatted, because now you know it’s possible to recover it.

So don’t panic when it happens. Even if you think this content will be useful to someone else, share it with them. The more people who know about it, the more files will be recovered.

And always remember: whatever you need, Bot is here to help!


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