6 best recovery software for damaged hard drive

Radu Tyrsina
by Radu Tyrsina
Founder & Editor-in-Chief
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  • HDD gets corrupted over time and there is nothing you can do to change that. Or is it?
  • You can repair it and most importantly you can retrieve your precious data from damaged hard drives using these awesome tools.
  • Team up with our HDD Guides for more useful insights.
  • Don't be shy to explore our Data Recovery Hub as well.

Hard drive recovery is essential because we all have critical and potentially irreplaceable data and files stored on our systems.

Whether the data was lost as a result of a hard disk drive crash or due to the computer that suddenly stopped working, it’s paramount to know how to recover your data safely.

You have various options for retrieving your lost data. The first thing you need to do is to connect the hard drive to another computer.

The second step is to try and copy the data to another drive. If this does not work, you also have another option available for recovering your data, and this consists of downloading data recovery software.

Here are the best data recovery programs for Windows that you can currently find on the market.

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Ashampoo WinOptimizer

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Recuva

Recuva is another software that allows you to recover your deleted files effortlessly and quickly. If you accidentally deleted essential data or you lost your files due to a computer crash, Recuva is the solution that will definitely save the day.

Let’s quickly look at its key features:

  • This software can recover music, pictures, videos, documents, emails, and any other file types that you have lost
  • Recuva can recover the files from your computer but also from rewritable media such as external hard drives, memory cards, and USB sticks among others
  • Unlike most file recovery utilities, Recuva can recover files from both damaged or newly formatted drivers
  • The program’s flexibility will provide you higher chances of your data recovery
  • Comes with an advanced deep scan mode that is able to search through your drives to find traces of the files that have been lost
  • The program’s secure overwrite feature uses industry and military-standard deletion techniques just to make sure that your data remains deleted
Recuva

Recuva

Team un with Recuva to recover your deleted files quickly and effortlessly.

Pandora Data Recovery allows you to find and recover deleted files from NTFS and FAT-formatted volumes.

The software will scan your hard drive and then build an index of existing and deleted files and folders.

After the scanning process is over, you will have full control over which files you want to recover and what destination you want to recover them to.

Let’s quickly look at its key features:

  • The program can recover archived, encrypted, hidden, and compressed files
  • You will be able also to recover alternate data streams
  • The tool recovers documents, images, movies, and any other types of files that you might have lost
  • Pandora Hard Drive Data Recovery Tool is compatible with Windows
  • The software includes Review File properties and Drive Properties as well
  • You can recover lost files to your local hard drive, network drive, or flash drive
Disk Drill (Pandora)

Disk Drill (Pandora)

Photos, movies, files - you name it, Disk Drill can retrieve it and it's absolutely free up to 500 MB of data.

Check out how to recover a deleted database in Windows with these easy steps.


PC Inspector File Recovery is another excellent option for recovering your lost data.

When you launch the program, you will first need to choose your language, and after that, you’ll be prompted with a welcome screen that gives you three options.

Let’s quickly look at its key features:

  • The first option is to Recover Deleted Files, and this will allow you to restore the files that have been permanently deleted from your drive; the option will only work if the deleted files have not been overwritten yet.
  • The second option is Find Lost Data, and this lets you recover files that have been lost due to a system crash; the scan will take around a few hours, in accordance to your drive’s size.
  • The last option is Find Lost Drive, and you should use this id your drive letter doesn’t appear in My Computer or Windows Explorer; it will try to connect to the drive, and then it will allow you to browse through the data.

Get PC Inspector File Recovery

GetDataBack is one of the simplest solutions for recovering your lost data.

GetDataBack is a read-only program, and this means that it won’t attempt to fix or write on the drive that you are about to recover.

Let’s quickly look at its key features:

  • It is able to recover all of your driver’s data
  • You can restore file names and directory structure as well
  • The software’s interface is user-friendly, and beginners will be able to use the program without any issues
  • The software comes with free lifetime updates when you purchase it
  • You will not have to find out beforehand which files system your drive was formatted with
  • The program’s engine uses four advanced levels that will automatically escalate until the best results have been achieved
  • This software is compatible with Windows

Check out GetDataBack official website

Hiren’s BootCD is a tool that allows booting into a slimmed-down version of Windows that is called MiniXp from the bootable CD or bootable flash drive. It will run diagnostic utilities on a problematic system.

It’s important to note that Recuva is one of these utilities that are backed in Hiren’s BootCD.

This will turn out to be helpful especially if you do not have a USB to IDE/SATA adapter or if you don’t want to pull your drive out of your computer.

Let’s quickly look at its key features:

  • You have to connect another drive to the machine such as a USB flash drive or an external hard drive to have a place to copy your recovered data
  • Version 15.2 comes with a vast list of improvements and new options, and you can check it out of the official website of Hiren’s BootCD
  • The software is compatible with Windows
  • Hiren’s BootCD is able to repair bad sectors on your hard drive by generating a unique sequence of high and low signals around the area that is physically damaged

Get Hiren’s BootCD 


These are our top 6 picks for damaged hard drive recovery software for Windows. Take a close look at all of their features and decide which tool is the best for your system’s needs.

They are all compatible with Windows, and they can successfully save both your lost data and your day as well. Share your pick in the comments section below.

FAQ: Learn more about tools and techniques to retrieve data from damaged HDD

  • Does repairing a drive erase it?

Essentially no, but data loss could and usually is already installed. You might want to use a diagnostic and repair tool that also provides data recovery options.

  • Can a HDD be repaired?

Yes, there are specialized software that can run deep scans of your drivers, locate the faults, and apply the necessary patching measures. Check out this complete list.

  • Is Disk Drill really free?

You can use it free of charge to recover up to 500 MB of data, after which you will be requested to upgrade. Check out more data recovery tools in this comprehensive guide.

Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in December 2017 and has been since revamped and updated in July 2020 for freshness, accuracy, and comprehensiveness.