How to Repair Damaged Hard Disk Drive without Formatting?

Admin | data recovery Featured File Repair How to's Software Technology | 3 minutes read | Last updated on February 8th, 2023,

Corruption in disk arises due to errors in file system that transform disk into RAW. Such errors occurs by bad sectors, unexpected system shutdown, hardware/software failure and at times physical damage. To fix damaged hard disk drive, the first step you can take is to format it. It is the easiest method to repair damaged hard disk drive. However, it result in permanent data loss.

Thus, today, the blog will discuss the steps to repair damaged disk drive without drive formatting.

Note: Window will immediately show prompt to format damaged (RAW) drive volume when one connect it or switch on the system. Click ‘Cancel’. Make sure to not click ‘FORMAT’ as it can cause permanent loss of data.

How Hard Disk Drive Corruption Causes?

When drive formatted with file system such as NTFS, FAT16/32, exFAT etc. a table is generated that keeps record of files. NTFS generates MFT (Master File Table), whereas FAT file system saves such records in FAT (File Allocation Table). Once formatting done, record will then added in the table for each file that is cut/copy/paste.

These files include file physical address on hard drive with other file details like file format, modification, size, creation date etc.

Thus, when drive attached to a system, the operating system reads the file system table and displays files as well as folders contained together with details extracted from the table. When table is corrupted, the operating system not able to recognize file system and therefore shows drive as RAW.

Steps to Repair/Fix Damaged Hard Disk Drive without Formatting

Follow step-by-step process to solve “how to repair damaged hard disk drive” without formatting and get back the data.

Step 1. Execute CHKDSK Scan

CHKDSK proves good method for a storage drive and one should run it frequently. The CHKDSK attacks the bad sectors and protect data from corruption by repairing errors of file system.

Follow the below instructions to run scan of CHKDSK and repair damaged hard disk drive without formatting:

  1. Open Command Prompt Window.
  2. Ensure that drive which need to be repaired is connected to the system.
  3. Make use of disk management tool to allocate letter to damaged drive if not having one.
  4. Type chkdsk / r / f X: X is drive letter. Now, replace X with damaged drive letter and hit Enter.
  5. Wait for the process to finish, then restart the machine and check if drive is still accessible.

Note: In case you see warning message like one as below, hit ‘Y’ on keyboard and click ‘Enter’.

Important: Bad sectors cause drive failures and CHKDSK is the only way that fix bad sectors and protect data from corruption as well as drive errors.

Step 2. Execute SFC Scan

SFC Check help in repairing missing/corrupted Windows system files that result in drive damage. The process check system file integrity and replace damaged or defective system file with cache copy saved in the system.

Run SFC scan as below:

  1. Open elevated input window
  2. Enter sfc / scannow
  3. When it is external drive, enter sfc / SCANNOW / OFFBOOTDIR = c:\ / OFFWINDIR = c: \ windows.
  4. Replace c letter with hard disk drive letter.

Now, wait for the process to complete and again start the system. Check, if drive is accessible.

Step 3. Opt Data Recovery Tool

There is a possibility that above discussed steps are not enough to fix damaged/inaccessible hard drive. At times, corruption become serious matter and above mentioned methods can fix slight drive corruption issues.

However, Data Recovery Software is recommended solution by experts that can help in quick file recovery from badly formatted, damaged/inaccessible hard disk drives or deleted partitions. Although, Windows not recognize damaged hard disk drive as usable drive, but the software completely supports recovery inaccessible RAW hard disk drive. By executing few simple steps, one can perform the recovery within seconds.

Follow the link to know more about the software: CubexSoft Data Recovery Software


Corruption in hard disk is a logical problem, one of the common reason for loss of data across the globe. However, one can protect hard drive from being damaged by applying few practices mentioned in a post.

Therefore whenever this happens, opt the steps the blog outlined and solve the issue of “how to repair damaged hard disk drive” without formatting.