Recover Files from Unallocated Space on Hard Drive in Windows 7
It is well known that hard drive has been an important device for data storage on the computer. When using a computer to deal with something in business, work, and life, most of you have a habit of storing some vital files or other information to the hard drive. However, your disk partition probably gets lost and shows unallocated space due to some reasons. Here this post will show you some details about recover files from unallocated space in Windows 7/8/10.
Unallocated Hard Drive Issue
When referring to a hard disk, you should know the disk partition contains two types including primary partition and logical partition which can be used to store data and files. But unallocated space and free space, which can be viewed in Disk Management, will not be displayed in Windows Explorer let alone use them as the storage location.
If you connect a new hard disk to your computer for data storage in Windows 7/8/10, this disk shows unallocated space before creating a new partition on it. However, there is a possibility that the hard drive you just plug into the computer has normal partitions with files and folders before, but now accidentally the disk partition becomes unallocated space so that all partition data are lost. Do you know why unallocated hard drive issue appears? Are there any specific cases about recover files from unallocated space? How to fix unallocated hard drive in Windows 7/8/10? Please read the following content to search answers.
Why and When Hard Drive Shows Unallocated
Reasons about Partition Loss
If you find your hard drive or partition becomes unallocated in Windows Disk Management, you will feel very upset and be wondering about the reasons. Generally speaking, partition loss appears due to five main reasons:
- Virus attack: It is most likely some viruses hide in every corner and attack your computer, which lead to disk partition loss issue.
- Wrong deletion: When managing your disk or partition, the partition is deleted accidentally. For example, you use diskpart to clean a disk which is abnormal, but you select another disk by mistake, and then all partitions of the selected disk are missing. Tip: Clean on Wrong Disk? Undo Diskpart Clean Command Now!
- System crash: If there is something wrong with your computer, system crash issue often happens to you. In this case, disk is easy to get lost and show unallocated.
- System upgrade: It is a possibility that your partition gets lost after finishing OS update.
- Sudden power outage: During the process of using a computer, if you experience sudden power off, disk probably shows unallocated in Windows 10/8/7.
In addition to the above, partition loss can be caused by other factors, for instance, bad sectors, damaged partition table and more. Once unallocated hard drive issue appears, all data will be missing. If there is no important data saved in the partition, you can directly create a new partition with the unallocated space. However, usually, most of you are willing to recover files from unallocated space.
Cases about Partition Loss
After knowing the specific factors of disk partition loss, now let’s look at some particular cases.
"Hi, today I've installed the update for w10 (1607), and suddenly I've lost access to one of my HDDs (1TB drive, nothing partitioned). Checking the disk management it shows as unallocated space, and under properties->events, shows a "device migration" message. I've googled this and found some issues in the past, but no "concrete" solution. Can someone guide me to a foolproof way of doing this without losing the data in the HDD? Thanks!"
The above example comes from a forum, which shows you that the hard drive becomes unallocated after Windows 10 update issue. In addition, you probably encounter other cases as follows:
1. When plugging a pen drive, USB flash drive, external hard drive or other disks to your computer, it is possible that hard disk unallocated not initialized issue appears in Windows 7/8/10. In Windows Disk Management, the disk shows "Unknown" and "Not Initialized".
2. Some of you are possible to encounter partition loss after converting MBR to GPT. You may use Disk Management to delete all partitions and then do the conversion. Or you use a third-party program to convert to GPT disk but lose all partitions.
In these cases, to get data back from the unallocated disk is an urgent matter. Do you know how to recover unallocated space in hard drive in Windows 7/8/10? Read the following content now.
Two Methods to Recover Files from Unallocated Space
When experiencing any of the above cases in Windows 7/8/10, some of you choose to format the unallocated space to fix this issue, but the unallocated disk cannot be formatted directly. When you right click the unallocated space, there is no "Format" option. Then you may choose to format it during creating a new partition on this space with Disk Management. However, this way will lead to data loss.
If there are vital files saved on this hard drive, all data will be overwritten when creating a partition and the possibility of lost partition recovery is very slim. So don’t create a new partition with the unallocated space before all files are recovered.
In order to avoid data overwriting, to undelete partition is essential. You may ask: is it possible to fix unallocated hard drive? For most ordinary users which are not familiar with the computer, unallocated space data recovery is not a simple job. But a professional tool can make this work easy. Here two methods will be introduced as follows.
Method 1: Use MiniTool Partition Wizard
Luckily, MiniTool Solution Ltd. has released a professional partition and disk manager called MiniTool Partition Wizard. With it, you are able to resize/extend/copy partition and do many basic & advanced disk or partition managements. Besides, this professional software has a powerful feature - "Partition Recovery" which enables you to get lost or deleted partition back and recover files from unallocated space on internal hard disks, external hard drives or some flash drives.
What’s more, MiniTool Partition Wizard contains six editions, such as Free Edition, Professional Edition, Pro Ultimate, Server, Enterprise and Technician Edition. Free Edition can only be used to scan all lost partitions but it doesn’t support deleted partition recovery. Therefore, it is suggested to use its Professional Edition to recover unallocated disk space in Windows 7/8/10.
Tip: Before recovering unallocated disk, please purchase a license. Or you can download Professional Demo Edition to have a free try but this edition doesn't allow you to click "Apply" at last.
Step 1: Launch MiniTool Partition Wizard Professional Edition in Windows 7/8/10 to go to its main interface. Click "Partition Recovery" feature in the tool bar or select this feature from "Check Disk" drop-out menu after selecting a target disk. Then start to undelete partition and recover files from unallocated space. Here we take the first way as an example.
Step 2: Then a pop-up window will show you "Partition Recovery Wizard" which can help you to recover lost or deleted partitions. Click "Next" button to continue.
Step 3: On this page, please choose a disk you would like to recover. Here we take disk 2 as an example. Then hit "Next" button.
Step 4: In this interface, you can see three scanning ranges are listed: "Full Disk" for scanning the entire disk, "Unallocated Space" to only scan free space and "Specified Range" to scan specified sectors by entering the starting LBA and Ending LBA directly. Please choose a proper range to scan the deleted or lost partitions according to your actual situation.
Step 5: Next check an appropriate scanning method, "Quick Scan" or "Full Scan". From the screenshot below, you know with the former scanning method, when this program finds one lost/deleted partition, it will jump to the end of the partition to continue scanning other lost/deleted partitions. Moreover, the latter one can be used to scan each sector of the specified scanning range. If "Quick Scan" fails to find your lost partitions, try "Full Scan" again.
Step 6: In the pop-out window, you see all partitions on your hard drive are displayed here. Please choose all needed partitions (both existing and lost). Otherwise, this software will delete the partition which is not chosen. Furthermore, from "Preview" bar, you can preview the effect of lost partition recovery. Click "Finish" button to go back to the main interface of MiniTool Partition Wizard.
Tip: when double clicking a searched partition, you are allowed to explore the content and click "Close" to go back to the above step.
Step 7: In the main interface, you can preview the recovered partitions are listed.
Note: The recovered partitions will have no drive letters, so you need to assign a drive letter for each recovered partition in order to access them in Windows Explorer. Please select a recovered partition, click "Change Drive Letter" feature from "Partition Management" menu and then select a new letter from the drop-down list. Here from the figure, there are two partitions recovered, so please repeat this operation to allocate a letter for another drive.
Step 8: At last, click "Apply" button to make all operations effective so that all files from unallocated space can be recovered. Then you can access all recovered partitions as well as data in Windows Explorer.
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Method 2: Adopt MiniTool Power Data Recovery
If MiniTool Partition Wizard can’t find your lost partition, you can ask a piece of dedicated data recovery software for help - MiniTool Power Data Recovery. With it, you can only recover files from unallocated space rather than recover lost or deleted partitions. This tool includes five editions, such as Free, Personal, Commercial, Enterprise, and Technician. Here we recommend Free Edition to you if you are a non-server user. With this professional data recovery software, you can not only recover unallocated partition data after losing partition but also retrieve files from damaged, formatted or RAW drives, CD/DVD and so on. Click here to know more. How to recover data from unallocated hard drive? Follow the guidance below.
Before you do, download MiniTool Partition Wizard Free Edition and install it on your computer to recover data in Windows 7/8/10.
Step 1: Run MiniTool Partition Wizard Free Edition to its main interface. Here you can see five recovery modes are displayed. Please click "Lost Partition Recovery" to start since this module enables you to recover data from lost or deleted partitions.
Step 2: Then select the hard drive which contains lost or deleted partitions. Then click "Full Scan" button to begin scanning.
Step 3: After finishing the full scan, you can see all possible partitions are found and displayed. Please unfold the partitions to find the files you need, or you can make full use of these two features "Filter" and "Type" to help to quick find the files you want. And then check them to click "Save" to store the recovered files to another hard drive.
- It is not suggested to save recovered files to the original location which can avoid data overwriting.
- After finishing data recovery, if you find the recovered folder is empty, please save the select files & folders to root directory, for instance, E:\. Or you can try to right click the folders and choose "Recover" to save them.
After all partition data are recovered, you can recreate partition on the unallocated space.
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Tip: MiniTool Power Data Recovery Free Edition can only help to recover up to 1GB data. If the data you want to recover are larger than 1GB, you may need to purchase an advanced edition to break the limitation of data recovery by clicking "Register" button and inputting the license key to upgrade to the corresponding edition.
In conclusion, in this post, we introduce you this unallocated hard drive issue, the reasons for data loss, some particular cases about this issue and solutions about how to fix unallocated hard drive without losing data. With MiniTool Partition Wizard and MiniTool Power Data Recovery, it is very easy to get lost partitions back and recover files from unallocated space. No matter which tool you use, please remember: stop doing any operation to the disk or partition which shows "unallocated", otherwise, the possibility of unallocated disk space recovery is tiny. If you have any suggestion or question towards this issue, please tell us by leaving a comment below or sending us via email@example.com.