How to Recover Drive Windows 10 A Comprehensive Guide

November 3, 2023 510 views

Navigating Windows 10 drive recovery can be perplexing, especially if you're not a tech expert. This guide simplifies the process, offering step-by-step solutions using both built-in and third-party tools, ensuring you recover your data and regain control of your digital world.

Part1: Before Recover Drive Windows: Backup First

Windows 10 logo

Before embarking on the journey of drive recovery in Windows 10, it's crucial to prioritize one simple yet often overlooked step: backup. Let's delve into why and how users should back up their important data before venturing into the unpredictable world of data recovery.

Why Backup First?

  1. Safety Net for Data Loss: Data recovery processes, especially those involving damaged drives, can be risky. There's always a chance of data being overwritten or becoming irretrievable during recovery attempts. Having a backup ensures that even if things go south, your data remains safe and intact.

  2. Protection Against Human Errors: Mistakes happen. You might accidentally delete important files or make errors during the recovery process itself. A backup provides a fallback option to recover your files without hassle.

  3. Shield Against Hardware Failures: Drives can fail unexpectedly due to various reasons, such as hardware malfunctions or physical damage. Regular backups ensure that your data is secure regardless of the health of your storage device.

How to Back up in Windows 10:

Step 1: Go to "Settings" > "Update & Security" > "Backup."

Select backup data

Step 2: Add an external drive or network location.

Step 3: Toggle on "Automatically back up my files."

Turn on automatically backup feature.

By taking a few moments to back up your data, you're essentially creating a safety net that can save you from potential heartache and frustration during the drive recovery process. It's a simple yet invaluable precaution that ensures your important files remain protected, no matter what challenges you encounter in the digital realm.


Part2: Windows 10 Built-In Tools for Drive Recovery

Windows 10 recovery tool.

When it comes to drive recovery in Windows 10, you don't always need to resort to third-party software. The operating system provides a couple of robust built-in tools, namely the 'Check Disk Utility' (Chkdsk) and the 'System File Checker' (SFC). These tools can be your reliable first steps in the recovery process.

When it comes to drive recovery in Windows 10, you don't always need to resort to third-party software. The operating system provides a couple of robust built-in tools, namely the 'Check Disk Utility' (Chkdsk) and the 'System File Checker' (SFC). These tools can be your reliable first steps in the recovery process.

Check Disk Utility (Chkdsk):

  1. Open Command Prompt with Administrative Privileges: Press Win + X and choose "Windows Terminal (Admin)" or "Command Prompt (Admin)."

Open Command Prompt

  1. Run Chkdsk: Type chkdsk /f /r X: (replace 'X' with the drive letter of the target drive) and press Enter.

  2. Schedule the Scan: Follow the prompts to schedule the disk check for the next restart. It will check and attempt to repair any errors on the drive.

System File Checker (SFC):

  1. Open Command Prompt with Administrative Privileges as in the previous step.

Admin tab.

  1. Run SFC: Type sfc /scannow and press Enter. This tool scans and repairs corrupted system files.

Resonating Reminder: Built-in tools are a safe first step in recovery, designed to diagnose and fix issues without third-party software.

Chkdsk and SFC are user-friendly, though scheduling Chkdsk can be a bit tricky for beginners. These tools won't recover deleted files but can revive a struggling drive and protect your data. Important, CHKDSK and SFC can take several minutes or hours to complete, depending on the size of your hard drive. Be patient and do not interrupt the scan. If you are having trouble using CHKDSK or SFC, or if you need to recover important data, you can consult a professional data recovery service.

Part3: Step-by-Step Guide to Using a Third-Party Software for Windows Drive Recovery

Recovery Software.

When considering third-party software for Windows drive recovery, the steps typically follow a general pattern that can be applied to various solutions. Here's a generic guide:

Step 1: Download and Install: Get the software from the official website and install it.

Download software.

Download software.

Step 2: Launch the Software: Open the installed recovery software.

Step 3: Select the Drive: Choose the drive to recover data from.

Step 4: Choose Scan Type: Opt for Quick Scan or Deep Scan, starting with Quick Scan.

Quick Scan feature.

Quick Scan feature.

Step 5: Start the Scan: Initiate the scan process.

Step 6: Preview and Select Files: Review and select the files you want to recover.

Step 7: Recover Data: Begin the recovery process, specifying a safe location to save files.

Step 8: Check Recovered Data: Verify the recovered files in the chosen location.

Keep in mind that while third-party recovery software can be effective, always use it with caution to avoid further data loss. It's crucial to stop using the affected drive as soon as you notice data loss to maximize the chances of successful recovery.

Remember that this guide is generic, and specific recovery software may have variations in their interfaces and functionalities. Always refer to the user manual or documentation provided with the software for detailed instructions tailored to the tool you are using.

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WPS Office logo vs Microsoft Office logo

WPS Office logo vs Microsoft Office logo

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WPS Office features.

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How do I repair Windows 10 without a recovery drive?

To repair Windows 10 without a recovery drive:

Step 1: Use Built-In Repair Tools: Hold "Shift" while clicking "Restart" in the Start menu to access repair options like "Startup Repair" or "System Restore."

Step 2: Reset This PC: Choose "Reset this PC" in the "Troubleshoot" menu to reinstall Windows with or without keeping your files.

Step 3: Run SFC and DISM: Open Command Prompt and run sfc /scannow and DISM /RestoreHealth to fix system files.

Step 4: Automatic Repair: Let Windows enter Automatic Repair if it doesn't boot and follow on-screen prompts.

Step 5: Safe Mode: Boot into Safe Mode to troubleshoot problematic software or drivers.

Step 6: In-Place Upgrade: Use the Windows Media Creation Tool to reinstall Windows while keeping personal files.

How do I find my USB recovery drive on Windows 10?

Step 1: To find your USB recovery drive on Windows 10:

Step 2: Plug in the USB drive.

Step 3: Go to "Settings" > "Update & Security" > "Recovery."

Step 4: Click "Restart now" under "Advanced startup."

Step 5: Select "Troubleshoot" > "Advanced options" > "UEFI Firmware Settings."

Step 6: In BIOS/UEFI settings, set the USB drive as the first boot device.

Step 7: Save changes and exit.

Step 8: Your computer will restart from the USB recovery drive.

What do I do if I don't have a Windows recovery disk?

If you don't have a Windows recovery disk, you can reinstall Windows 10:

Method 1: Reset This PC

  • Go to "Settings" > "Update & Security" > "Recovery."

  • Choose "Reset this PC" and follow on-screen instructions.

Method 2: Use Windows Media Creation Tool

  • Download it from Microsoft's website.

  • Create a bootable USB drive.

  • Boot from the USB and reinstall Windows.

Method 3: Download Windows 10 Installation Media

  • Download the tool from Microsoft's website.

  • Create installation media (USB or ISO).

  • Boot from it or mount the ISO to reinstall Windows.


The article highlights three methods for reinstalling Windows 10 without a recovery disk: using "Reset This PC" in system settings, creating a bootable USB with the Windows Media Creation Tool, or downloading the Windows 10 Installation Media tool. These accessible methods offer a safety net for Windows 10 users, emphasizing the ease of reinstallation without the need for physical recovery disks.

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