How to Recover Data from an HDD Unallocated Disk Drive?

Summary: There are various reasons behind the HDD unallocated disk drive. This blog post will explain the reasons behind unallocated disk drive and the solutions to fix this issue. It will also mention the ways to recover data from unallocated disk drive.
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Case Scenario:

Yesterday, I connected my 1 TB WD external hard drive to my computer, but it didn’t show up in the File Explorer. I plugged the hard drive into other USB ports but the same result. Can anyone please suggest some way to solve the issue?

If you are in an identical situation, this blog will help to fix the issue and recover the data from unallocated hard disk drive.
First, let’s start with what is an unallocated disk drive, what causes the disk drive to become unallocated, and how to recover data from unallocated disk drive.


What is an Unallocated Disk Drive?

An unallocated drive refers to a hard disk drive that is not assigned any drive letter or if the data on the drive is not accessed by any program. In simple terms, any physical space that does not belong to a partition is said to be unallocated.

Why does a Hard Disk Drive become Unallocated?

The primary reason for this issue is file system corruption. There are other probable reasons as well, such as:

  • Bad Sectors on Disk Drive
  • Hardware Failure
  • Outdated Driver
  • Unexpected Power Failure
  • Virus Attack

Know more about, Recover data from hard drive.

How to Fix Unallocated Disk Drive?

Here are some solutions to fix the unallocated disk drive.

1. Update your Hard Drive Drivers

The outdated drivers are one of the significant causes of the unallocated disk. Make sure that your hardware drivers are up-to-date. To update your drivers, follow the below steps.

  • Right-click on the “Start” button on your PC and choose “Disk Management”.

Update Hard Drive Drivers

  • Right-click on the unallocated volume at the bottom of the window and click on “Properties”.
  • Navigate to the “Driver” tab and click on “Update Driver”.
  • Next, click on “Search automatically for drivers”. Let the Windows search the updated drivers and install them.
  • Reboot your computer.

2. Fix Unallocated Disk Drive using CMD

You can fix the unallocated disk using Command Prompt (CMD).

Note: This method will erase the data from your hard drive. You can recover your data using a professional data recovery software. However, ensure that not all software offers data recovery from the unallocated disk drive. Therefore, proceed carefully.

Here are the steps to fix the unallocated disk drive using the Command Prompt.

  • Press the “Windows + R” keys and hit Enter.
  • In the Command Prompt window, type “diskpart” and hit Enter. If the pop-up appears asking you to give permission, click on “Yes”.
  • In the DiskPart window, type “list volume” and hit Enter.
  • Next, type “select volume <volume number>” and hit Enter. The volume number is the number of the volume that is marked as unallocated.
  • Type “delete volume” and hit Enter.

Now, you need to create a new volume. Follow the below steps to do so-

  • Right-click on the Start button and select “Disk Management”.
  • Right-click on the unallocated volume and select “New Simple Volume”.
  • On the Simple Volume window, click on “Next”.
  • Next, specify the size of the new volume and click on “Next”.
  • Then, assign a drive letter and click on “Next”.
  • Select the “Do not format this volume” and click on “Next”.
  • Click “Finish” to complete the process.
  • The unallocated drive will be converted into RAW drive and visible in the File Explorer with the drive letter assigned by you.

3. Enable the Disk Drive using Device Management

Here, you can enable the unallocated drive using Device Management and then create a new volume. Follow the below steps to enable the unallocated disk drive.

  • Type “Computer Management” on the search bar of your PC.
  • In the Computer Management wizard, navigate to “System Tools” > “Device Manager”.
    Then, expand the “Disk Drives” node.
  • Next, right-click on the external drive using the down-facing arrow and choose “Enable device”.
  • Then, convert the unallocated drive into RAW drive using the Disk Management Utility. For it, read the steps in the above section.

Note: Using DIY approaches, you can try to resolve the unallocated disk issue. However, there are risks associated with them. For example, if you use the CMD method, you will have to be very cautious since it is a command line based tool. A single typo can put grave harm to your data or might be your computer.

How to Recover Data from Unallocated Disk Drive?

You can use a professional data recovery software, such as Stellar Data Recovery for Windows to recover data from unallocated or RAW drive.

Here are the steps to recover data using Stellar Data Recovery Software:

  • Download, install, and launch the Stellar Data Recovery Software.

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  • From the main interface, “Select What to Recover”, select “All Data”, and click on “Next”.

Step 2

  • Then, from the “Recover From” window, choose the disk drive.

Step 3

  • Turn on “Deep Scan” at the bottom-left corner and click on “Scan”.

Step 4

  • Preview the recoverable files to evaluate their integrity.

  • Next, select the required files and click on “Recover”.

Stellar Data Recovery Toolkit

  • Click on “Browse” to select the desired location to save the recovered files. Make sure to choose another drive. Click on “OK”.

Once you are done with data recovery, format the RAW drive to make it reusable again. Here are the steps to do so.

  • Go to “File Explorer” on your computer.
  • Right-click on the RAW disk drive and click on “Format”.
  • From the Format dialog box, click Start with default settings already selected. It will format the RAW drive with the NTFS file system.
  • Now, you can use the drive as a new one.
End Note

We hope this blog will help you fix the unallocated disk drive issue and recover your data from it securely. Simply, follow the steps to fix the unallocated disk drive. To recover the data from the unallocated or RAW drive, use a professional data recovery software, such as Stellar Data Recovery software.

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