Reading Time: 7 minutesQuite frankly, Windows users have often faced a common problem concerning data loss. If you suddenly noticed that you could no longer access a partition full of your essential files, that’s enough cause to worry. Beyond that, of course, another primary concern is how to recover data from unallocated drives.
What Does Unallocated Hard Drive Mean?
An unallocated hard drive is simply one that is not allocated to any partition. You cannot access data stored in an unallocated drive, and neither can you store files on it. The hard drive enters a state that makes it only useful as a brick, as no program can read or write data to it.
If you can no longer access an unallocated drive, it may be due to a variety of reasons we have outlined below.
Reasons Behind Unallocated Hard Drives
A partition that becomes an unallocated space could occur due to a variety of reasons, including the following:
🦠 Virus Attack. Keep in mind that certain viruses are programmed to destabilize your drive. If your hard drive is affected by an unknown virus, it could render the drive inaccessible. Therefore, if you have executed a program that contains such a virus, it could be the reason why your hard drive is now unallocated.
💿 Hard Drive Failure. HDDs may begin to experience errors and failures when they’re ageing or simply when they are damaged physically. Any of such scenarios could render the drive an unallocated space.
🛑 Deleted Partition. A deleted partition will result in the drive becoming unallocated, even when done mistakenly.
⚡ Unexpected Power Surge. A surge in power could lead to your hard drive experiencing issues that may result in it becoming inaccessible. An optimal flow of electric current is required to make a hard drive function properly. Therefore anything that hinders the stable power flow could cause your drive to malfunction.
How to Recover Data from Unallocated Hard Drive
Before fixing the unallocated drive itself, you must first attempt to recover the data from the currently inaccessible drive. Since you can’t do this normally, there are only a few ways, including using data recovery software.
Data recovery software can help you to recover files from unallocated space. This tutorial will describe the various steps to recover data using Disk Drill. We selected Disk Drill because it helps recover data from formatted drives and is easy to use.
Step 1: Download and install Disk Drill.
Step 2: Launch the Disk Drill app and select the unallocated space from the list of available partitions. Proceed to click on Search for lost data.
Step 3: Once the scan process completes, click on Review found items.
Step 4: Select the files you intend to retrieve and click Recover.
Step 5: Choose an appropriate destination to recover your files and click OK.
Pro Tip: You can maximize the chances of recovering your files from the unallocated drive when you discontinue making changes to your hard drive.
How to Fix Unallocated Hard Drive
You can fix an unallocated drive by exploring DIY methods that are relatively easy to execute. These methods will help you recover your unallocated drive to its original state. We will describe some ways, including the Diskpart commands, in detail.
Method 1: Update your Drivers
In certain instances, hardware components begin to experience performance issues, including outdated firmware. You can lose a partition if the drivers associated with your hard drive are out of date.
To update your drivers, we’re going to use Disk Management.
Step 1: Right-click the Start button and select Disk Management.
Step 2: Identify the unallocated volume, right-click on it and select Properties.
Step 3: In the Hardware tab, double-click on the drive. Navigate to the Driver tab and select Update Driver.
Step 4: Click Search automatically for drivers. Your PC will begin the search for the latest drivers and install them.
After completing the steps above, your hard disk should begin to function normally after a restart. If this doesn’t work, proceed with the following method.
Method 2: Use DiskPart
The diskPart tool helps repair a hard drive that has lost a partition. Using the command-line utility in Windows, we will create a new volume so that you can continue using your PC as usual.
Pro Tip: This technique will erase all the available data on the drive. We recommend retrieving all your files before attempting this.
This tutorial will use the diskpart command to create a new partition from unallocated space.
Step 1: Right-click on the Start button on your desktop and select Run.
Step 2: Type Diskpart and hit Enter. Click Yes when the UAC prompt pops up on your screen.
Step 3: In the Diskpart window, type list volume and press Enter.
Step 4: Type select volume [number] and press Enter. The number represents the drive that is missing. Therefore, select the number that applies.
Step 5: As discussed already, we need to erase the volume to restore it. Type delete volume and press Enter.
How to Allocate a Hard Drive on Windows 10 Using Disk Management
Step 1: Right-click on the Start button and select Disk Management.
Step 2: In the list of available partitions, right-click on the unallocated drive. Select New Simple Volume and click next when the New Simple Volume Wizard launches.
Step 3: Choose your preferred size for the new partition and click Next.
Step 4: Assign a drive letter to the partition and click Next.
Step 5: You may choose to rename the volume label, but ensure that everything else remains the same, including the file system.
Step 6: Click Next, and finally click Finish.
You may now move files into the new drive after you have completed the processes.
- Download and install Disk Drill.
- Launch the Disk Drill app and select the unallocated space from the list of available partitions. Proceed to click on Search for lost data.
- After the scan process finishes, click on Review found items.
- Select the files you intend to retrieve and click Recover.
- Choose an appropriate destination to recover your files and click OK.
- Right-click on the Start button and select Disk Management. In the list of available partitions, right-click on the unallocated drive.
- Select New Simple Volume and click next when the New Simple Volume Wizard launches.
- Choose your preferred size for the new partition and click Next.
- Assign a drive letter to the partition and click Next. You may choose to rename the volume label, but ensure that everything else remains the same, including the file system.
- Click Next, and finally click Finish.
Losing a partition is a common experience. However, if you follow the instructions in the article diligently, you can recover a good amount of your data. Similar to other data loss scenarios, data recovery from an unallocated drive heavily depends on discontinuing usage of the drive.
As an additional layer of caution, we recommend creating a backup of your files as the most efficient method of securing your data.