Home > HOW TO GUIDES > Recover Inaccessible and Lost Files from Your Drive

Recover Inaccessible and Lost Files from Your Drive

Ever had the situation where your important files are on your HDD or SSD and Windows fails to log you in? We have created several instructions that aim to help you out to extract your missing files from your computer in case your Windows cannot log you in, even in Safe Mode.

We have created the instructions as simple and safe as we could, but either way, we recommend you to try the instructions below at your risk, since every situation is very specific. Let’s begin!

Scenario 1: In Case Your Windows is Corrupt, But the Drive Is Working

In this case, you have several options. The simplest option you can try In case you cannot login is to attempt logging in in Windows Safe Mode. Below are the steps on how to do that. In case your drive has been encrypted by Petya/Mischa ransomware and you are looking for a method to decrypt your drive, then check this tutorial instead.

Boot Your PC In Safe Mode to Recover Your Files

Boot Your PC Into Safe Mode

1. For Windows 7,XP and Vista. 2. For Windows 8, 8.1 and 10.

For Windows XP, Vista, 7 systems:

1. Remove all CDs and DVDs, and then Restart your PC from the “Start” menu.
2. Select one of the two options provided below:

For PCs with a single operating system: Press “F8” repeatedly after the first boot screen shows up during the restart of your computer. In case the Windows logo appears on the screen, you have to repeat the same task again.


For PCs with multiple operating systems: Тhe arrow keys will help you select the operating system you prefer to start in Safe Mode. Press “F8” just as described for a single operating system.


3. As the “Advanced Boot Options” screen appears, select the Safe Mode option you want using the arrow keys. As you make your selection, press “Enter“.

4. Log on to your computer using your administrator account


While your computer is in Safe Mode, the words “Safe Mode” will appear in all four corners of your screen.

Step 1: Open the Start Menu


Step 2: Whilst holding down Shift button, click on Power and then click on Restart.
Step 3: After reboot, the after-mentioned menu will appear. From there you should choose Troubleshoot.


Step 4: You will see the Troubleshoot menu. From this menu you can choose Advanced Options.


Step 5: After the Advanced Options menu appears, click on Startup Settings.


Step 6: Click on Restart.

Step 7: A menu will appear upon reboot. You should choose Safe Mode by pressing its corresponding number and the machine will restart.

However, this scenario usually ends up blocking most users in Safe Mode as well. This is why we prefer to give you the “hands-on approach” because it is less complicated and can bypass any Windows login screens, etc. But for this to work, you will need the following tools:

A crossed screwdriver, preferably with changeable tips. For smaller screws.
A SATA cable or SATA to USB external drive converter box. Usually, costs around 10$ to 20$.
A USB-to-USB cable, male on both sides. (Usually, it is included in a SATA to USB External drive maker kit)

Now it is time to get down to business. Before beginning, bear in mind that even if you have a desktop PC, the instructions do not differ much, because the same principles are applied. We have decided to perform those instructions for laptops because they are most widely spread amongst other PCs.

Step 1: Remove the battery from your laptop and unscrew the screws from it to remove the hard drive, like the pictures below display:



Step 2: Make sure to extract the module with SATA conversion board and port and insert the SATA drive into it.


Step 3: Connect the drive to your computer. It should display as a “Removable Disk” or “Local Drive” with a drive letter other than your original drives. (ex. G:, E:, F:)


Step 4: Copy your files. Now all that is left for you is to access your files, depending on where they are located. If your drive has two partitions, you will see this as two removable drives connected to your computer. In case you keep all your important files in only one partition, and cannot find them on the primary drive, you should go to the following location to access your profile:


There you should be able to see all of your profile’s folders:


After having done this, we advise you to copy the files onto an external drive or better – write them on a disk so that they are safe and unmodifiable by any malware or crashes that may occur on your computer.

Scenario 2: In case the hard drive is corrupted.

In case you cannot access your hard drive, then the causes could either be a glitch in the connection or failure to establish a connection because of bad sectors on the hard drive. The first action you should take is to unmount and mount the drive several times until you gain access. In case this does not work, then you should attempt the Windows drive repair option:

Windows Drive Repair

Step 1: Right-Click on the drive and click on Properties.


Step 2: Click on the Check button and then begin scanning for errors:


After this, the drive may unmount and mount again and hopefully the drive will be accessible.

In case you cannot repair the bad sectors of the drive, another alternative option is to try and use specific data recovery software that has features for drive recovery and repair. This will allow the extraction of your files from the corrupted drive or if you are lucky repair the drive and make it usable again. Below, we have our recommendation for such tool, but you may also find many other tools for partition management and repair online for free as well.

MiniTool Power Data Recovery 7.0 Software Review

The Bottom Line

As a conclusion, we strongly advise avoiding to store your data on your computer and look for an external solution, because this may lead to some issues and makes your PC a target. This is why we advise reading our research about safely storing your data to know how to better store your important files:

Related Article: Safely Store Your Important Files and Protect Them from Malware

Ventsislav Krastev

Ventsislav is a cybersecurity expert at SensorsTechForum since 2015. He has been researching, covering, helping victims with the latest malware infections plus testing and reviewing software and the newest tech developments. Having graduated Marketing as well, Ventsislav also has passion for learning new shifts and innovations in cybersecurity that become game changers. After studying Value Chain Management, Network Administration and Computer Administration of System Applications, he found his true calling within the cybersecrurity industry and is a strong believer in the education of every user towards online safety and security.

More Posts - Website

Follow Me:

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This website uses cookies to improve user experience. By using our website you consent to all cookies in accordance with our Privacy Policy.
I Agree