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Why Does Data Recovery Software Fail?

Data recovery software recovers data by scanning a storage drive bit by bit, locating any recoverable data on the basis of file signatures. Most of the lost files and folders are rescued in this manner leaving aside those that cannot be retrieved due to numerous reasons.

The irrecoverable situation arises when the data is altered due to overwriting, which happens whenever new data is written on the existing one thus erasing the existing data. This is the scenario wherein data recovery software fails to recover your lost data.

The other reasons why data recovery software fails are as follows:

1. Full Formatting

When you right-click a volume/drive and from the context menu you choose Format, at that juncture Windows 10 operating system opens a dialog box with the Quick Format check box selected by default. If you uncheck the checkbox and click the Start button then the OS performs Full Format. This formatting option writes zeros (0…0) to the selected volume, thus erasing all the data completely. Even a professional data recovery software cannot recover your lost data in this case and the recovery process fails.

On performing the lesser intimidating quick format, the OS creates a new file system and erases the existing one; as a consequence, the previous file system that is stored in the path to the actual files present on the disk volume is lost. Data still remains on the disk but is inaccessible.

These inaccessible data can be recovered using a powerful data recovery software such as Stellar Data Recovery Professional for Windows.

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2. Bad Sectors

When your storage drive has some areas that are inaccessible or else cannot be written over due to physical damage, then the data present on these areas cannot be recovered. The damaged areas are commonly known as bad sectors and these are developed due to scratches or abrasions on hard disk platter or failure of few transistors in a solid state drive or other flash drives. While scanning the bad sectors, data recovery software gets stuck and fails to perform the recovery process.

The best remedy against bad sectors is to create an image of the entire drive and accomplish the recovery task using a professional data recovery software (the software that has the facility to create a disk image and recover data from the image). The image file is created by copying the storage drive sector by sector and by reading/skipping through the bad sectors.

3. Use of Check Disk Functionality

Windows 10 OS has an inbuilt check disk functionality that can detect bad sectors and mark those sectors unworkable. The functionality can be implemented by opening Command Prompt (Admin) and typing chkdsk, drive letter, and the specific attributes for the command separated via space (e.g. chkdsk D: /f /r /x). The chkdsk command needs to be used with proper cognizance as you may end up corrupting files and losing data.

When a file is stored on a sector that is marked as bad by the check disk utility, then that sector of the file is remapped to a spare sector and any unreadable data is lost, thereby corrupting the file. In this case, data recovery software fails to recover that particular file.

Always use a professional data recovery software to try reading data from the bad sectors and recover your lost data infallibly, then run the check disk utility to detect & remap bad sectors, thereby avoiding file corruption & data loss.

4. Use of Data Erasure Software

Data erasure software uses advanced algorithm to write 0’s, 1’s, or random bits to the already existing bits of the storage drive, therewith wiping all the data present on the drive completely. When you run a data recovery software on an erased drive, the software fails to recover data.

Use data erasure software to erase sensitive data when you try to re-purpose, recycle, or resell your drive to avoid data leakage.

5. Saving Recoverable Data in the Same Drive

Using a data recovery software to scan the drive from where your data is lost and unintentionally saving the recoverable data on to the same drive is a strict no-no. Saving the data to the same drive location can overwrite the existing data and result in failure of the recovery task.

Always save the recoverable data to a different drive location, preferably an external storage drive with sufficient storage capacity. Advanced recovery software restricts saving of data to the same drive location from where the data is being scanned. This helps in guaranteed recovery.


In this blog, you have known the reasons why a data recovery software fails to recover your lost data. By avoiding these situations, recovery of data is possible without any failure.

Stellar Data Recovery Professional for Windows is one of most the trusted software to recover data from varied data loss situations including shift-deletion of files & folders, emptying of recycle bin, quick formatting of a storage drive, corruption in the file system that results in inaccessibility of the drive, and virus infection. Free download this amazing software and recover your lost data now.

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