Stellar Knowledge Base

How to recover data from an Unbootable system/ Crashed OS?

 Modified on: July 20, 2021 |    13572 views

To recover data from a crashed or non-booting Windows PC and Laptop, follow these steps:

Video Tutorial


Step 1: Prepare a Bootable Data Recovery Media

For this, you need an empty USB thumb drive (at least 1GB size). Connect the USB thumb drive to a working Windows PC and follow the instructions below:

a) Download, install and launch Stellar Data Recovery Professional software.

Free download

b) From ‘Select What to Recover’ screen, click on ‘Waffle Menu’ at top-right.

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c) Select ‘Create Recovery Drive’ option.

Create Recovery Drive

d) From ‘Create Recovery Drive’ dialog box, select the USB drive using drop-down list.

Slect USB


IMPORTANT NOTE: Please ensure that the USB drive is empty. Backup all your files from the USB drive before proceeding to the next step.


e) Click ‘Create Recovery Drive’ and click ‘OK’ to begin the process.

Once the process is completed, a new ‘Activation’ window appears. Paste or type ‘Activation Key’ received through email after purchasing the product and click on ‘Activate’ button.

Make sure your PC is connected to internet!

Stellar Data Recovery automatically communicates and validates the entered key. After key validation, the software creates a bootable data recovery media that you can use to retrieve lost and inaccessible data from a crashed or corrupt Windows PC.

Step 2: Use Bootable USB Media for Data Recovery

a) Connect the bootable USB media to your crashed or non-booting Windows PC.

b) Power ON your PC and start pressing boot option key, usually F12, to see connected bootable USB media. Refer to your laptop or motherboard manufacturer’s support website for more info.

c) Move selection to bootable data recovery media by using the arrow down button and press ‘Enter’ to boot.

d) Once the computer boots from USB media, you will see Stellar Data Recovery software interface.

e) From ‘Select What To Recover’ screen, choose file type(s) you want to recover and click ‘Next.

Select What to Recover

f) Choose the Windows drive from where you wish to recover data and click ‘Scan’.


g) After scan, choose all the files you want to recover. You may also preview files to ensure files are not damaged and are recoverable.


h) If you are not able to find desired files, click ‘Click Here’ link at the bottom to run a ‘Deep Scan.’

Deep Scan

i) Then click on ‘Recover’ button.

j) Click ‘Browse’ to select a location to save recovered files. Use an external hard drive to save your recovered data to avoid data overwriting.

Select Destination

k) Finally, click ‘Start Saving’ to save recovered data.

In case you are unable to create the bootable media through the above steps or get any error to refer this article for solution:



12 User Comments

Is it correct that one has to purchase the product in order to use the "see first" offer if you need the bootable USB program to check an unbootable computer?

The process says you need the "Activation" key before you can get to see if files are actually available for saving>

Derek Pemberton

Abdul Majid

Dear Derek,

Yes, the software need to be purchased to create a recovery drive.

Once you purchase the software than you can activate it and use Create Recovery Drive option. Now software will ask you to enter the key so you need to enter the same key to create a Recovery Drive.

Can I save the data I want to recover to the same USB flash drive used for the recovery drive? Or does it need to be a separate external hard drive?

Marc P Valentin



We understand the inconvenience caused to you.

Our application will not allow you to save the files on the same drive because it may lead to overwritten activity and you may lose all the data. We suggest you to save them in a separate hard drive.

For more assistance, you may submit a ticket using the below link.

Stellar Data Recovery

After purchasing and activating the software, I inserted two different empty 8GB USB drives, but I cannot complete step "1e" because the software dialog box does not have a "Create Recovery Drive" button. Tech support did not respond to my ticket, but they did answer the phone and promised to email me a file to manually copy to the USB, but I have not see it yet.


Abdul Majid

Dear Jack,

We understand the inconvenience caused to you.

Our team has replied to your email with the steps to create a bootable USB. Please follow our email and feel free to get back to us for any further assistance.

I am currently recovering data from a damaged drive but the files that are being recovered are all 0 bytes length. What am I doing wrong?




We understand the inconvenience caused to you.

Kindly let us know the reason for data loss and type of files you want to recover.

We request you to submit a ticket using the below link:

Stellar Data Recovery

How long should it take to create the recovery drive? I have tried several times and see no progress.

David McCoy



As per our records, recovery drive issue has been resolved now.

If you face any issue further, please reply to email which you have received from our technical support team.


Stellar Data Recovery

I have an old dell poweredge server with CentOS Linux on it, scsi raid disks. It is not bootable, I need to recover some tar.gz backups from it.
Can the bootable recovery media do this for me ?

Sajiv Roy


Hi Sajiv,

Stellar Data Recovery for Linux application can recover data from Linux formatted hard drive but it does not contain Create Recovery Disk option.

We request you to provide us your contact number and convenient time so that we can assist you to recover data.

Stellar Data Recovery


User Comments



Stellar Data Recovery Professional Stellar Data Recovery Professional is a do-it-yourself data recovery software that helps you to easily recover deleted files & folders, missing or corrupt partitions and even accidentally formatted hard drives.

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