How to Recover Data From Uninitialized Disk

As I plugged in my hard drive, the PC says that the drive is installed, but it is not showing up in My Computer. Inside the system tools, it says unknown, Not Initialized, unallocated. Can someone help me to recover data from the “Not Initialized” disk?

There are many users who experience common RAW errors once in a while. And disk unknown, not initialized, is one of those errors. Usually, due to the error, users can’t open the hard disk, and the data become inaccessible. Fortunately, the error doesn’t necessarily mean that the data stored on the drive is lost permanently.

So, here in this guide, we will learn how to recover data from the uninitialized hard drive in a simple and easy way.

Part 1: The Best Way To Recover Data From Uninitialized Disk

If there is one tool that can help users to recover data from uninitialized disk in Mac & Windows, then it is Windows Data Recovery. Here, we are going to use the Windows Data Recovery feature of the software. Whether it is photos, videos, documents, or any other file type, the software will rescue the data under all conditions. And the best thing is that if you don’t know how to fix the uninitialized error, then it will help you retrieve data from the disk.

The key features of the Windows Data Recovery tool include:

  • Recover files from any device with a different file system and format.
  • A plethora of file support and device support, including external disk, RAID, SSD, etc.
  • Rescue important files that are lost due to deletion, formatting, drive corruption, and even virus infection.
  • 100% safe and secure data recovery.

Users can download the application from the official site and install it on the Windows system. The guide you can use to learn how to recover data from uninitialized disk is given below:

Free Download For Win 10/8.1/8/7/XP Secure Download Free Download For macOS 10.14 and below Secure Download
  • Step 1 Launch the software and connect the drive to the system. The software will detect the drive, and you will have to specify the location from which you want to retrieve the data.

    specify location
  • Step 2 Hit the “Scan” button and wait as the software checks the drive for files that are inaccessible. The files will be displayed on the screen according to the file type and file format. You can use the filters to get personalized results.

    scan drive
  • Step 3 Now, select the files that you want to retrieve. As the software supports selective recovery, you can pick the files that you actually need. After selecting them, have a preview of the files and hit the Recover button.

    preview and recover

The files will be recovered on the system in a while according to the recovery size. Have patience and make sure that the drive is connected throughout the process. No matter what you are trying to recover, the Windows Data Recovery tool will successfully recover the files.

Free Download For Win 10/8.1/8/7/XP Secure Download Free Download For macOS 10.14 and below Secure Download

Part 2: Tips To Fix Hard Disk Unknown, Not Initiated

To resolve the Disk Unknown, Not Initiated error, you first need to understand it.

1. What Does Not Initiated Mean?

The Not Initiated error is a common Windows error that prevents the user from accessing the drive. The error arises when the disk can’t be detected by the Windows system. There are two different situations where you will experience this error.

Case 1: Disk Unknown, Not Initialized, Unallocated:

As you are about to recover files from uninitialized disk, it is crucial that you know the condition of the drive. When the drive status says that it is unallocated, it means that OS is not able to initialize the disk. The issue arises when the drive has corrupted storage space or missing sector. Even if the file system of the drive is not supported by the application, it will display the same Unallocated message on the screen.

Case 2: Disk Unknown, Not Initialized, No Disk Space:

The disk Unknown, Not Initialized, No Disk Space error signifies that the disk has no space that can be accessed using the Windows system. When the drive is blocked entirely, or there is a cartridge problem, such errors are common. In some situations, a malware attack can also be the cause of this error, making the disk unavailable.

2. How To Initiate The Hard Drive?

When you are facing any type of uninitialized error, you will be glad to know that there is an easy way to initiate it. You can use this method after making an attempt to recover files from the uninitialized hard drive. Then you won’t risk losing the data stored on the drive.

The steps you need to follow to initiate the drive are given below:

  1. 1. Open Control Panel and access Windows Settings. Launch the Disk Management application, and you will see the error on the screen.

  2. 2. Select the unallocated space and right-click on the initialize the disk option. A pop-up wizard will appear on the screen that will navigate the initialization process.

    initialize disk
  3. 3. Select the partition style from MBR or GPT and follow the process to initialize the disk connected to the system.

    select partition

For other fixes, you can also try rebuilding MBR, format the drive, and try updating the disk drivers.


Fixing and recovering data from uninitialized disk is a delicate task. One wrong step, and you risk losing all your files. Hence, beforehand, it will be better if you perform data recovery with the Windows Data Recovery tool and then try to resolve the error.

Free Download For Win 10/8.1/8/7/XP Secure Download Free Download For macOS 10.14 and below Secure Download