When working on a problem involving Windows data recovery of a crashed internal hard disk drive or a crashed external hard drive one is always faced with two choices. Do I affect Windows recovery before or after reloading my Windows operating system. It is always preferable to perform data recovery tasks prior to any reinstallation of the operating system as that will result in reformatting of the hard disk drive.
Formatting of any digital storage media results in deletion of all stored files on that device. But very often files are lost or corrupted to such a degree that Windows will not start and we’re consequently locked out of access to the hard disk drive. We can of course remove the disk drive from the computer and connect it to a working PC by means of cables and use that PC’s operating system to scan and copy all of the stored files. We can even put a data recovery program on that second PC and instruct the file recovery tool to locate the deleted or damaged files.