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[Solved] Hard Drive Shows as Unallocated- How to Fix and Recover Data?

Wondering how to repair your unallocated hard drive? Worried about losing your data from a hard drive that is showing up as unallocated? Don't worry in this article we have explained how you can fix your unallocated hard drive and recover data from it using a reliable data recovery software like Remo Recover.

What does it mean when a hard drive is unallocated?

An unallocated drive means a hard drive that is not assigned to any drive letter or a hard drive that does not belong to a partition is called an unallocated hard drive. So, while installing the operating system on your new computer you need to partition that unallocated hard drive. Since you can't use a hard drive without allocating a drive letter and file system.

In some circumstances, existing hard drives (the disk drive which you are using) will also have unallocated space. The unallocated space on a hard drive indicates that the space on a disk does not belong to any partition and no data can be written to it. In order to use that unallocated space either you need to create a new partition or expand the current partition on the drive.

But, in some rare cases, an entire hard drive becomes unallocated! Yes, at times, your well-functioning hard drive shows up as unallocated all of a sudden for no reason, making all your files and folders stored in it inaccessible.

So, this article lets know why your HDD becomes unallocated and how to fix it without losing any data from it.

In this Article

Why do Hard Drives Become Unallocated?

Generally, a brand-new hard drive will be an unallocated hard drive. However, if you have a hard drive that is having some important data and showing up as unallocated then you need to pay attention to fixing it. Some of the common reasons why a hard drive becomes unallocated are mentioned below:

  • Hard drives with an accidentally deleted partition or lost partition tend to show up as unallocated
  • Hard drives with their File system damaged or corrupt
  • Any internal error that can be causing trouble for the operating system to recognize your hard drive
  • Malware infection of Virus attack on hard drives
  • Accumulation of bad sectors can also lead to unallocated disk space
  • Outdated hard drive driver software, etc.
  • An inappropriate way of handling hard drives like ejecting them improperly

These are some of the common reasons why a hard drive becomes unallocated. However, the good news is you can fix the unallocated hard drive irrespective of the reasons that have led your hard drive to its current state. However, if you have important files saved on the unallocated hard drive then it is suggested to recover those files first.

You might be wondering how to recover files if the hard drive is unallocated?

Well, the process of fixing unallocated hard drive sometimes involves formatting the hard drive. In those scenarios you might lose your important data, hence it is recommended to make use of a data recovery software to recover data from unallocated hard drive safely before you proceed to fix the unallocated hard drive.

Remo Recover is the hard drive recovery software that you can use to restore data from the hard drive that is showing up as unallocated. This software is completely safe to use and works well with various brands of hard drive. You can try the tool for free by downloading below.

How to Fix Unallocated Hard Drive?

You can fix an unallocated hard drive using various methods like diskpart, disk management, or even by updating your device drivers. However, before proceeding any further, there is one important aspect you need to know. Which is, the process of fixing an unallocated hard drive and involves formatting the drive. This means that fixing the unallocated hard drive will permanently erase the data which is currently residing on the unallocated hard drive.

Hence, if you. have any crucial files that are stored on your unallocated hard drive, it is strongly suggested to recover the data before repairing the unallocated hard drive.

Scan an unallocated drive with an antivirus

Run effective antivirus software on your unallocated hard drive to clean up the virus or malicious scripts.

Update Your Hard Drive Driver

  • Open Device Manager from the Start menu by typing msc in the Run tab or from Control Panel -> Device Manager
  • Right-click on the unallocated hard drive located under the Disk drive
  • Select Properties -> Driver and hit the Update Driver button

Run CHKDSK to Repair Unallocated Hard Drive

  • Press Win + R keys together, type cmd, and hit Enter (make sure you run CMD as administrator)
  • Next, type in chkdsk H: /f /r /x and hit Enter (replace H with your unallocated hard disk drive letter)
    chsk to fix unallocated hard drive

Run DiskPart Command to Fix unallocated Hard Drive

To fix your hard drive showing as unallocated  using DiskPart, follow the below-mentioned steps:

  • Open DiskPart, type in the below commands, and press Enter key after each
  • list volume
    using diskpart to fix unallocated hard drive error
  • select volume C (replace C with your unallocated hard disk drive letter)
  • delete volume
  • list volume
  • select volume C 
  • delete volume 
  • delete volume override 

Now, open Disk Management and right-click on your unallocated hard drive. Create a new partition and assign it to a new file system.

Use Unallocated Drive Space in Windows With Disk Management

To use an unallocated hard drive useful, you can simply follow the below-mentioned steps and add the unallocated hard disk space to a partition:

  • Open Disk Management and right-click on your unallocated hard drive
    disk management to make use of unallocated hard drive
  • Create a new partition by selecting New Simple Volume
  • Choose the Size of the volume and assign it a drive letter and click on next
    size of drive and assign a drive letter
  • Select the desired file system (NTFS or FAT32), click next, and finish
    choose the new file system

With these steps now your hard drive should be accessible without any errors. Though these steps don’t directly involve data, you need to first take backup / recover your data using Remo Recover and then go ahead with the troubleshooting steps. This keeps your data safe. In case the above-mentioned steps didn't help you fix the unallocated hard drive, then follow the next section of the article to recover data from the unallocated hard drive.

How to Recover Data from Unallocated Hard Drive?

You can easily recover data from unallocated hard drives using reliable hard drive data recovery software such as Remo Recover.  Remo is the most effective data recovery tool that can be used to restore data from unallocated hard drives or external hard drives.

Remo Recover is compatible to recover all kinds of data such as audio, video, photos, and documents, in short, Remo can successfully detect and recover over 500 file formats. Additionally, Remo has a unique feature that will allow users to define any custom or undefined file format to recover them. Most importantly, Remo is the easiest tool to use. Download now to start recovering your data.

Steps to Recover Data from Unallocated Hard Drive:

  • Download and install Remo Recover software on your computer and connect the unallocated hard drive.
  • Launch the tool and select the unallocated hard drive from the list of available devices to recover deleted files.

Launch the tool and select the unallocated hard drive

Note: In case, if your hard drive is unrecognized on the main screen, then click on Can’t find the drive? option.

  • Click the Scan button to start scanning your hard drive.
  • During the scanning process, you can click on the Dynamic Recovery View and preview the files that are getting recovered from your drive.

 click on the Dynamic Recovery View and preview

  • Once the scanning is completed, all your deleted files from the unallocated hard drive will be located under the Lost and Found folder.

deleted files from the unallocated hard drive will be located under the Lost and Found folder

  • Now, you can double-click on any file to preview it for free. Such as documents, PPTs, excel sheets, photos, videos, and many more.

click on any file to preview it for free

  • Finally, select the files you want to restore and click on the Recover button.

Save your files by clicking on the Recover button

Considering an unallocated storage drive is a complicated error there are chances that a normal scan might not work for you. This is why Remo is engineered with the Deep scan option.

In deep scan mode, Remo will scavenge every individual storage sector for file signatures. Once the file signatures are detected, Remo’s most efficient deep scan algorithm will recover every single bit of data from the unallocated hard drive.

Disclaimer: Never save the recovered files on the same drive you are currently recovering.


With all the above-mentioned methods you will certainly be able to fix the unallocated hard drive and also recover data from the hard drive that says unallocated. Do let us know your thoughts on the above-mentioned solutions to fix the unallocated hard drive issue in the comment section below.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is unallocated space and why is it important?

Unallocated space also referred to as “free space,” is the area on a hard drive where new files are stored. Conversely, allocated space is the area on a hard drive where files already reside.

Is it possible to recover data from an unallocated hard drive?

Yes, It is possible to recover data from an unallocated hard drive. By using a professional hard drive recovery software like Remo Recover you can easily recover your data under various data loss scenarios including an unallocated hard drive and a hard drive not showing issues.

How do I fix an unallocated hard drive without losing data?

To fix an unallocated hard drive without losing data, first, you need to restore your data using Remo Recover software and follow the below steps using Disk Management: 

Step 1: Connect the unallocated external hard drive to the PC, and enter Disk Management.
Right-click on This PC/My Computer > Manage > Disk Management.

Step 2: Locate and right-click on the unallocated space of the external hard drive, and select "New Simple Volume".

Step 3: Set partition size, drive letter, file system (NTFS), etc.

Step 4: Click "Finish" to complete the process.

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John Harris

Senior Editor, Content Analyst and a fan of exceptional customer service. John develops and publishes instructional and informational content regarding partition management, Windows hot-fixes, data management and computer troubleshooting.

As a tenured data recovery specialist, John shares exceptional insights and blog posts about data loss and data recovery across any storage device. With 8+ years’ experience in writing for Data Recovery for both Mac OS and Windows OS computers, he is an avid learner who always wants to polish and simplify the data recovery process. John passes his free time playing Chess and reading Science Fiction novels.

Articles: 486


  1. after the delete volume, I don’t see drive H anymore and following select and dele\te commands are invalid, now I lost the H drive, what should I do?

  2. A “friend” gave me several laptop hard drives that he had been playing with. it seems that he deleted all partitions on them then formatted them. How can I make these drives usable ? they seem OK until I try to load an operating system ,then the unit says that the operating system cannot be loaded onto this drive. Just trying to get a few computers going for kids trying to home school during this virus scare.

    • Hi Charies Wilson,
      You have hard drives that are formatted. You can start using them by creating partitions with enough space to install an operating system. If you still encounter the error, it can be an issue with BIOS or MBR corruption.

  3. Hi, quite interesting article.
    i have a query. My hard drive has 0x0kb unallocated space, which i cannot do anything.That may be a small space.
    This does not show at all in disk management, may be due to least space.
    how to recover, so that i need not worry about that

    • Hi jraju,
      You cannot perform this on the drive where your OS is installed. It might lead to data loss, hence it is always recommended to connect the unallocated hard drive to another computer and proceed with the diskpart command. Also do not forget to take backup of data before you perform any operation.

  4. I have a 2terra Seagate hard drive but it’s showing 80.42Gb and 851.11 is Unlocated, how do I get the who space of the drive back?

  5. external hdd is detected but not showing the disk. Also in disk management its showing’not intialized and unallocated’ but new simple volume option is not highlighted for the disk. what should I do?

    • Hello Amaljith, If a new simple volume option is greyed out in disk management, it can be either due to the presence of primary partitions on your hard drive or the disk capacity is over the limit to create a new partition. However, if you have data on your hard disk drive and are trying to access it, you can try Remo Recover to regain access to your important data. After recovering data, you can format the hard drive and reuse it normally. I hope, this will solve your trouble.

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