How to Backup Data from Hard Disk without OS?

Posted by @Cherry

October 18, 2018

Have you ever try to backup data from hard disk without OS? Here you can learn the way to backup data from hard disk when your computer won’t boot.

Computer users know that there are so many accidents can destroy your OS. Imaging that if your system crashed, and you need to format the partition and do a fresh installation or reinstall OS, how could you save your files on the hard drive without OS?

Remove the hard disk to other working computers for backing up data

If you want to backup data from hard disk without OS, you can connect the hard disk with other working computers. Then, you can backup data from hard disk without OS on this booting computer with Windows built in backup tool, or the simply copy and paste, or some other backup software, like backup an external hard drive.

Use Windows installer disc to boot the computer for backing up data

If your computer cannot boot, then, backup data on the hard disk could be a very hard thing.  But if you have a Windows installer disc, things would be easier. Here we will take Windows 7 as an example:

First, insert Windows 8 installer disc into your computer and restart it. If everything is working properly, you will see the message: “Press any key to boot from CD or DVD.” like the following screen shot.


Then, you need to press any key to move on. But if you do not see the message, you should get into your computer’s BIOS to change the boot settings so that it can boot from the installer disc.

When you move to Windows Setup screen, you should click Repair your computer if you are not planning to install system now.

Repair Your Computer

Then, you should click Troubleshot > Advanced Options > Command Prompt.

Command Prompt

Then, it will display you the Command Prompt. Type notepad, press Enter. It will launch a Notepad window. Then, you need to click File and select Open in the Notepad Window.

Notepad from Windows Installer Disc

Make sure that you select All Files in the Files of type (nearly at the bottom of the next screen shot, then, click Computer at the left pane. You can use this Open dialog as a Windows Explorer where you can select files copy them to any other place like other external hard drive you connect with your computer before.

File Manager in Windows Installer

Once you are done with backup from the hard disk without OS, you can close the windows and shut down your computer.


When you try to open the files or Notepad, do not double-click them, otherwise, it may be frozen. If the Notepad freezes on you, you can go back to the Command Prompt window and type taskmgr to launch the Task Manger, and you can end the frozen here and re-launch Notepad.

Use AOMEI Backupper to backup data from hard disk without OS

If you do not have Windows installer disc, don’t worry, the third party software AOMEI Backupper would help you to backup data from hard disk without OS. It can also be used as disk clone software

First, you need another computer installed with AOMEI Backupper, and an external hard drive or a USB flash drive. Here we use a USB hard drive. Plug in the USB drive to your computer, launch the AOMEI Backupper, and use it to create a bootable USB.

Then, unplug the bootable USB you created before and plug it into your computer that contains the hard disk you want to backup data from, start the computer from the USB drive, and it will show you the main interface of AOMEI Backupper. Then, you should clickBackup, and select Disk Backup.

Disk Backup

Then, choose the disk you need to backup.

Source Disk

Then, select the destination disk to store the data. And click Start Backup to execute it.

Start Backup

After the progress becomes 100%, click Finish to exit.

AOMEI Backupper should be the best solution for how to backup data from hard disk without OS. It has many other features that you can use to keep your data safe. It is worth to own one. You can download it free for its basic functions. If you need more advanced features, like System Clone, you can upgrade to AOMEI Backupper Professional edition.