Those days are gone where we use to share data using CDs and DVDs, it was neither relevant because we were bound to storage limits and needs special software to burn the disks. Due to the digital evolution, we carry the data in a USB drive which is more relevant and portable to use. It stores all the data in its memory just like hard drives. Just plug the USB drive into the USB port and enjoy the movies, music, games, or store any of your private data. There are some cases where people have experiencing damaged or corrupted USB drive issues, due to it, they have faced permanent data loss. USB drive recovery is possible, but it has limitations.
If you want to recover your data from a damaged or corrupted USB drive, then you probably have landed on the right post. We have managed to prepared for you various methods that will help you to recover data from a USB drive, so read the article till the end.
See also: How To Lock External Drives with Password (USB Protection)
Without wasting much of your time, let’s get started.
How USB drives get Damaged or Corrupted
Basically, the Corrupted USB drive and the Damaged USB drive are two different parts.
Corrupted USB Drive: USB drives get corrupted when there’s corruption in the software of a USB drive. When the NAND memory chip has errors, the USB drive can misbehave like undetected in the computer or not working as it supposes to be. It can lead to data loss.
Damage USB Drive: USB gets damaged when its port gets broken by applying a certain pressure or force/ For eg if you unknowingly drops a USB drive on-road and a vehicle went through it, can damage the circuit and NAND chip. In that case, it’s just a probability whether your USB drive will work or not unless circuits and memory chi[ is damaged. It can also get damaged due to the high voltage, water damage.
But don’t worry, we have mentioned some valid fix methods that will help you to recover data from damaged or corrupted USB drives.
Before performing any of the methods, first,, plug the USB drive into the computer to see if it’s actually working. Else, follow the troubleshooting methods.
Recover Data from Logically Damaged USB drive
Here, we are talking about the USB drive which is not damaged physically but corrupted. While plugging the USB drive into the system’s port it might be showing some message as “USB not recognized” or “Please insert Disk into Removable disk”.
It means that your USB drive is corrupted, NAND memory chip in the USB drive might be not able to read by the system which then showing 0MB size. Following are some fixed methods that can fix corrupted USB drives.
Performing a simple USB drive scan
Here, we will just scan the USB drive to see if it has issues.
Step 1: Plug the USB drive into the computer’s port.
Step 2: Visit This PC, and right-click on the USB drive, and select Properties.
Step 3: Now select the Tools tab from the upper tab menu, and click on Check.
Step 4: A small window will appear showing you two options is Automatically fixed file system errors or Scans for and attempt recovery of bad sectors. Tick for both the option and hit the Start button.
The computer will scan the USB drive and try to fix the issues.
Reinstall Disk Drivers
The computer won’t recognize USB drives when computer drivers themselves are corrupted. In that case, we need to reinstall the disk driver to see if this works.
Step 1: Visit the start menu, and type Device Manager.
Step 2: Click on the Disk Drivers in order to expand the list.
Step 3: Right-click on the drive and select Uninstall device.
Step 4: Removal the USB drive and restart your computer.
Plug the USB drive into the USB port, Windows will automatically reinstall the drivers.
Change the Drive Letter
Windows won’t recognize the drive until it’s assigned with any drive letter. And same this is applicable on a USB drive, you need to change the drive letter if you are unable to access the USB drive.
Step 1: Visit the start menu, and type Disk Management.
Step 2: Select Create and format hard disk partitions.
Step 3: Locate your USB drive from the list and do a right-click on it and select Change Drive Letter and Paths.
Step 4: Click on Change, and select a new letter for the drive accordingly.
You can now able to access your USB drive.
Check & Repair the Disk
This can be done using two methods, using Windows Explorer and Command Prompt.
Performing checks & repairs using Windows Explorer
Step 1: Plug USB drive into the USB port, and open This PC.
Step 2: Do a right-click on a USB drive and select Properties.
Step 3: Select the Tools to tab from the upper tab menu, and click on Check. Windows will analyze and notify you when issues are detected.
Step 4: Click on Scan and repair drive to fix the problem, let the process finish. You will know when the process has finished.
Performing check & repair using Command prompt
Step 1: Do a right-click on the Windows icon and select Command Prompt (Admin).
Step 2: When Command Prompt opens, type the following command press enter.
chkdsk [drive letter]: /r
You need to assign the drive letter accordingly. The scan will be completed, you will get to see a list of repairs on your drive.
Recover data from a USB drive using Disk Drill
Follow the steps to recover USB drive data using Disk Drill.
Step 1: Download and Install Disk Drill for Windows.
Step 2: Plug a USB drive into your PC.
Step 3: Select the USB drive from the disk list.
Step 4: Click on the Search for lost data to start scanning the drive.
Step 5: Preview the files that Disk Drill software can recover.
Step 6: Select all the files that you want to recover and click on Recover.
Your data will get recover from the corrupted USB drive successfully.
Recover Data from Physically Damaged USB drive
Follow the methods mentioned below to recover data from physically damaged USB drives.
Give USB drive a Gentle Wiggle
Here, we assume that your USB drive is not getting recognized by the computer, and neither blinking any lights. In such a situation, just wiggle your USB drive while it’s connected to the ports. Do it very gently until your computer makes any USB detection sound.
Just move the USB drive gently in different directions to see if it’s blinking any lights. If it’s somehow got successful to connected to the computer, backup the data as soon as you can.
You might need to hold the USB drive to the position where it’s working, transfer the files into the PC and you are good to go.
Switch on another USB port
It might not be the USB drive but its port instead. Plug the USB drive into another USB port to see if it’s working. Dust or debris can be the reason why the USB port is not working, take the help of a Q tip or brush and clean the debris or dust stuck into the port. Don’t blow air by your mouth in the port as the moisture can damage the components.
See if this works, or move on to the next method.
Open the USB drive covering
USB drive chip is covered by plastic or metal to protect the internal components. Open the outer covering using a pin, but don’t damage the NAND memory as it can lead to permanent loss, Once the outer cover is removed try connecting the USB drive to the computer.
Soldering & Circuit repair
We strictly advise you not to use this method if you don’t have basic knowledge about soldering and circuit repair. Any wrong move can damage the circuit permanently.
Your computer might not be recognizing your USB drive because it’s broken. It might be because the USB drive not receiving enough power, in this case, it requires circuit repair or soldering to connect the power line again.
If you don’t know how to do it, you can hire a professional. He will be able to check the USB drive and fix it with the right equipment.
Can we recover data from a formatted USB drive?
Yes, is possible to recover the data from the formatted USB drive. There are various methods available on the internet. You can do it by using third-party software, Disk Drill can able to recover the data from formatted drives.
Is it safe to use third-party tools to recover data from a USB drive?
If you have anti-virus software running on your computer that can easily detected viruses and malware. It is nothing wrong with the help of third-party software to recover data. Here are some good software listed below that can actually work:
- Disk Drill
- EaseUS Data Recovery tool
- TestDisk and PhotoRec
What if Nothing Works?
All the methods mentioned above are valid fixes. At this point, you should be able to recover data from the damaged USB drive. But you still be not able to recover the data you can take the help of a data recovery expert. Always create backups because who knows what might happen to your precious data.
That’s it for now, hope this helps! We are glad to know your thoughts in the comment section below. Till then, stay tuned for more info.
See next: How To Lock External Drives with Password (USB Protection)