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How To Fixe a Corrupted USB Drive Flash Asking to Be Formatted Without Losing Data

It is a common thing for people nowadays who use a USB drive with different public PC’s and they get affected with thousands of worms and Trojans. Many times, these Trojans affect the USB drive so bad that not only all the data in it is erased, but also it corrupts the USB flash drive. The term ‘corrupts’ here means the USB drive is no more accessible onto a PC. The system shows the memory as 0 bytes after checking its properties by right clicking on it. Even after trying to format it, Windows gives various errors and it fails to format the drive and make it work again. Here, I have some ways in which you can try to get back the data you have lost due to corrupted USB.

The above image shows how it looks when a USB drive is corrupted. The general format of the memory is FAT, FAT32 or NTFS. Now if your USB drive’s properties shows similar 0 bytes size, them you must know that the format of the memory is changed to RAW. Raw memory is a term used to refer a chunk of computer memory. Here, you can do few things to recover the lost files.

  1. RAW file recovery using one of these excellent utilities: OnTrack EasyRecovery Professional or Easus Data Recovery Wizard Professional. The benefit of these two options is they can usually recover most files. The drawback is they work with a signature-based system that recognizes file types by the pattern of raw data stored on the device. This makes it impossible to recovery the file names. Once recovered the user has to rename the files by hand. This can be a daunting and tedious task.
  2. Attempt to check if my problem was a missing partition and/or repair a corrupted one. The pro is that I’d get all my files back with the proper file names. The con being that I may mess things up so badly that option #1 my not recover all (or any) of my files. (You’ve been warned!)

Out of other avenues, go for the #2 option. Download a nice open-source utility called TestDisk by CGSecurity. The instructions are straightforward and it finds the FAT32 partition of the USB in no time. Then write the partition table changes and exited the program. Unplugging and replugging the USB flash drive resulted in a fully recovered disk!

Thats all! If this had failed you could have always gone back to option #1 but it would have been both time consuming and expensive. Hopefully this will give other file recovery rookies a bit of hope.

As always using any tool on your data can screw things up further so if its important then send it to a professional. You’ve been warned!

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