How to Recover Data from Pen Drive Asking for Format

Posted to File Recovery Tips by Nancy on Nov 8, 2023 | Approved by Jennifer Allen

When you insert a pen drive with your computer, you might get the message like the screenshot below displays "You need to format the disk before you can use it. Do you want to format it?". It’s a common problem for pen drives when people use pen drives on a computer.

What Does Formatting Mean for a Pen Drive?

Before agreeing to format the disk, you must know what will happen if you click "Format Disk". Formatting is a process of cleaning the disk, removing all the files on the disk as well as it’s a way to change the disk file system. And the formatting is also a general operation to fix errors on a pen drive. In this case, if there is no important data on the pen drive and you want the pen drive to work normally, then go ahead to format it. If there are some important files, then you must learn how to recover data from pen drive without formatting, and after then, format it. Otherwise, you might lose the files permanently.

Two Types for Formatting: Quick Format VS. Full Format

There are two types of formatting, one is Quick Format and another is Full Format. You should pay attention to the differences between the two formatting modes.

Is there any way to fix the pen drive asking for a format issue? Sure, there are some ways that might work. You can try the compute built-in tools, like CHKDSK on Windows PC and Disk Utility on Mac to fix it. However, my suggestion is to retrieve files from the pen drive first. After then, fix the asking for format issue later. After all, keeping the important files safe is the priority.

How to Recover Data from Pen Drive Asking for Format

No matter what reason has caused the issue for the pen drive asking for the format, at least the pen drive can be recognized by your computer, which means you can recover data from the pen drive without formatting.

Data recovery software is needed to restore files from pen drive before formatting since you can’t access the pen drive at all, let alone do a backup. iBeesoft Data Recovery is a professional yet trustworthy tool for pen drive data recovery. The best pen drive recovery software can meet all the needs for pen drive file recovery before formatting.

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Here are the steps for how to recover data from pen drive asking for format without iBeesoft Data Recovery software.

  1. Connect pen drive with computer
  2. Connect the pen drive with your computer on which you’re going to retrieve data from the pen drive before formatting, making sure it is recognized as an external drive.

  3. Install pen drive data recovery software
  4. There are separate versions of iBeesoft Data Recovery for Windows PC and Mac. You should download the right version according to your computer OS. After then, install it on your computer. It’s virus-free. Feel free to install it.

  5. Scan pen drive asking for format
  6. Launch it. After then, you can see all partitions of your computer's internal disks as a connected external hard drive(s) listed in the main window. Please click the "Scan" button beside the pen drive. The online pen drive data recovery tool begins to scan it right away.
  7. Preview the found files
  8. Wait patiently for the scanning process to finish. The more files in the pen drive, the longer it will take to scan. When finished, you can see all found files are put into a directory. Click the folders in the left panel and check the details on the right side.

  9. When finding the target files, select them and click "Recover" to save them to a new folder on your computer.

That’s how to recover data from pen drive without formatting in Windows 10/7/8/11 and macOS. Just try the right data recovery tool to get the task done.

Frequently Asked Questions for Pen Drive Data Recovery

Why does my flash drive keep saying it needs to be formatted?

There are many reasons that can cause your pen drive or flash drive to keep saying it needs to be formatted. Here are the common reasons.

How can I recover my pen drive without formatting?

The safest way to recover a pen drive without formatting is using data recovery software, like iBeesoft Data Recovery. And in simple steps, the task can be done.

  1. Connect the Pendrive to your PC with a data cable.
  2. Download and install iBeesoft Data Recovery.
  3. Launch it and click "Scan" to analyze the pen drive.
  4. Preview the files and select the needed ones.
  5. Click "Recover" to save them on your computer.

Sure, there are other ways available to recover files from pen drive using CMD, like fixing the pen drive by using CHKDSK or Disk Utility. If succeed, then you can access the pen drive data and do the backup. However, it’s risky if it failed to fix the issue.

Can data be recovered from a formatted USB drive?

It depends on which mode you have formatted USB drive, Quick Format or Full Format. If Quick Format, then the chance to recover data from a formatted flash drive is big. As for Full Format, it’s hard to tell. Anyway, try to pen drive data recovery as soon as possible, then you might get a better result