How to Recover Files from Corrupted USB Drive
A USB flash drive is beneficial for storing and transporting data. It's an easy, efficient way to carry information wherever you go. So, they're perfect for keeping personal files and work-related documents, but they come with potential dangers. The most common problem is a corrupted USB drive resulting in lost or inaccessible files. If you are facing such an issue and looking for ways to recover files from corrupted flash drive, then you are in the right place. This article will help to retrieve essential items and guide you to fix them not showing up on the computer.
- Quick Navigation
- Part 1. How Do I Know if My USB Drive is Corrupted?
- Part 2. What Causes a Flash Drive to be Corrupt?
- Part 3. How to Recover Files from Corrupted USB
- Part 4. How to Recover Data from a Physically Damaged Flash Drive
- Part 5. How to Fix USB Flash Drive Not Showing Up on Computer
- Part 6. How to Avoid USB Flash Drive Corruption and Data Loss
- Part 7. FAQs
How Do I Know if My USB Drive is Corrupted?
It can be confusing when unsure if a USB drive has become corrupted. The good news is that there are some signature signs to help you spot corruption.
- 💢 When you plug the USB into your computer, it should appear in "My Computer" as a storage device. If it doesn't show up and you can find it in Disk Manager, it's probably corrupted.
- ⛔ You may encounter read or write access errors on the USB drive.
- 📑 Your flash drive is denied access, requires formatting, or the capacity is displayed as 0.
- 🔒 Although the file saved in the Flash drive is not encrypted, it still refuses to open or indicates damage.
- ⚪ Additionally, its saved content shows as blank folders, files are distorted or cannot be found, and more.
What Causes a Flash Drive to be Corrupt?
Trying to locate the source of a corrupted USB drive can be challenging but also quite essential. Understanding why a USB drive has become corrupted is very important, as it can help you take steps to avoid similar issues in the future and possibly even restore your drive. Potential causes include:
- ⏏️ Improper removal of a USB drive, sudden power failure, accidental interruption while transferring/reading data, etc., lead to file system corruption.
- ⚠️ Old driver versions are infected with viruses or malicious programs, which cause them to load incompletely.
- 🕤 Repeated formatting, exposure to extreme environments, and reaching the end of its lifespan lead to physical damage.
No matter what caused your flash drive to get corrupted, in most cases, you still have a chance to retrieve files from corrupted flash drive. To help you complete this work better, we will list various solutions to help you.
How to Recover Files from Corrupted USB
Losing important files stored on a USB can be devastating - especially if the drive has become corrupted! Fortunately, recovering your data is possible. In fact, it is an easy process, for which you can refer to the following methods.
Ways 1. Repair Corrupted USB Drive Without Losing Data using CMD
The command prompt is the CMD command, the "MS-DOS mode" under the Windows operating system. It can use various commands to complete different tasks, and others include repairing damaged file systems.
- Hit the keyboard window key and type CMD.
- Select Command Prompt App and click Run as administrator.
- Type chkdsk f: /f /r in the newly opened window and wait for the progress to complete. ("f" is the drive letter of the damaged SUB)
- Re-open your USB drive to check the contents.
Ways 2. Recover Corrupted Files from Flash Drive with Check Option
Microsoft Windows is an extensive and comprehensive system with many useful options. If your drive gets corrupted it becomes impossible to read the stored files, then you can use it to fix errors and recover files from corrupted USB drive.
- Locate your target drive in Explorer.
- Right-click and select Properties, click the "Tools" tab, and click "Check" in the "Error checking" panel.
- Click "Scan and repair drive" and follow the wizard to complete the repair task.
Ways 3. Corrupted USB Recovery by Recovery Tool
Recovering files from a corrupted USB flash drive can be intimidating, but it doesn't have to be. Using the proper USB recovery software, you can quickly return any essential files that were once stored on your USB. Here, you can use iBeesoft Data Recovery. It is reliable and offers an intuitive user interface that allows anyone to quickly pick up on how the recovery process, making getting information back from lost or damaged files easy and effortless.
- Download and install the iBeesoft Corrupted USB Recovery tool.
- After running the software, click "Go to settings" to filter unwanted data types.
- Select your corrupted drive to start scanning
- After the scan is complete, select the items found and hit the "Preview" button to check them.
- Select the files found from the damaged flash drive and click on the "Recover" button to save them.
Tip: this way can also help you recover files disappeared from flash drive on Mac or Windows PC.
Ways 4. Recover Files from Corrupted USB Drive with Repair Tool
If you need a fast and reliable USB repair solution, look no further than MalvaStyle. It is a lightweight tool with a simple interface that can quickly help you fix a corrupted flash drive without formatting. Here are the steps on how to use it.
- Connect your corrupted USB drive to the computer.
- Download and install MalvaStyle USB Repair Tool
- Select your target drive and click on the "Repair" button.
Ways 5. Restore Corrupted Flash Drive from Backup
If you habitually use file history to back up important files, this will come in handy when your flash drive gets corrupted.
- Find the damaged one in the drive list and right-click.
- Select "Restore Previous Versions" and select a recent backup.
- Finally, click the triangle icon behind Restore and select "Restore to" to choose a location to save the backup file.
The above methods of recovering a corrupted flash drive are helpful to you. If they all fail, your drive may be physically damaged, and then you can also try the following methods.
How to Recover Data from a Physically Damaged Flash Drive
In today's world of digital storage, it can be incredibly frustrating to lose important data because of a physically damaged flash drive. Fortunately, if your disk has been dropped, stepped on, or otherwise damaged, you may be able to get back some of your data. The key to success is acting quickly and contacting a specialized data recovery service immediately. If you don't know how to get such a service, refer to the following methods.
- Open Google.com and type "data recovery service."
- Scroll down and view the nearest service provider through the map.
- Click on the nearest one and get a phone call to tell the staff what happened to you.
- Choose a solution to recover files from corrupted USB.
How to Fix USB Flash Drive Not Showing Up on Computer
When your flash drive doesn't respond when connected to your computer, you might think it's broken. In fact, this problem may also be caused by your wrong settings. Therefore, you can try the following methods to fix USB drive not showing up in Windows 10 and 11.
Ways 1. Rescanning Hardware
The system will not display your USB drive when the computer does not detect the hardware change in time. Therefore, you can use the methods below to fix this issue and regain access to your precious files.
- Find the "This PC" icon on the desktop and right-click to select "Manage."
- Click Hard Disk Management in the left panel of the Computer "Management."
- Finally, click Action > Rescan Disks on the top menu.
Ways 2. Re-enable your Flash Drive
If the external device is disabled in the drive management, it still cannot appear in your drive list. At this time, you can enable it. The following are the specific steps.
- Click "Device Manager" in the left menu of Computer Management.
- Click "Universal Serial Bus controllers" and select the USB mass storage device in the list.
- Right-click and select Enable Device.
Ways 3. Update Your Drivers
If your flash drive is warning or not showing up when you connect it to your computer, it may be caused by an older driver version. Therefore, you can update it to recover files from corrupted USB.
- Open "Device Manager" and find "Universal Serial Bus controllers."
- Right-click on the expanded project and select "Update Driver."
- Click Search automatically for drives and follow the prompts to complete the update.
Ways 4. Reassign the Drive Letter
A drive letter is a unique identifier for a volume or drive. If there are duplicates, then your USB drive will not show up. You need to follow the steps below to solve this problem.
- Hold the "Windows + R" key and enter "diskmgmt.msc" in the opened window.
- Click your flash drive in the disk management and right-click.
- Select "Change Drive Letter and Paths" to modify the drive letter.
Ways 5. Enable the USB port in BIOS
If your motherboard's button battery is dead, your BIOS settings may be messed up, and the USB port may be disabled. For this, you can use the following method to enable it.
- Restart the computer; when the boot screen appears, quickly press the BIOS shortcut key to enter the BIOS interface. (Tip: Different manufacturers have different motherboard shortcut keys, if you are not sure, you can consult the manufacturer.)
- After entering the BIOS interface, use the arrow keys to switch to Security > I/O Port Access > USB Port.
- Select "Enabled" after pressing Enter and press F10 to save.
How to Avoid USB Flash Drive Corruption and Data Loss
USB flash drives are an effective way to store and transfer large amounts of data quickly, but they can also be prone to corruption. Data stored on the devices may become unreadable or lost entirely. Fortunately, there are several steps users can take to reduce the risk of corrosion.
- 🔍 Physically inspect the USB flash drive before using it since any physical damage could result in lost or corrupted data that cannot be recovered.
- 🗞️ Always reformat your USB drive when switching between operating systems and perform regular scans for any viruses or other malware that could lead to damage.
- 🗜️ It's also important to disconnect from any network drives - especially when shuttling files between two different computers - as that can cause errors on the USB drive.
- ✔️ Unplug your USB drive properly by "ejecting" it from your computer's file manager before disconnecting, which helps prevent data loss or file system corruption.
- 🎏 Finally, To avoid data loss due to problems with the USB drive, use reliable hardware and regularly back up important files.
With these precautions in mind, avoiding a corrupted USB flash drive and the resulting loss of files should be easy.
If the file opening fails due to a corrupted drive, you can fix the problem by repairing the corrupted USB drive.
Any logical errors are repairable as long as they are not physically damaged. However, please make a backup of the data it stores before starting.
Your wrong operation may cause the file system not to be recognized by the computer, so you cannot access it. Don't worry; CMD can fix a corrupted USB drive without formatting or lost data.
Usually, formatting can repair a damaged flash drive, but it will erase all stored items. There will be no data loss if you have a backup in advance. If not, first use data recovery software to recover files from corrupted USB before formatting it.
If you see the drive in Disk Manager, but it doesn't show up, then you can use corrupted USB recovery professional software - iBeesoft Data Recovery. The following are the detailed steps:
- Connect your damaged USB to the computer and run iBeesoft Data Recovery.
- Select this hard drive in the first interface and click the Scan button.
- Clicking Recover after finishing the scan will save all found data to another drive.
- Open Disk Manager, select the damaged flash drive, and right-click to format it.
- Re-copy all recovery files to this drive.
You cannot access its files when your drive is corrupted due to logical errors. However, a unique tool - iBeesoft Windows or Mac Recovery Software can help to extract them.
When your flash drive file system shows as RAW, the system will tell you that you must format it before you can use it. If you do this, then you will lose all your files. Before formatting, you can use iBeesoft Data Recovery for corrupted USB recovery.
Run Command Prompt as an administrator and type chkdsk e: /f to complete the repair work. The "e" is the letter of your damaged drive.
Formatting will erase all stored items on your flash drive. You will not lose any files if you have made a backup in advance. If not, don't worry; you can also use iBeesoft Data Recovery to help you get back formatted data.
If you have a backup, then you guys can easily get back lost files from iCloud or Time Machine. If not, you can only resort to the help of third-party software. Although Apple has many built-in applications, there is no file recovery tool.
Getting files from a corrupted flash drive can be tricky and time-consuming, but with the right approach, it is possible. The key to successful data recovery from a corrupted USB in Windows 11/10 and macOS is first to identify the source of the problem and then select appropriate solutions. For this, this article provides how many methods to help you, I hope they can help you regain your essential data.