You need a USB repair tool when your USB flash drive is corrupted or unrecognized by your computer. Symptoms such as that you can't access data in the drive or you are seeing errors like "please insert the disk into removable disk", "you need to format the disk before using it", "raw drive", "flash drive not formatted" all indicate that the USB drive is corrupted or damaged. It needs to be repaired.
The most important task in USB drive repairing is to recover data from the corrupted or damaged drive. Therefore, this post will start with a USB drive data recovery tool to extract files from the problematic flash drive, then cover 3 flash drive repair tools to fix your drive back to normal. Here we go.
In most cases, we want to repair a corrupted or damaged USB because we care about the data inside. But unfortunately, when we use USB repair tools to fix the software problems, most of them need to format the USB drive (which will erase everything) during the repairing.
Therefore, if the files in the flash drive matter to you, before (or after) applying a USB repair utility to the drive, you may need to recover all your data from the broken drive – Yes, it’s still possible the recover the disappeared files as long as you have got a USB data recovery tool.
Since you can't access what's inside the pen drive right now, a software utility that can recover files from a corrupted flash drive is what you need. FonePaw Data Recovery is an optimal choice, which can easily extract files from the USB drive even if it’s broken or formatted. Most importantly, it’s free to scan and preview the data that can be recovered on your USB flash drive.
- Photo: JPG/JPEG/TIFF/PNG/GIF/HEIC/PSD...
- Video: MP4/AVI/MOV/M4V/3GP/WMV/FLV...
- Audio: MP3/M4A/WAV/WMA/AIFF/OGG/AAC...
- Document: DOCX/PPTX/XLSX/PDF/HTML/TXT...
- Email: PST/DBX/EMLX...
- Compressed File: ZIP/RAR/7Z/SIT…
- Database: DB/COM/EXE/FON/DLL/LIB/TLB...
- Other Uncategorized Files: ...
Though it seems hard to recover deleted or lost files from USB flash drives, it’s still workable because the deleted files are not instantly gone from the USB but moved to another partition that is marked as “deleted” and wait for new files to overwrite. So, seize the time, your files can go back.
It takes only 4 steps to get back files from a USB drive with the FonePaw utility.
Step 1. Run Broken USB Data Recovery Tool
Download FonePaw Data Recovery to your Windows or Mac computer. After installation, launch the utility.
Step 2. Recognize the USB Flash Drive
Plug the corrupted flash drive into your computer. The FonePaw tool will recognize the connected storage device and show it under Removable Device. Tick the checkbox before the USB drive and tick the types of files to recover. Click Scan.
Step 3. Restore Data from Corrupted USB Drive
The utility will scan the corrupted USB drive to restore data from it.
If your needed files can't be found after a quick scan, click Deep Scan to get more files detected from the flash drive. Note that Deep Scan will cost a much longer time than Standard Scan.
Step 4. Save USB Data to Computer
The files from USB drive will be organized in different categories. For convenience, you can also use the Filter function to quickly sort out the deleted data from USB.
Select the files and click Recover to save them on your computer. With all your data back to your computer, you can use a flash drive repair utility to fix the corrupted USB drive.
The first tool you can use to repair a corrupted USB flash drive is the built-in disk repair software in Windows. Follow these 5 steps to do the troubleshooting.
Step 1. Plug the USB drive into your computer.
Step 2. Find the USB drive in File Explorer (Windows + E) > This PC, right-click on it and select Properties.
Step 3. Under the Tools tab, click Check in Error Checking section.
Step 4. A new pop-up window appears. Click Scan and repair drive.
Step 5. The tool will scan the USB drive and repair USB drive errors if it can find any.
CHKDSK, short for check disk, is also a Windows utility that can be used to check and fix errors on a drive. Therefore, you can use the utility to repair a corrupted USB drive.
Step 1. Open Command Prompt on Windows XP, Vista, 7, 8, 10. You can find it from Start menu and search "cmd" in the search bar.
Step 2. Remember the drive letter of the corrupted USB drive.
Step 3. Enter chkdsk f: /f /r /x. F is the USB drive letter on your computer. Replace f with the drive letter of yours.
- /f: fix errors in the USB drive.
- /x: Dismount the USB drive.
- /r: Locate bad sector on the flash drive and recover data from it.
If the USB repair tools fail to fix the corrupted USB drive, you will need to format the USB drive to get the problem fixed. Before formatting the drive, try FonePaw Data Recovery to extract your data from the damaged USB drive and then get the corrupted flash drive fixed.
Besides the two USB drive repair tool for Windows, there is also a similar built-in tool for Mac to do the USB flash drive recovery – Disk Utility, which you can locate in Recovery Mode on Mac.
Step 1. Restart your Mac and press Command + R during the reboot until the Mac boots into recovery mode.
Step 2. Click Disk Utilities (Utilities) > Disk Utility.
Step 3. Select the connected USB drive under External and click First Aid to run it.
Step 4. Wait until the repair to complete. Click Done.
Why is the USB drive corrupted?
Your USB drive may be corrupted for the following reasons:
- Virus attack;
- Power outrages;
- Sudden Remove from the computer
If your USB drive can be recognized but is not in normal status, you can use the USB repair tools recommended above to fix the problems. But usually, the repairing will also cause USB data loss, so using FonePaw Data Recovery or similar USB data recovery programs will help if you really need to get back the important files.
Why can't I see my USB drive in Windows 10?
If you cannot see your USB in Windows 10 File Explorer, it’s likely that there is a problem in your USB (like showing up as unallocated space under Disk Management) or your system settings for USB.
Here are some methods to fix an unrecognized USB flash drive:
- Update unallocated USB drivers and create a new volume;
- Change the USB drive letter;
- Change the USB connection;
- Take your USB to a device repair center for manual repair.
You can try to troubleshoot it with the methods. Note that fixing the problem may have to format your USB flash drive, so after the recovery, a data loss is usually inevitable (but you can consider using FonePaw Data Recovery to retrieve USB data).
Is there any more USB repair tool recommendation?
Besides the tools mentioned above, Clonezilla is also a frequently mentioned USB flash drive repair tool. Instead of locating and fixing the errors on the drive, it’s more like a backup solution to clone your UBS data. It can ensure your data safety by cloning the whole USB or disk, and all the data will be able to restore even if the original USB is corrupted and unrecoverable. It’s free and open source, yet professional. To know more about Clonezilla, you can head to the official site.