USB cannot be opened

By jhoanna_delin
Jul 29, 2008
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  1. Are there chances of retrieving my files in a corrupted USB?

    When trying to open my USB, it states that:
    The disk in drive E is not formatted.
    Do you want to format it now?

    Or, I should really have to reformat?
  2. raybay

    raybay TechSpot Evangelist Posts: 10,716   +6

    Typical of a situation in which the USB drive was extracted from the port before the file transfer was complete... which is why you are told to use the "Safely Remove Hardware" selection in the task bar.
    Usually nothing can be done, unless you pay a service.
    You can reformat it, but saving your data is tough.
    Check the website of the manufacturer or company that marketed the USB drive. Some of them have fixes on their website
    Or fix it yourself with a reformat, IF you do not need the data.
    You will have to reformat it, or reset the drive... and that varies from brand and model...
  3. LookinAround

    LookinAround TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 8,357   +167

    There are a couple things worth trying BEFORE you reformat that drive which will erase the old data
    • Acronis Disk Director. You can download and use it free for 15days then is $30 to purchase (through the 40% off google link i provided). I've used it before to successfully recover lost partitions and other items from corrupt USB drives
    • Recuva. I never used this freeware tool (from the same people who bring you CCleaner) but have heard good things about it if you wanted to try it as well
  4. raybay

    raybay TechSpot Evangelist Posts: 10,716   +6

    These only work if you can see the drive. If the drive does not show up in your equipment list, neither Acronis nor Recuva will work.
    But in either case, you will lose your data.
    If you don't want to lose your data, you likely will have to pay for the fix.
  5. LookinAround

    LookinAround TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 8,357   +167

    Ahhh... i should clarify

    1. If the drive doesn't appear in explorer. When disk gets corrupted it may no longer appear as a volume listed by Explorer but if that's what happening one must look deeper in Windows to see if that the disk itself is being found by Windows
    2. Finding the disk itself. In XP (I think, not sure if same, for Vista) one need look at Disk Management (right click My Computer -> Manage -> Disk Management. The drive will appear but appears as "not formatted" so there is no volume data which otherwise is seen via Explorer. If, in fact, the drive isn't even seen in Disk Management then you may have hardware damage not simply file or file system damage (file or file system damage being what can would more likely happen by prematurely pulling out the USB cable tho not saying disk damage is impossible by pulling the cable just not nearly as likeley)
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