Flash Drive


I have a flash drive full of data. when I plug it in the PC or any PC it say that that device must be formatted in order to be accessible.

Is it corrupted ? Any idea how I can retrieve the data. It's a little USB flash drive.

thank you
Who is Participating?
rindiConnect With a Mentor Commented:
The best recovery tools for USB sticks are Testdisk/Photorec:


But both tools aren't easy to use, you'll have to check the forums on details on how to use the tools:


Anyway, normally you don't store essential data just on USB sticks, you should consider them as a means to transport your data between PC's, so you have it on the original PC's, as well as on your backup sets.
John HurstBusiness Consultant (Owner)Commented:
when I plug it in the PC or any PC it say that that device must be formatted

Since the flash drive does not work in any PC, it is corrupted and there is not much you can do with them.
ItaliabellaAuthor Commented:
Hello John,

I know, I realize that it is corrupted. I was hoping in some fantastic resolution beyond my knowledge.
Evaluating UTMs? Here's what you need to know!

Evaluating a UTM appliance and vendor can prove to be an overwhelming exercise.  How can you make sure that you're getting the security that your organization needs without breaking the bank? Check out our UTM Buyer's Guide for more information on what you should be looking for!

Gary CaseConnect With a Mentor RetiredCommented:
If the data's important, send it off to these guys ... there's no charge if they aren't successful, but they have a VERY high success rate:


The pricing is shown on their web site -- it depends on the size of the unit, but for typical 4GB - 16GB units it's $199
Gary CaseRetiredCommented:
Note that not only is there no charge if they're not successful, but when you submit your info for a recovery job, it generates a pre-paid shipping label ... so it doesn't even cost you to send in your drive :-)
Lucas BishopConnect With a Mentor Click TrackerCommented:
There are plenty of free and paid data recovery apps you can download. Since the drive is being recognized, an app can likely do the trick.

First though, try accessing on a Mac. Maybe the original file system was created in OSX, (ex Mac journaled) and your PC simply doesn't recognize it.
dbruntonConnect With a Mentor Commented:
Try GetDataBack https://www.runtime.org/data-recovery-software.htm

Free to try.  Try both the NTFS and FAT versions.  You pay if it sees files.

Then there's PhotoRec http://www.cgsecurity.org/wiki/PhotoRec which is free but not easy to use.  There's a tutorial on the link above in case you want to try that.
nobusConnect With a Mentor Commented:
that's also true for all disks...
ItaliabellaAuthor Commented:
Lucas, the drive is not recognized

Yes Lucas it was originally created on a Mac computer.

guys, thank you so much for all your important inputs. I will try them all and let you know.

thanks again...
ItaliabellaAuthor Commented:
Thank you everyone.
Lucas BishopClick TrackerCommented:
@Italiabella if the drive was not recognized, when you plug it into the computer there would be no acknowledgement of it needing to be formatted. It would be like you didn't actually plug anything in at all. In that case, you'd need to send it in to a data recovery company, as not even a downloadable app would be able to access the drive.

However, I suspect you do not need any sort of file recovery at all... since it is asking you to format, the drive is being recognized, which is a great sign.

Even better news, you confirmed my suspicions that the file table was created on a mac. This likely explains why your pc wants to format the drive. The pc is not able to interpret the drive contents (most likely was formatted as 'mac osx extended') as it was formatted with an osx specific file system.

You'll want to:

1. Plug the drive into a Mac

2. Copy the disk contents from the flash drive onto the macs hard drive

3. Format the flash drive with FAT32 or exFAT

4. Copy the files back onto the flash drive

Now you should be able to access the flash drive and its contents via your pc.
ItaliabellaAuthor Commented:
Hello Lucas,

thank you for your feed back. So I plugged in the flash drive in my Mac Air, on the flash drive there is an light which as soon as I plug it is the laptop start flashing. I thought that seeing this light flashing is a good thing because at least we know that something is happening, that the piece of hardware is detected...but nothing appear on the desktop..now it doesn't even ask me to reformat the flash drive. I took a pics of the flash drive that shows the light on, will this help to troubleshot this issue ?

therefore I wasn't able to copy neither format the flash drive yet....what's next...any idea....personally after I saw the light on I still have some hope....thank you very much ...
Lucas BishopClick TrackerCommented:
Thanks for the update. After you plug the drive into the Mac, open up Disk Utility. Do you see the drive listed there?

BTW, don't format the drive until you've recovered the contents!!
ItaliabellaAuthor Commented:
:( no...it flashes..but it doesn't appear...

No I won't reformat this drive until I try everything possible...

thanks for your advices...

What's next ? Lucas  :)
if the recovery software does not recover the data - the only option is a recovery service
All Courses

From novice to tech pro — start learning today.