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mlbnfl

USB Needs formatting - How do I not lose files?

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Hey computer whiz guys and gals. Flash drive was working earlier, now when you try to open it it states "You need to format the disk in drive E: before you can use it". Any tips as to how to save the files from the flash drive without formatting as seemingly all will be lost at that point? Tried to search the forum but feel free to link if theres an appropriate thread I missed. Looked online but there are so many companies pushing their own software to recover files I dont know whats legit. Thanks.

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The drive might be toast.

Plug it into a different computer. If it asks you to format, click "cancel" and see if the files appear.

Otherwise, you'll need to download a program that recovers data from USB drives.

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37 minutes ago, Joe Summer said:

Otherwise, you'll need to download a program that recovers data from USB drives.

I think this is the point we’re at Over here unfortunately. Anyone have suggestions as to a good program? Looking online is impossible since everyone’s trying to sell theirs. Willing to shell out some dough if it’s a program that someone knows will get the job done.

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Posted (edited)

Mr R, the tech support I married, says that there are likely bad sectors on the drive.  There are some programs he's used before to recover files from a drive you can't read at all, but it will take him a few minutes to find them.  (It's been a a while.)  Hold on a few.

Edited by Mrs. Rannous

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11 minutes ago, Mrs. Rannous said:

Mr R, the tech support I married, says that there are likely bad sectors on the drive.  There are some programs he's used before to recover files from a drive you can't read at all, but it will take him a few minutes to find them.  (It's been a awhile.)  Hold on a few.

No rush, thanks very much!

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Posted (edited)

As Mrs. R said, you get that message usually on a flash drive if it has bad sectors that would prevent it from accessing (usually the FAT table won't associate with the data any more).  You can take the following steps:

1.  Try a different USB port, or even better a different port on another PC.  It could be just a bad read.

2.  You could drop to a admin DOS command prompt and try CHKDSK /f to attempt to fix the bad sectors.  WARNING:  if there is any data on the sectors it thinks are bad, it'll typically copy those file sections into unusable files.  So, you might get all, some, or none of your data back in this case.  Only recommended if you're really desperate or really know what you're doing.

3.  Use a file recovery software.  Here are one's I've used in the past:

     Teracopy for Windows - this one will copy files it can reach, but I don't think it'll work on a disk that can't be accessed.  It's more for "This file is fighting back" sort of scenarios.  

     Roadkil's Unstoppable Copy - this is a great little program that does exactly what you would need for free, but it's older than dirt and I haven't tried it on Windows 10 boxes.  Worth a shot, though.

     Puran File Recovery - I've not used this one much as the previous two, and it's a little old as well, but if memory serves it's not bad either.  There is a newer version than the one listed, but it's pay for use.

Let me know if any of this works - There are other options out there that I haven't personally tried (there's a good list here if you want to dig yourself).

Good Luck!

Edited by Val Rannous
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4 hours ago, Joe Summer said:

click "cancel" and see if the files appear.

Definitely try this first.

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1 hour ago, Val Rannous said:

     Puran File Recovery - I've not used this one much as the previous two, and it's a little old as well, but if memory serves it's not bad either.  There is a newer version than the one listed, but it's pay for use.

Let me know if any of this works - There are other options out there that I haven't personally tried (there's a good list here if you want to dig yourself).

Good Luck!

Thanks so much. Tried roadkill and had some issues (couldnt seem to get it to even try to take anything from the E: drive since it wasnt recognizing it but it was probably user error). Luckily Puran seems to have worked although it seems that now there are multiple files of the same document (seemingly one for every time the document was saved along the way perhaps?). Ill take this as a win for sure as the documents are now available to me, but out of curiosity is there a way to take only the final form of the documents that are on there? Doesnt seem to be on Puran at least (and I know you havent used that a ton), but either way thanks so much.

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10 minutes ago, mlbnfl said:

Thanks so much. Tried roadkill and had some issues (couldnt seem to get it to even try to take anything from the E: drive since it wasnt recognizing it but it was probably user error). Luckily Puran seems to have worked although it seems that now there are multiple files of the same document (seemingly one for every time the document was saved along the way perhaps?). Ill take this as a win for sure as the documents are now available to me, but out of curiosity is there a way to take only the final form of the documents that are on there? Doesnt seem to be on Puran at least (and I know you havent used that a ton), but either way thanks so much.

Most of the file recovery programs are designed to get EVERY file scrap back it can find, just in case you accidentally overwrote something.  So it's a feature, not a bug - if it didn't recover the file dates, just look for the largest - that's usually the latest, assuming you're adding info as the file evolves.  Hopefully you won't have to do this that often.

One note - if you're copying onto a thumb drive, use it for transport, not permanent storage.  I never delete the files off of the original system, so there's always one copy there, one copy on the thumb, and usually one copy where I'm taking it.  More is better, then when something gets nuked (and trust me, sometimes it happens) you have multiple sources for recovery opportunities.  

Glad it worked!

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