How to Fix a Broken USB Stick and Recover Data

Jean updated on Jan 15, 2021 to Data Recovery Resouce | How-to Articles

When your USB stick is damaged, no matter if it is a logically or physically broken USB stick, there is almost no chance for you to access the USB drive and the files in it. This page will help you by explaining the common causes of USB damage and introducing detailed solutions.

Stay calm when your USB seems to broken on your computer. We have some practical fixes for you to try and bring your lost USB data back. Check and repair your USB now:

Workable Solutions Step-by-step Troubleshooting
1. Fix RAW USB Recover data from raw USB > Format raw USB to FAT32 or NTFS...Full steps
2. Fix Unreadable USB Connect USB to PC > Open Disk Management > Right-click USB and change drive letter...Full steps
3. Fix Not Showing USB If Disk Management detects USB unallocated, right-click and select "New Simple Volume"...Full steps
4. Fix Broken USB Port Clean the port > Re-solder the USB wiring > Replace the port...Full steps
5. Fix Bent USB When a USB port is bent or deformed, none manual method can help. You should buy a new one...Full steps


Before trying any one of the methods of fixing the broken USB stick, please do not format or wipe up your USB stick without backup.

Case 1. Fix the USB with File System Error

Errors would occur when the USB file system becomes RAW. The common error messages include 'the disk is not formatted. do you want to format it now?', 'you need to format the disk in drive X: before you can use it', and 'this volume does not contain a recognized file system...', etc. 

Such a problem will cause data inaccessible. To fix it, you can format the USB drive to a normal state. But formatting will erase all data on the USB. If there is no backup, please use data recovery software to recover data from the RAW USB first and then format it.

Procedure 1. Recover data from the raw USB drive

Download USB data recovery tool - EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard and install it on your computer.

Step 1. Select and scan the RAW partition.

Launch EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard, select the RAW partition where you lost your data and click "Scan".

If the RAW partition contains a partition label, you can directly select it to scan for the lost files. 

If the RAW partition lost its label, it will be recognized as "Lost Partition" in the program and you need to select the "Lost Partition" to find the lost data.

select RAW partition and click scan

Step 2. Preview found data from the scan result.

When the scanning completes, check and double-click to preview found files from "Lost Files". 

scan the lost partition to find desired data

Step 3. Recover found data from RAW partition.

Select all found files and click "Recover" to get all the data back. Save the found data to another secure location.

recover all found data from RAW partition

Procedure 2. Format raw USB drive for reuse

Open "Windows File Explorer" > Right-click the RAW drive and select "Format" from the menu > Click "Start".

format raw usb stick in windows file explorer

Case 2. How to Fix a USB that Won't Read

The most common reason why your computer won't read the USB stick is that the drive letter Windows is trying to assign to your device is already taken. To make your USB stick shows again, you just need to assign a drive letter to it.

Step 1. Right-click "My Computer" or "This PC" (for Windows 10) and select "Manage" from the menu.

Step 2. The Computer Management window will pop up. Select "Disk Management".

Step 3. Right-click on the USB that won't read by Windows PC and choose "Change Drive Letter and Paths".

Follow the wizard and assign a drive letter to your 'missing' drive. Your USB drive would read and write properly now.

chang drive letter and paths to fix broken usb stick

Case 3. Fix USB Not Showing Up

Sometimes when you insert the USB stick into the computer, it'll not show up as expected. And check the USB status in Disk Management, you can see the USB partition becomes an unallocated space. This problem probably happens because of deletion and virus attack. To fix this problem, you need to create a partition on it.

Step 1. Right-click on the unallocated space and select "New Simple Volume".

Step 2. Follow the wizard to create a partition on the unallocated space.

create partition on unallocated space to fix broken usb stick

Case 4. Fix a Broken USB Port

If both restarting or reinstalling USB drivers can not fix the broken device, it's probably related to a hardware issue. For example, the USB port is damaged. There are 3 ways you can try to fix the damaged USB port manually. You can preserve the tutorial graphics to a local drive so that you can refer to the methods anytime.

steps to fix a broken usb port

Case 5. How to fix a bent USB stick

"The USB memory stick was bent in the port, the light comes on when inserted but the computer cannot recognize it... any advise if the information on it can be saved?"

I guess that bending a USB flash device is not uncommon, and the fact is that we don't decide to give instructions here about how to fix a USB that was broken in this way. To tell the truth, without a huge investment in a professional USB repair service, it's beyond repair. Once a USB port is bent or greatly deformed, it's unlikely for a computer to recognize it. The suggested EaseUS data recovery tool can't help, either. It's time to buy a new one.

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Frequently Asked Questions

1. Why choose EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard?

"EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard is the best we've seen. It's far from perfect, partly because today's advanced disk technology makes data-recovery more difficult than it was with the simpler technology of the past, but it's fast and efficient..."PCMag

"The first thing you'll notice about EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard Pro is that its interface is very clear and uncluttered, with only a small collection of self-explanatory controls. You won't find lots of extra options hidden in a system of hidden menus, either; what you see really is what you get."techradar

"Recover lost files, even after deleting a partition or formatting your drive."Macworld

2. Why cannot I recover 2GB data for free?

It is recommended to check the version installed is Free or Trial because they are different versions.

Trial has data preview function but cannot save any files, while the Free version enables to recover 2 GB files. The default free space is 500 MB and you may share the product on social media to get another 1.5 GB.

3. Why cannot the recovered files be opened?

A file is saved as 2 parts on the storage device: directory info (which is comprised by file name, time stamp and size info, etc.) and data content.

If the files with original file names and folder structures cannot be opened, one possible reason is the corrupted directory info. There is still a chance to recover the data content with the RAW Recovery method in our software.

4. Why isn't it suggested to recover the files back to the original drive?

The storage structure of the lost files would be altered or damaged by any changes on the drive. If you save the recovered files back to the same drive, the original data structures and data content would be corrupted or overwritten, which causes permanent data loss. So you should prepare another disk to save the files.

5. How can I check whether my data is recoverable or not before purchase?

The Free version helps you save 2GB files, so verify the recovery quality of our product before purchase.

6. How long does it take to scan the drive?

It strongly depends on the capacity of your hard drive and the performance of your computer. As reference,most drive recoveries can be completed in around 10 to 12 hours for a 1-TB healthy hard drive in general conditions.

About Data Recovery Wizard

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