Overview of Corrupted USB Drive Repair
A portable storage device is a USB flash drive, pen drive, or external hard drive. This device allows people to carry their data anywhere they go and use it with various devices. Sometimes, this frequent use of the USB device can cause issues, like leading the USB drive to corrupt.
The good news is that over 90% of USB users can usually fix these USB issues alone. If your USB device has an issue, the issue has to be one of the following for it to be self-treatable:
- 🔌Connect a USB flash drive to Windows 11/10/8.1/8/7, but the drive won't show up in File Explorer
- ❌Windows operating system detects the USB flash drive, but it won't open, saying the drive is not accessible.
- 💽USB needs to be formatted before you can use it when double-clicking on the drive.
- ⚠️Other unfamiliar errors like RAW drive, USB no media, etc.
Basically, you can fix the USB drive not working with the following effective methods. The following table will help you learn basic information about each method:
|USB Repair Solutions||Editor's Review|
|This is a quick fix when you have assigned the duplicated drive letter to the USB stick.|
|Windows operating system has a built-in utility that can check disk errors automatically.|
|The CHKDSK command can help you quickly repair the file system errors on your USB stick.|
|You can download a reliable third-party system repair software to help you repair the file system of the USB device.|
|An unfunctional or outdated USB driver can cause USB errors. You can easily reinstall/update it in Device Manager.|
|When your USB drive becomes RAW, you need to format it to another file system before using it.|
|If you are an expert, you can repair the USB drive all by yourself. If you are not, try the next method instead.|
|Professional data recovery and disk repair experts will help you resolve the corrupted USB flash drive.|
How do you repair a USB drive without losing data? It is important to rescue data from your corrupted USB flash drive with data recovery software first.
When you encounter issues like having a USB drive showing up or a USB drive becomes RAW and not accessible, you'd better try to recover data from the damaged USB flash drive. When you don't have any backups and pen drive data not showing, you should try EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard. You can download this function USB data recovery software now.
This software can help you repair a USB drive on Windows without losing data, and you can check the highlights here:
- Recover files from USB, including photos, videos, documents, emails, and audio.
- Support RAW drive recovery; you can recover lost files from a RAW drive with EaseUS recovery software.
- Recover the formatted USB drive with ease. You can format the USB drive and fix the corruption, then perform USB data recovery.
You can follow these simple steps to recover lost data from the corrupted USB flash drive:
Step 1. Connect your USB stick and scan it with EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard. After launching the software, you can easily find your USB drive and the Scan button.
Step 2. You can easily filter the files from the sidebar. Choosing "Path" or "Type" can help you quickly find lost files from USB sticks.
Step 3. You can preview the files before saving them. Click "Recover" and save these recovered files in a new location. Do not save the files on your corrupted USB drive.
Here's a video that can help you learn more about USB device data recovery, and it will also introduce the EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard. Watch this video to learn more:
- 0:00 How to recover files from a USB stick
- 0:42 Download and install EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard
- 2:50 Recover hidden files from USB with CMD
If you have successfully recovered data from your corrupted USB drive, try to share this page on social media to help more readers!
Note: Before starting to repair the USB device, you should check the USB ports in advance.
Sometimes, it is possible that you have assigned the same drive letter as other disks to the USB drive. That may cause your USB drive not to show up or be recognized by the computer. Let's see how to change the drive letter to fix the USB stick in the Disk Management:
Step 1. Right-click the Windows icon to wake up a menu, and click "Disk Management".
Step 2. Right-click the USB drive and change a drive letter.
Step 3. Assign a new drive letter and save the changes.
If your flash drive is not physically broken, your computer should recognize it and assign it a drive letter. In this case, follow the methods below to check and fix the logical errors on your USB. These methods shouldn't cause any data loss.
Step 1. Connect the USB to your PC
Step 2. Go to "My Computer/This PC" and then find the USB Drives.
Step 3. Right-click the USB drive and select "Properties".
Step 4. Click on the Tools tab.
Step 5. Click the "Check" button to repair the USB stick.
Step 6. Let the scan process complete, then close the scan window.
You can read more information about USB repair tools with the following passage:
USB Repair Tool | Pen Drive Repair Tool and Recover Data
How do I fix a corrupted USB flash drive? You can use the Windows CHKDSK or Windows disk error-checking USB repair tool. Read more >>
If the USB drive is detected but not accessible on your computer, you can try to fix the logical error using the native Windows tool, Command Prompt, or a third-party fixing tool. Then, you will be able to access your USB.
This is essentially the same process as above, but this will provide you with more feedback in the end that will help you determine whether the problem has been fixed or not.
- Running chkdsk can hopefully repair file system errors. However, it can also result in total data loss. So, perform data recovery with EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard in advance and then continue with the CMD method.
Step 1. Plug in your USB flash drive or pen drive to your computer.
Step 2. Type cmd in the search box. You'll see "Command Prompt" in the search results.
Step 3. Select "Run as administrator". Then, type chkdsk /X /f G: (replacing G with your USB's drive letter) in the Command Prompt window and hit Enter. The chkdsk operation will start to repair damaged USB drives.
This command makes the Windows operating system scan and repair file system errors on the flash drive. If the repair process works properly, it will show Windows has made corrections to the file system in the command window. This suggests that the corrupted USB pen drive has been successfully fixed and can be accessed again.
EaseUS CleanGenius is a user-friendly computer fixing tool that is both safe and lightweight. It's a perfect alternative to CHKDSK command. Use this one-click tool to fix the damaged file system easily.
Step 1. DOWNLOAD EaseUS CleanGenius on your computer and complete the installation.
Step 2. Run the software. Click "Optimization", and then choose "File Showing" .
Step 3. Select the drive with a corrupted file system. Tick the "Check and fix file system error" option and click "Execute".
Step 4. Wait the tool performs the repairing task. After that, click the "here" button to check the drive.
After repairing the file system errors of your USB drive, you can share this method with your friends to help them scan and repair drives!
If your USB drive is physically damaged and cannot be detected or recognized, reinstalling the USB drivers is worth trying. Or, you can try to connect your device to different USB ports to diagnose the problem.
Many strange USB issues usually result from a corrupted driver. You need to reinstall a new driver by following the steps.
Step 1. Press the Windows + X keys and select "Device Manager" from the menu.
Step 2. Expand Disk drives, right-click the name of your removable USB disk, and select "Uninstall".
Step 3. Select "OK" and disconnect the USB drive from your computer.
Step 4. Restart your computer and connect your USB drive to your computer. Windows will automatically install the required drivers for you.
You can also try to update the USB driver to repair corrupted USB and the following article may help you learn more:
[Tried & True] How to Download and Update USB Drivers
A range of peripherals is connected to your PC via a USB connection. If the USB driver goes wrong, these devices cannot work well. Read more >>
Your computer may not recognize the file system of USB drives, or the file system is RAW, and ask you to format it. Basically, you can easily fix this RAW drive problem by formatting the USB, but you should also know that the data on the USB drive will be erased after formatting.
How to format USB drives to fix issues:
Step 1. Insert the USB drive and open the File Explorer.
Step 2. Go to "This PC" and find your USB drive.
Step 3. Right-click the USB and choose "Format". Choose the file system and click "Start".
Note: After formatting, you can simply unformat the USB drive with EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard.
Here are a few things you should know before attempting to fix a broken USB drive by yourself:
- Physically repairing a flash drive is unlikely to work unless you have professional experience in repairing physically damaged flash drives.
- If the flash drive's internal storage is damaged, your only viable option is to take the drive to a manual repair service.
- The prices for data recovery can vary from $20 - $850 based on the severity of damage done to the drive and the type of recovery required.
If you decide to give this a try, follow these instructions:
- Soldering iron with solder and flux
- An old USB cable
- Wire cutters/strippers
- A small flathead screwdriver
- A magnifying glass or jeweler's loop
Once you have these required items, follow the steps to repair your broken USB drive.
Step 1. Remove the flash drive's casing. Do this with your flathead screwdriver.
Step 2. Use the magnifying glass to inspect the circuit board (PCB) and solder pads. If the PCB (the green circuit board) is damaged or the solder pads are lifted, you will probably need the help of a professional.
Solder pads are the 4 bits of solder that connect the USB connector's prongs to the circuit board's copper lines. If the connector has broken away without causing damage to the PCB or solder pads, continue to the next step.
Step 3. Set the flash drive on a hard surface. Do so with the connector end facing you and the solder pads facing up.
Step 4. Use wire cutters to cut one end off the USB cable. Ensure you cut the USB end of the flash drive cable to an adapter.
Step 5. Strip away a section of the USB cable's wire. Try to expose about 0.25 inch (0.6 cm) of each of the four wires inside the cable attached to the USB cable.
Step 6. Solder each of the four wires to the four solder pads. Take your time while doing this since failing to secure the connection adequately will most likely render your flash drive inoperable.
Step 7. Plug the other end of the USB cable into a computer. It should fit into one of the rectangular slots on your computer's housing.
Step 8. Then, you can open your USB drive. If your flash drive is recognizable by the computer, open it and move your files to a safe place as soon as possible. If the files are missing, you can move to Step 2.
If you think it is impossible to repair the USB drive or other storage devices by yourself, you can also turn to reliable and powerful data recovery services that easily help you repair corrupted SanDisk, Kingston, Sony, Seagate, or Western Digital USB flash drives. Our professional teams will stay online all day and help you repair the device even if the USB is dead.
EaseUS Disk Repair and Recovery ServicesClick here to contact our experts for a free evaluation
Consult with EaseUS recovery experts for one-on-one manual recovery service. We could offer the following services after a FREE diagnosis.
- Repair external hard drive USB flash drive errors, and restore data from all RAID levels
- Recover lost partition that cannot be restored by data recovery software
- USB RAW format fix or the USB that cannot be read or accessed because of bad sectors
- Fix disks that become GPT protected partitions
- Wipe data, unformat hard drive, Install/uninstall software or driver, etc.
Repair USB Drive FAQs
To get additional help, read these questions and answers below.
1. What to do when a USB drive does not show up?
When a USB is not showing up, you need to:
- Fix 1. Seek Repair Services
- Fix 2. Update USB Driver
- Fix 3. Reinstall Disk Driver
2. How do I tell if my USB is corrupted?
Your USB flash drive is corrupted when it looks empty, appears as RAW, or the pen drive is not detected.
3. Can a USB flash drive be repaired?
Yes. Here are the solutions to fix USB errors:
- Determine the cause of the USB problems
- Repair the USB drive with a repair service
- Repair the USB drive with a USB repair tool
4. Is there a SanDisk repair tool?
Yes, there's a SanDisk repair tool. You can download it from EaseUS with simple clicks. If you find this post helpful, share it on your Twitter and Facebook to help more people.
Was This Page Helpful?
Dany is an editor of EaseUS who lives and works in Chengdu, China. She focuses on writing articles about data recovery on Mac devices and PCs. She is devoted to improving her writing skills and enriching her professional knowledge. Dany also enjoys reading detective novels in her spare time.
Tracy King/Nov 08, 2023
Tracy King/Nov 08, 2023
Dany/Nov 13, 2023
Tracy King/Nov 08, 2023