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Fix/Repair Corrupted USB Drive Without Formatting

Updated on Dec 26, 2018 by Abby Haines to Storage Media Recovery

Summary

On this page, you can learn how to fix or repair a damaged USB flash drive or pen drive without losing data. If your computer can recognize the corrupted USB, please refer to part 1. If your USB cannot be detected, refer to part 2. Try these USB flash drive repair solutions to fix your USB device without formatting. Data recovery software is provided to scan for and recover lost data after fixing the USB.

A USB flash drive or pen drive stores all of its data in its memory space similar to a hard drive. This portable device makes it extremely convenient for people to transfer or carry their data. However, there are various issues that can arise and cause your USB drive to become inaccessible.  

So, when you are faced with such an issue, how can you access the flash drive when it is damaged or unresponsive? Even if you have no idea how to repair a corrupted USB flash drive, this page will help you repair the USB without losing data or formatting.

Case 1. The USB Device Can Be Recognized

If your USB can still be detected or recognized by your computer, you can fix your pen drive by repairing the logical error. Then you will be able to access your USB.  

First. Check and Repair the Error on the Damaged USB

If your flash drive is not actually PHYSICALLY broken, your computer can recognize it, and your computer assigns it a drive letter, follow the methods below to check and fix the logical error.

PAGE CONTENT:
Method 1. Check and Repair the USB Directly
Method 2. Repair Corrupted USB Using CMD

How to Check and Repair the USB Directly

1. Connect the USB to your PC

2. Go to My Computer>The USB Drive.

3. Right-click the USB drive and open its Properties.

4. Click on the Tools tab.

5. Click the "Check" button.

check and fix the usb error

6. Let the scan process complete, then close the scan window. 

7. Right-click the icon of the USB flash drive on the desktop and click "Eject". Then remove the drive from the USB port.

Repair Corrupted USB Using CMD

This is essentially the same process as above, but it will provide you with more feedback in the end that will help you determine whether the problem has been fixed or not.

1. Plug in your USB flash drive or pen drive to your computer.

2. Go to the start menu, type in "cmd" in the search bar, hit enter and then you can see something named "cmd. exe" in a list of programs. 

3. Right-click "cmd. exe", run as administrator, and type "chkdsk /X /f G:" or "chkdsk G: /f" (replace G: with the drive letter corresponding to your USB drive). The chkdsk operation will then start to repair the damaged USB drive.

repair the damaged usb with cmd

This operation will make Windows check and fix the file system on the flash drive. If the repair process works properly, it will show you, "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.

Second. Try to Recover Data from the USB Drive

After you have checked and fixed the logical error on the pen drive, you can scan your device to see if any data was lost in the process. EaseUS file recovery software can search for any lost files on the device and, if there are any, recover them. 

Recommendation
Recover deleted, formatted, and inaccessible data in different data loss situations.
Recover photos, audio, music, and emails from any storage effectively, safely and completely.
Recover data from the recycle bin, hard drive, memory card, flash drive, digital camera, and camcorder.

The program is capable to conduct USB data recovery for all data loss cases. Before purchasing the full version, you can download the free version first to scan the device and check what files it can recover. If you don't think you can get a satisfactory result, just don't pay for it! You have nothing to lose. So, you can try it without hesitation whenever you are faced with data loss after repairing a corrupted USB pen drive.

Notice:
Please stop using your USB flash drive once you lose files on it, in case newly produced data overwrite entries to the lost files.

Step 1. Connect USB to your PC and run USB data recovery software.

  • Connect the USB flash drive on which your files to your computer and launch EaseUS USB data recovery software - Data Recovery Wizard on your PC.
  • Select your USB drive under External Devices and click Scan to start finding your lost files.
Select USB to scan and find lost files.

Step 2. Scan to find all lost files from USB.

  • EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard will thoroughly scan your USB flash drive and find all your lost data on it.
Scan USB drive to find lost files.

Step 3. Restore all lost files from USB.

  • After the scanning process, you can check and preview found USB files in this program.
  • "Deleted Files" is for you to find deleted files. And "Lost Partition Files" is quick access to find formatted data.
  • Double-click the files to preview and choose available ones, click "Recover" to save them to a secure location on your PC or other external storage devices
Restore lost USB data.

Case 2. Your USB Drive is Not Recognized etc.

If your USB drive is physically damaged and cannot be detected or recognized, follow the directions provided here.

Attention:

  • 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 professional 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. 

First. Manually Repair the USB Drive

If you decide to have a try on your own, you can follow the details below.

Preparations:

  • A soldering iron with solder and flux
  • An old USB cable
  • Wire cutters/strippers
  • A small flathead screwdriver
  • A magnifying glass or jeweler's loop

Details to repair the flash drive.

1. Remove the flash drive's casing. Do so with your flathead screwdriver.

2. Use the magnifying glass to inspect the circuit board (PCB) and solder pads. If the PCB (the green circuit board) itself 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 prongs of the USB connector to the copper lines in the circuit board. If the connector has broken away without causing damage to the PCB or solder pads, continue to the next step.

3. Set the flash drive on a hard surface. Do so with the connector end facing toward you and the solder pads facing up.

manually repair the USB

4. Use wire cutters to cut one end off of the USB cable. Make sure you cut the USB end if the flash drive cable is an adapter.

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 that's attached to the USB cable.

6. Solder each of the four wires to the four solder pads. Take your time while doing this, since failing to adequately secure the connection will most likely render your flash drive inoperable.

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.

8. Then you are able to 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.

Second. Recover Data With EaseUS

If you notice that files are missing from your USB drive, you can download free recovery software and recover data from it. You can also use this to scan your drive for any lost files that you don’t immediately notice. It is the last chance for you to restore all of the lost data and it is free, so why not have a try. It just takes three steps to retrieve lost or deleted data on the flash drive. Instructions on how to use the software are provided above in Case 1.