USB Drive Data Recovery


Effectively Repair Corrupted USB Drives (USB Flash Drive, Pen Drive, Memory Stick, etc) and Recover Data Without Formatting It!

Summary – In this particular post you are going to learn some effective methods and steps that will help you fix corrupted or damaged USB drive and recover files without formatting it, even when it says/ask to be formatted.

Sometimes, the situation arises where your USB drive (pen drive, memory stick, external hard drive and other USB flash drive) ask you to format it. And when such situation occurs you are not able to open the USB drive and you lose the access to the data stored within the drive.

Fortunately, there is perfect USB drive data recovery software that will help you to recover files from USB drive without formatting it. With the use of this software, you can:

  • Retrieve inaccessible files like photos, videos and audio files from USB drive asking/need to be formatted. It means that you can restore data without formatting USB drive.
  • Recover digital media files from corrupted/damaged/virus infected or error throwing USB drives.
  • Preview recoverable images, videos and audio files within software before final recovery.
  • 100% read only program. Safe, secure and easy to use.

Efficiently Restore Files From USB Drive Without Formatting It

Free Download Photo Recovery for Windows
Free Download Photo Recovery for Mac

* Free version of the program only scans and previews recoverable objects.

Additional Reading: How to Open Memory Card & Recover Files Without Formatting It?

Let Us Begin With Real Users Example:

How can I recover files from my USB pen drive that insists it must be formatted?

My pendrive on connecting to my computer prompts ‘the disk in the drive is not formatted, do you want to format it now?’.

I have some important files in my pen drive so, I dont want to format it. How could I open my pen drive without formatting it.

I have used recovery softwares to recover files and succeed to recover all of my files in my earlier normal formatting.

But I have heard that it is not possible to recover files by this type of formatting. Is it true? If so, what’s an alterantive?

                                                                                 – Original Post from MakeUseOf

Another Example:

How do I restore the files on my USB without formatting it? My USB keeps popping up a message, saying that it is unreadable and corrupted. The F:/ is not accessible. How do I fix it?

                                                                                         – Original Post from Quora

In above both the example, the situations of both users are related that they are not able to access the files stored within their USB drive because their USB drive throw error message.

Additional Reading: [Fixed]: “Windows was Unable to Complete the Format” Error on USB Drive

Below find out the reasons of USB drive – why they want to be formatted?

Why USB Drive Ask/Want/Need to Be Formatted?

USB drive want, needs or ask to format because it contains corrupted or damaged file system which display different several errors.

Below, I have listed some of the common scenario where USB drives needs to be formatted:

If you are facing such problems and errors on your USB drive, then follow the below mentioned solutions to fix USB drive error and recover data without formatting it.

Additional Reading: How To Recover RAW USB Drive Data on Windows/Mac?

Solutions to Fix Damaged/Corrupted USB Drive and Recover Files Without Formatting It

Before I provide solutions on how to fix USB drive whether it is corrupted or damaged due to physical errors or logical errors. It is important that you must restore files from it without formatting the drive.

Solution 1: Recover Files from Corrupted/Damaged USB Drive Without Formatting

USB Drive Data RecoveryAs I mentioned above, you can make use of USB Drive Data Recovery software and one of such suitable tool is Photo Recovery. It is specifically designed to extract digital media files (photos, video & audio) from all types of USB drives – no matter whether it is corrupted or damaged or throwing error messages and not allowing you to access files.

Photo Recovery software is available for both Windows and Mac separately. It means you can scan and retrieve files from USB drive on Windows as well as on Mac without formatting the USB.

You do not need to format the external USB drives in order to retrieve files from it – means you can restore data without formatting USB. This software is capable or retrieving files from pen drive, memory card, memory sticks and other flash drive devices without formatting.

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Steps To Recover Data From USB Drive Without Formatting It

Step 1 – Install “Photo Recovery’ tool and launch it. Click on “Recover Photo, Audio & Video” tab to recover images, songs and videos files from any SD card, external USB drive or computer hard drive. Connect the media to your computer and then perform the process.

Step 2 – Select the drive from which you want to recover files. The external media will be shown in the list, if not then click on “Refresh Drive” button. Now select the desired drive to scan and then click on “Scan Now”. If you want to customize the recovery on the basis of file types then click on “Advance Scan”.

Step 3 – In the Advanced Scan you will have the option to scan as per to the file list, such as Photo, Video and audio or you can also select the data range from the storage device. This option reduces the scanning process time.

Step 4 – Once you click on “Scan Now” button the software will show that scanning is in process. The recovered files listed in a tree structure on the left side of the window panel.

Step 5 – After scanning, you can select the files to preview them and then you can click on “Recover” button to finally save them on your computer.

Step 6 – Select the desired location on your computer to save the recovered files. The screenshot shows that the recovered files are being saved.

Solution 2: Fixing Corrupted USB Flash Drive using CMD

CMD is another option for fixing damaged or corrupted USB drive recovery. It does not require formatting and allows you to fix corrupted USB drive without data loss. It also allows you to fix damaged SD card.

Below find out the steps (I am using Windows 7 PC):

  • Connect your USB drive to your computer USB port.
  • Click Start, type “cmd” in a search bar and hit ENTER
  • This will open the command Window as shown below.


  • Now type in the following command – “chkdsk /X /f USB drive letter:” or “chkdsk USB drive letter: /f “. For example – If your USB drive letter is named as H drive, then type – “chkdsk /X /f H:” or “chkdsk H: /f” in the following command windows in order to start the repairing process to fix damaged or corrupted USB drive.


  • Now this will initiate the repairing process and Windows will check and fix the errors and corruptions. If the repair process completes successfully, then it will display you “Windows has made corrections to the file system” in the command window.

Now you can open your USB drive and easily access files stored within it.

Additional Reading: Restore Photos from Formatted Hard Drive on Windows/Mac

Solution 3: Fix Corrupted or Damaged USB Drive and Recover Files Without Formatting on Window PC

If there are any types of logical or software problems or errors with the USB drive, then you can easily fix it by yourself. You have to just need to repair the file structure so that the USB flash drive can be used again:

Below find out the steps:

  • Connect USB drive to PC
  • Open My Computer and right click on the Removable Disk and open its Properties
  • Click on the Tools tab and click on “Check Now” button
  • You will see 2 check disk options “Automatically fix file system errors” and “Scan for and attempt recovery of bad sectors”.
  • Check mark both the option and click “Start
  • This will start the scan process.
  • Once, the scan process completes – click Close.

If you are using Windows 10, then follow the below steps:

  • Connect USB drive to PC
  • Open My Computer and right click on the Removable Disk and open its Properties
  • Click on the Tools tab and click on “Rebuild” button.
  • This will start the scan process.
  • Once, the scan process completes – click Close.
  • After this right click on the icon of USB drive and select “Eject” and then remove the drive from the USB port.

After following the above process, you can check your USB drive and I hope this solve your problem and you can access the files stored within it.


I am sure that you have definitely learn some useful solutions and steps that would help you to fix and recover files without formatting the USB drive. But as instructed that you must first apply Photo Recovery software and retrieve files from the USB drive before following any other solutions mentioned in the post.

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How To Recover Files From USB Drive Without Formatting It?
Article Name
How To Recover Files From USB Drive Without Formatting It?
How To Recover Files From USB Drive Without Formatting It? Fixing Corrupted USB Flash Drive using CMD. Fix Corrupted or Damaged USB Drive and Recover Files Without Formatting on Window PC.
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Rescue Digital Media
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