How to Fix Corrupt USB Drive and Recover Data?


What if your USB, a highly portable device used to store your data is corrupted or damaged? And you cannot access your important data due to corruption. Here are the best troubleshooting solutions for both Windows and Mac users that helps them fix corruption on USB drives.

USB flash drives are most convenient portable drives used to store your data. Yet, there are many factors that affects your data on the USB drives such as corruption, damage accidental deletion of files. Although, you can recover deleted files from USB drive, what if your drive is corrupted or damaged? Be it Windows or Mac, with the help of repairing methods described here, you will be able to fix the corrupt USB drive.

Symptoms of Corrupted USB Drive

No matter on what computer you are using the USB device, be it Windows or Mac, error message displayed while the drive is corrupted remains same. Here are few of the error messages that indicate your USB drive is corrupted.

  1. You might witness your USB drive is not recognized on your computer.
  2. You need to format the disk in drive before using it
  3. Drive is not formatted
  4. Drive cannot be accessed

There could be other errors that stops you using your USB drive. Follow the methods explained in the next section to fix the corrupt USB drive and get back your data without any data loss.

How to Fix Corrupt USB Drive without Data Loss?

Here are the workarounds that help you to get access to your data by fixing the corruption on the USB drive.

  1. Fix Corrupt USB on Windows
  2. Fix Corrupt USB on Mac

Be it Windows or Mac, the first and foremost solution suggested to fix any corruption or logical errors on the drive is to format the drive. However, it is known that formatting not only fixes the errors, also erases your data on the drive. The most intriguing question is how to fix the USB corruption on the drive without losing data?

If you have formatted the drive before taking backup of the data, do not panic! You can still recover your files. Yes, you can easily retrieve your data from the formatted drive using the most trusted and safe USB data recovery software. Follow the instructions explained in the recovery process.

SFWare USB recovery software is the most recommended tool to recover data from the formatted, corrupted drive. The tool’s well-built search algorithm reaches every sector of the drive to locate the formatted or lost data.  Be it Windows or Mac, SFWare recovery tool recovers your precious data without any data loss.
Free Download for WindowsFree Download for Mac

Once data has been recovered, you can follow the next given methods to fix the USB drive. Click here for the quick navigation to recover data from corrupt USB drive.

If you have taken backup earlier and looking solutions for fixing an USB drive, go on to the next section and fix your corrupt or damaged USB flash drive.

How to Repair a Corrupt USB Flash Drive on Windows?

If your USB is recognized by the computer, below mentioned methods will certainly help you fix the USB drive. If your USB drive is not recognized by your Windows, fix the issue with USB and try repairing it.

Method 1: Assign the correct Drive Letter

First, check if your thumb drive is assigned with a drive letter. If drive letter is not assigned or incorrect, assign one to it.

  1. Right-click Start button -> Click on the Disk Management.
  2. Right-click on your corrupted USB drive -> Select Change Drive Letter and Paths…
  3. Click on the drive letter -> Click Change button
  4. Select a different letter from the drop-down list -> Click OK

Certainly, changing the drive letter helps you fix the errors on the drive. Yet, there still exists a threat to your data. Therefore, it is recommended to recover or backup your data before trying any of the repairing process to fix corrupt USB/ thumb drive.

Method 2: Update the device drivers

There is always a possibility of drive corruption if the device driver is not updated or itself got corrupted. Therefore, updating the driver might help you fix corruption on it.

  1. Right-click on the start button -> Select Device Manager
  2. Go to Disk Drivers -> Find your corrupted USB drive name
  3. Right-click on the USB drive name -> Click on Uninstall device
  4. Unplugging and re-plugging the USB drive into computer will automatically reinstall the latest driver.

Consequently, this method helps you fix the corruption if the problem exists on the device driver.

Method 3: Fix the USB drive using Windows Repair Option

To fix corruption on USB drive, insert your damaged drive into your computer and follow the steps given:

  1. Go to My Computers -> Select the USB Drive that appears on the computer
  2. Right-click on the drive -> Click on the Properties -> Choose the Tools Tab
  3. Click on the Check Now button (Windows 7 it is replaced by Rebuild option)
  4. Two repair option are displayed on the screen Scan for and attempt to recover bad sectors and Automatically fix file system errors
  5. Check both the boxes -> click on start to initiate the scanning process.

Once the scanning process completes close the screen and try re-inserting the USB to your computer and verify if you can access the data on your corrupted drive.

If none of the above USB repairing methods helped you fixing the corrupt drive, try formatting/re-formatting of the drive. But, make sure you take a backup of your data. you can recover data after format as well using SFWare.

How to Repair a Corrupt USB on Mac?

Every Mac computer comes with an in-built troubleshooting tool called as First Aid in Disk Utility. The function of this utility is to detect the disk issues related to directory damage on all types of file system that is HFS, HFS+ including APFS volumes. Follow the steps to fix USB corruption on Mac computers.

  1. Go to Applications and select Disk Utility
  2. USB drive will be listed on the sidebar of Disk Utility -> Select the USB drive
  3. From the top of the window click on First aid
  4. Select Run on the pop-up window and the scanning process initiates.

Scanning process depends on the size of the USB. Once the scanning process completes, re-insert the USB drive and check for the errors.

With the help of above-mentioned methods, you can try fixing corruption on USB drive on Windows and Mac.  If your data is lost due to any of the repair process or accidental formatting, try recovering your data using SFWare USB Recovery tool.

How to Retrieve files from Corrupt USB Flash Drive?

Download and install SFWare USB data recovery software. connect your USB drive to your computer and follow the given steps:
Free Download for WindowsFree Download for Mac

From the main screen, click on Recover Drive/Partition option. Next, select Drive/Partition Recovery to recover data from corrupt USB drive. Then, choose the corrupt drive to recover files and click Next.

Select a partition to recover, SFWare scans the partition and provides a list of all the recoverable corrupt drive files in Data Type View or File Type. Preview the files and select the required ones and save them in a desired location.

About SFWare:

SFWare supports recover from all file systems including the new APFS on Mac and FAT, NTFS, HFS+ and many more.

It aids recovery from more than 300 plus file types including RAW file recovery, images, videos, word file, excel file etc.

Supports recovery from all external storage drives including Western Digital, Transcend, Sony, SanDisk, HP etc.

you can seek technical support from SFWare 24*7 related to any recovery process related query.


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