Corrupt USB Recovery | Recover Data From a Corrupted USB Drive and Fix It

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Summary: Corruption on your USB drive hits you randomly; if you don’t have any backup of the UBS data, you will probably lose every file and folder in the blink of an eye.

Improper removal, File system errors, virus attacks, and power surges are common reasons behind this issue, but there is hope you can recover data from a corrupt USB. All you need to do is stop using the USB and follow the solutions mentioned in this article.

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Early Signs of Corruption in USB Drive

If your USB drive is or has shown signs like these:

  • Files and folders disappearing.
  • Unable to open a file.
  • USB not recognized by Windows
  • Windows prompts the “Format the USB drive“ error.
  • Slow and laggy performance.

You need to act faster and transfer your data to another device. If the USB is severely corrupted, you probably won’t be able to do it.

This forces you to format the USB drive and lose the USB data. Hold on. We will offer solutions to recover data from a corrupt USB without formatting. Additionally, we will also discuss various ways in which you can fix your corrupt USB drive.

How To Recover Files From a Corrupt USB Drive?

You can search online for “retrieve data from a corrupt USB drive you will be bombarded with solutions that claim the immovable.

It is best not to dabble with the corrupt USB drive, especially when it has important files in it, You need to recover the deleted files from USB using a recovery tool and then try to fix the corruption issues on it.

SFWare Data Recovery Tool is what we would suggest you try to perform corrupt USB recovery as it is simple and secure to use even for very non-technical users.

Just ensure that your USB drive is visible on Disk Management, The tool can recover data from the USB drive even if it is not recognized in the File Explorer.

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Retrieve Files From Corrupted USB Using Data Recovery Software – SFWare Recovery Tool

Step 1: Download and install the SFWare Data Recovery software on your computer.

Step 2: Launch the software, select the corrupt USB drive, and click on Start Scan.

NOTE: If the USB drive is not visible on the home screen click on Can’t find the drive? Option to locate it.

select the usb from home window

Step 3: Locate the recovered data from the Lost and Found Files and Lost Partition folders.
(use the Search box and Filters options to locate the files you need)

locate the recovered folders

Step 4: Double-click to preview the recovered files.

preview the files

Step 5: After previewing, select the files you need and click on Save to restore the files to your preferred location.

recovered data saving process

NOTE:  Ensure that you save the recovered files in a different location to avoid losing them again.

Before heading to fixing the corrupt USB drive, You need to check this out for better clarity on the USB corruption and corrupt files in the USB, The upcoming section will break it down for you.

Understanding Corrupt Files in USB vs. Files in Corrupted USB Drives

Corrupt Files in USB: It means a particular file or folder is damaged or inaccessible to the user. Meanwhile, the other data on the USB remains unaffected and healthy. You can recover the corrupt files on the USB, but they need to be fixed to return to their normal state.

Corrupt USB Drives: If the USB is corrupt, the contents are not necessarily corrupted; rather, the file system of the USB may have suffered logical damage, or the USB itself may have physical damage. You can recover the files using a recovery tool or fix the corruption issue to access the data.

How to Fix Corrupt USB Drive?

Just as there are various ways a USB can become corrupted, there are various methods for recovering the files that seem to have been lost.

Since there are different ways that USBs can get corrupted, you can use the solutions listed below.

1. “Please Insert a Disk into USB drive” Error

Apart from the Physical damage, You can get the USB drive recognized by assigning a new drive letter to your USB to eliminate this error. Here’s how to do it:

  • Right-click on Windows Icon and Select Disk Management.

open disk management

  • Right-click on the USB and choose Change Drive Letter and Paths.

choose change letters and paths

  • Click on the Change
  • In the next Window, Click on the Dropdown box, choose a new letter, and click on OK.

choose a letter for your corrupt usb

After the New letter is assigned, open File Explorer and try accessing the files on the USB drive.

2. Unrecognized USB

If your device drivers are outdated, then try updating them to get your USB recognized. To update the drive:

  • Open Device Manager.

device manager

  • Expand Disk Drives, right-click on USB the drive, and choose Update driver.

update the driver

  • Choose Search automatically for drivers

search automatically for drivers

Let the process complete, and now You can access the USB on Windows Explorer.

3. Command Prompt

In case of bad sectors and hidden files, you can try when your USB has bed sectors and hidden attributes, Keep the command prompt open in Adminstrator mode.

Type: chkdsk E: /r /f( Replace E with your USB letter)

type the chkdsk command

This will scan the drive for logical errors and bad sectors of the USB drive.

Type: attrib -h -r -s /s /d E:*.*( Replace E with your USB letter)

type the attrib command
This command will ensure that the file’s attribute is removed from hidden.

4. Formatting

If none of the above solutions fixed the corruption issue on your USB then, Formatting the drive will help you. Just make sure you recover all the data before formatting.

  • Open Disk Management, right-click on the USB drive and choose Format.
  • In the Format window, check the Quick format box and click on OK.

format the usb drive


Prevent USB from Corruption

To avoid both file corruption and USB corruption, follow these useful tips to keep the data safe at all times.

  • Backup the Data Regularly
  • Eject USB drives Safely
  • Ensure a stable power supply
  • Scan the USB using an updated antivirus tool
  • Protect from Physical Damages
  • Use Write protection


USB corruption can occur on any device at any time. Therefore, we recommend regularly backing up your data. You can try the solutions in this article in case of unforeseen circumstances.

You can simply fix and regain access to your data for minor corruption issues. If it’s more severe, prioritize data recovery and attempt to fix it later.

If you notice any physical damages take it to professional recovery services to get the data back.

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