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How do I recover data from a dead USB stick?

Last response: in Storage
August 11, 2012 12:03:58 AM

Hello, I have an HP 4GB USB stick (drive) that apparently died on me. Windows cannot access the files on the USB drive. When I insert the stick into a USB port, Windows finds the stick and says it is ready for use. However, when I go to MY COMPUTER and click on the drive to access the files, I can see the stick identified there as Drive "E." When I right click on it a screen pops up stating that the USB drive is unformatted and do I want to format it? If I select "yes," another screen pops up asking me to insert a drive into "E." WINDOWS then aborts the process. I tried to use Restore in the backup menu, that too fails. I also downloaded several FREE data restoration programs and tried to restore the data that way. All failed. One did however, indicate that I have failed sectors on the USB. I have over 2 years of valuable files on this USB drive - any ideas on how to retrieve the files? I am at my wits end on this one. I hope that there is a way to do this.
a b G Storage
August 11, 2012 12:24:31 AM

how important is it?

I would next try a professional service. Don't be surprised if they quote you several hundred dollars.
Type in USB Data recovery into google and a bunch of companies pop up.

Hope lesson is learned to do backup,
especially on trusting all your data to a consumer level usb stick.
Related resources
August 15, 2012 2:24:10 PM

Well you really need a good data recovery tool to get back those precious files. Have a look at this page:
http://freeware-recovery.blogspot. [...] overy.html
The information in this blog is quite useful and you will get a free data recovery software in the page as well. It is a professtional software for recovering lost data. Just follow the step written in the blog and be patient because the data you need to retrieve are so many.
Here is an advice: don't save important data in USB stick any more for it is easy to corrupt. Always make copy for important files.
September 19, 2012 1:26:34 PM

Power data recovery is good & never lets u down
June 23, 2013 8:06:27 PM

Hello, I recommend you to try the Myjad Photo Data Recovery software to recover data from your dead USB stick. It can recover photos from memory card such as SD card, CF card, SDHC card, XD card, and memory stick. It is a powerful and multifunctional photo recovery program to recover photos you accidentally deleted or formatted from memory card including memory stick. With functions of "Scan" and "Preview", it can recover your lost data from memory card at ease.
December 14, 2013 6:37:38 PM

When the usb drive shows not formatted message, most of the time the files are still on the usb drive. So dont worry, your data should be safe. However, you should not format the usb drive, this is because that format will erase the data. You should follow some step by step guide, here's a good one:

You may also consider scan the usb drive with an anti-virus software as most of the time, virus may causes usb drive to be inaccessible. Microsoft security essential and free avg is recommended, download from

If you have to format it, you may right click and then choose "quick format". Quick format is high level format, it only mark the space as free, not going to erase the actual data. After format, run data recovery software like asoftech to scan the usb stick and recover your files. Do not write files to usb stick before you restore all your files.