How to Recover Data from USB?

Hard disk drives, magnetic disks and floppies have rotating parts having more risk of losing data upon hitting the ground. However, USB is a Solid-State Device (SSD) contains no rotating or moving parts. This makes USBs more safer and popular portable device. In this article, we will explore how to recover data from USB in case if you have problems.

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USB – Pros and Cons

USBs can have a data capacity of up to 2TB.  USB drive can easily fit into small pockets and almost all devices such as printers, projectors and televisions have USB ports.  With an OTG cable, you can use a USB with mobile phone as well

USBs have uncountable advantages over other data storage devices. However, there is a one common problem that you can easily lose the data in it. We often connect USBs to public networks where they can easily catch stingy viruses. The second most important reason behind loss of data in a USB is improper removal of the USB from the device.  For example, some users often yank USBs out of the device port instead of mannerly removing it.  There are many other reasons such as deleting files accidentally, hitting “format” by mistake, etc.

Where Does the Deleted Data Go?

Most USBs do not have any recycle bin.  USBs with data size of greater than 250 GB may have a recycle bin. It also depends on file systems that a device is using.

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During a panic situation of data loss, people often ask, “Is it possible to recover deleted data from a USB device?” Though chances for recovery of data are very little, there’s hope of data recovery due to an interesting reason. Whenever you delete a file from USB, it disappears from your eyes. However, the data still exist there in a raw form. Developers have come up with software that can recover the lost data available in raw form. These utilities are very helpful to undelete the files, but are completely not reliable.

How to Recover Data from USB?

There are two methods you can use in order to recover data from USB.

  • Scanning and repairing
  • Using a third party utility

1. Scanning and Repairing

If you can access the USB in Windows PC or laptop then a quick scanning can help you to repair and fix the file format related issues. Follow the below instructions.

  • Insert the USB into your PC or laptop and open the File Explorer.
  • Right click on the USB device and open the “Properties”.
Open USB Properties
Open USB Properties
  • On the “Properties” dialog box, go to “Tools” tab.
  • Click on the “Check” button under “Error Checking” section.
Check for Errors
Check for Errors
  • Windows will show you the options for fixing the error. If there are no errors, you can still scan the USB for repairing.
Scan for Errors
Scan for Errors
  • By clicking on “Check” the system will look for errors and repairs.
Scanning and Repairing
Scanning and Repairing
  • The scanning process will take some time and finally you can see if there are any errors.
Error Details
Error Details

On Mac, you have Disk Utility to scan and fix the USB problems.

  • Press “Command + Spacebar” to open Spotlight Search and type “Disk Utility”.
  • Select the device and click on the “First Aid” option.
  • Click “Run” to scan and fix the errors.
Disk Error Check in Mac
Disk Error Check in Mac

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2. Using Third Party Software

In most cases, you may not be able to get the data back using the default scanning and repairing. There are many third-party utilities available to recover data from hard disk and USB drives. EaseUS is one of the popular data recovery software’s you can try for free. Follow the below Step-by-Step procedure to recover lost data from a USB using EaseUS.

  • Download the utility and install the software. After installation, click on the “Start Now” button.
Installation Complete
Installation Complete
  • Pick a USB device from which you want to recover data and click “Scan” button. The software will look for lost data and in no time, it will come up with data more than the actual USB size.
Scanned Data
Scanned Data
  • Select the data that you want to recover from the USB and click “Recover” button.

And that is it; you can get the deleted or unrecoverable data.

Few Precautions to Save Data Loss

  • Always keep a backup of important data.  This helps when you loose the data or loose the USB.
  • Always use “Safely remove hardware and eject media” to get the USB out of your device.
Safely Remove Hardware
Safely Remove Hardware
  • Do not remove USB out of your device, when in use.  This will stop the processes that were going on and leave a lot of unappointed data.
  • Try to avoid using on public computers and format your USB when you suspect a virus or malware infection. This will prevent viruses from entering your computer.

Conclusion

USB drive is a great device benefits us in many ways. However, it is better to backup the data in cloud storage instead of keeping it in a physical device. In case if you have lost the data, follow the above instructions and recover the invisible content.

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