If you have inserted your memory stick into your USB drive only to be greeted with a message informing you that your drive has been corrupted, you have ample reason to be concerned. You may have essential work files, photos, or other documents that have suddenly disappeared or become inaccessible. Fortunately, there are a few ways that you can recover your data, so relax and try these suggestions before resorting to formatting your drive.
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Things you need
- Memory stick
- Anti-virus software
- Internet connection
Run a virus scan on your memory drive. If you have recently used your memory stick on another computer, you might have picked up a virus or another type of malware along the way. Sometimes, running a simple scan and taking action to remove any malware can restore access to the files on the drive.
Recover hidden files and folders. Certain memory stick-specific viruses can hide your files and folders, meaning that they are still on the drive but have become invisible to you. Choose "View" under "Folder Options" and make sure that "Show Hidden Files and Folders" is selected. If this fixes your problem and you haven't yet completed Step 1, run a virus scan to ensure that the same issue will not arise the next time you use your memory stick.
Repair any structural corruptions on your disk. Select "Run" under the Start Menu and enter CMD, which opens the command prompt. Enter "chkdsk e: /r". If the letter drive for your memory stick is not "e:", substitute the letter of your drive into the command. The computer will scan the disk for structural corruption and repair any discrepancies. After it provides a detailed report of what it changed, it will direct you to your drive. Often, you will have full access to the files and folders once more.
Use a flash memory recovery tool. Download a free program, such as Zero Assumption Digital Image Recovery tool, to assist you in recovering your files if the steps above fail to fix the problem.
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