USB Flash Drive Recovery
Flash drive technology is a modern day convenience that we take for granted. We copy, delete and rip out our flash drives to move data from one computer to the other without a second thought, that one day our trusty little flash drive will die on us or give us a horrible error stating that it will not be abused anymore. So what do you do when you've worked days on a file and saved it to the flash drive only to have not open on you?
The Root Cause
I know that most people just want to fix the problem and never really understand why the problem occurred in the first place. Before I give you the key to unlock your frustrations I want to educate you on why you are in this predicament. The most common reason why Flash drives fail is because the data is corrupt. Sure you can bang the heck out of the Flash drive or you can drop it on the ground a million times ill regardless most of the time the problem lies within the file structure being corrupted because the flash drive was yanked out during a transfer or some type of power surge.
Somewhere along the way doing this over and over again will cause the directory structure to get corrupted and a corrupt directory tree will not open files even if they are physically there. So what do you do? The simple answer is finding a utility that will ignore the file structure and search the files.
Utility That Actually Works When You Can't Access The Drive
The main reason why I'm writing this article is because I have been a victim of this problem on many occasions. The only difference is that I did not cause the problem but I was actively engaged in assisting the individual in fixing it. During my many hours of research on the net I found a utility that I use religiously for such occasions it can be found on Google search keyword "PhotoRec". The learning curve isn't very steep and it's worth giving a try at least once.
What If My File Was Deleted?
Flash drives do not have a recycle bin so when you delete something is it really actually gone for good? The answer is no. Most flash drives are formatted in a directory structure called FAT or file allocation table when you delete a file it really is just transparent until that space is written over. I use two utilities for recovering deleted files. The first is Rest2514 which allows me to recovery recently deleted FAT formatted files. The user interface is simple and clean. I also use Redo Backup and Recovery when I need a comprehensive backup of the flash drive. When I mean comprehensive what I mean is that I'm trying to restore the flash drive and make a backup copy.
Long Story Short
There is no one way to approach data recovery on a flash drive. Sometimes you have to use multiple applications and methods to extract the data on the flash drive. If you want to search for more free data recovery utilites go to sourceforge .net and type in data recovery. There is a ton of free utilities that you can try out to recovery files on your flash drive.