Recover Data from USB Flash Drives | A Complete Guide

Remo Recover, an expert USB flash drive recovery software ideal for recovering deleted files, lost files, virus infected files and files from formatted or RAW USB's. Works with Samsung, SanDisk, Patriot, Kingston, HP, Transcend and many more brands of USB's. Check out a free trial now!

Understanding causes of data loss in USB flash drives

Although USB flash drives are durable and rugged, they are not exempt from common storage device problems such as data loss. In fact, data loss issues in USB's are extremely common and occur frequently due to various reasons as explained below.

  • Accidental deletion of files
  • Files lost due to virus attacks
  • Files lost due to corruption
  • Accidental formatting of a USB flash drive, for example when the device asks 'Do you want to format the disk' and you click 'Yes'
  • Data loss due to bad sectors

If you have experienced data loss from USB flash drives, follow the steps below to solve the problem and recover data easily.

Step 1: Immediately Stop using USB flash drive

STOP using the USB flash drive on which data loss has occurred. This will prevent overwriting of files and greatly increase the chances of a successful USB flash drive recovery.

Step 2: Determine the cause of data loss and recover data

To start with, try to determine the cause of the data loss. Depending on the reason for your data loss, refer to the corresponding solution to recover data and solve the problem.

Case 1: If data loss is due to virus attacks or if you suspect that your files are hidden, use 'attrib' command

If the data loss is due to virus attacks or if you suspect that the files are hidden, then run the 'attrib' command using steps below.

1. Connect the USB flash drive to your computer

2. Click Windows + R keys, type 'cmd' and hit Enter

3. When the command prompt opens, type the following command 'attrib –h –r –s /s /'drive letter':\*'

For example, if your USB device is named E: drive, type the following command 'attrib –h –r –s /s /E:\*'


Advantages of 'attrib' command

  • Simple method and free of cost
  • Does not require any software or technical expertise

Disadvantages of 'attrib' command

  • Can recover only virus infected files or files that are hidden (Does not work when data loss is caused due to other reasons)
  • Usage of command prompt may not be preferred by all users

Case 2: If data loss is due to corruption or bad sectors, use CHKDSK

If data loss on your USB is due to corruption or bad sectors, run CHKDSK to solve these issues and recover files. CHKDSK, as you know is a tool to repair corruption in USB flash drives, but what it also does is mark bad sectors on the USB drive found while scanning and recovers possible files from these sectors. To run CHKDSK,

1. Connect the USB flash drive to your computer

2. Click Windows + R keys and type 'cmd', hit Enter

3. In the command prompt, type 'CHKDSK X: /R', where X: is the drive letter representing the USB drive


Allow CHKDSK to run completely. Once CHKDSK process completes, it saves the recovered files in a folder called FOUND.000, created in the USB drive. In some cases, these files are usually fragments of various files recovered, while in other cases, it may be complete files. Fragments are usually useless, but if they are complete files, you can recover them easily using a tool called UnCHK.

Advantages of CHKDSK command

  • Works when the USB disk has minor corruption and CHKDSK is able to recover complete files
  • Simple to use and does not require technical expertise

Disadvantages of CHKDSK command

  • Not always successful, chances of recovering fragments of files are more, which are mostly useless
  • Use of command prompt may not be preferred

Case 3: Use Remo Recover USB Flash drive recovery software

Like explained above, the 'attrib' and 'CHKDSK' commands can be used only in certain cases. If these methods don't work for you or if you have encountered data loss due to other reasons, an expert data recovery service like Remo Recover USB Flash drive recovery software comes in handy.

It provides an all-in-one mechanism to recover files deleted from USB, to recover files lost due to virus attacks, to recover files lost due to corruption or bad sectors, to recover data from formatted USBs and to recover data from RAW USB's.

The advantage of using Remo Recover is that it leaves no stone unturned while recovering files from USB flash drives. It can recover documents, PDFs, notes, images, music, videos or really any type of file.

It can recover files not only from USB flash drives, but also from other storage devices like external hard drives, SD cards, iPods etc.

Steps to recover data from USB flash drives

Download Remo Recover on your computer and complete the installation process. Next, connect the USB flash drive to your system from which you want to recover data.

  • Step 1: Run the software and when you see the main screen, select Recover Partitions and choose your USB drive to recover data. Click Scan for the software to begin scanning the drive. Remo-recover-home-screen
  • Step 2: Next select the partition to recover and click ScanRemo-recover-home-screen
  • Step 3: The scanning time depends on the size of the USB drive and number of files to be recovered. After scanning files will be listed in File Type View and Data View. data-type-view-and-file-type-view
  • Step 4: Now you can preview and verify the recovered files. How to do Data Recovery from USB Drive
  • Step 5: Finally, click on the Save button to save recovered files

Note: If you want to recover files from formatted USBs, follow the same steps, except you will not have to select the partition to recover as explained in Step 2.

Compatibility of Remo Recover USB Flash Drive Recovery software

Windows OS versions: Supports Windows 10, Windows 8, 8.1, Windows 7, Windows XP and Vista

Mac OS versions: Supports High Sierra, Sierra, El Capitan, Yosemite, Mountain Lion, Lion, Snow Leopard etc.

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