Fix: Recover Corrupted USB Flash Drive Without Losing Data in Windows 10/11

You have a corrupted USB flash drive and you want to fix it without formatting!

Guess any one of you who’s reading this post owns at least one USB flash drive, right? Indeed, the USB flash drive is given great credit among various kinds of storage media due to the fact that it’s easy to carry and flexible to use.

Unfortunately, the USB drive is not immune to damage as well. When you find it unable to read the drive on your computer, it’s probably corrupted. This post will give you some hints to flash drive repair and hope the methods mentioned work for you.

Why is the cause of corrupted USB flash drive?

Users may find it confusing to the reason why they have a corrupted USB flash drive. Actually, there are some common causes that lead to the corruption of the drive. Check to see if you ever do the same.

  • Unsafe ejection. Sometimes, users plug out their drives whenever they feel like doing so. That absolutely does harm to the USB drive since the writing process is interrupted and unfinished. What should be done is properly unmount your drive and then eject it after completing the writing process.
  • Virus and ransomware attack. It’s possible for your flash drive to be attacked by some virus or malware hidden in your system.
  • Physical corruption. Does the drive fall into water, drop from high altitude, or expose to extreme conditions such as high temperature? Physical damage could hurt the structure of the peripheral and make drive recovery harder than logical damage.

How to repair corrupted USB flash drive on Windows and Mac?

Before getting started, let’s figure out what type of damage is your drive suffering from. If it’s physical damage, it’s barely possible for you to repair it on your own. The best way is to ask a nearby disk specialist for help.

If luckily, the disk is having some logical damage, then you have a great chance to repair it by yourself. Let’s see what can be done.

Repair corrupt USB on Windows 10 and 11

Solution 1: Check and change the driver letter

The drive may be corrupted due to an incorrect driver letter. To fix that, you can assign a new one to your USB flash drive in Disk Management.

  1. Right click Start icon and find Disk Management. Open it.
  2. Find your corrupted USB flash drive and right click on it.
  3. Select Change Drive Letter and Paths
  4. Click Change to give a new drive letter.
  5. Choose Assign the following drive letter and select a new one. Click OK if it’s done.

Solution 2: Update drivers

An out-of-date, incompatible, or corrupted driver could also result in your disk is inaccessible, and that happens a lot after an OS update. To update the driver of your USB drive, you need to:

  1. Right click Start icon and find Device Manager. Open it.
  2. Find your corrupted USB drive and right click on it. Choose Uninstall device.
  3. Plug out your drive and plug it in again. Your computer will automatically update the driver itself.

Apart from the two methods, users can also repair the flash drive via CDM. However, this method is too demanding for normal users, hence, it’s not highly suggested.

Fis corrupt USB on Mac OS

Solution 1: Use Apple built-in tool to repair corrupted drive

First Aid in Disk Utility is what you’re looking for. It’s a built-in program in macOS that’s aimed to repair minor issues for your drives. If your drive is not severely damaged, give this a try.

  1. Click Finder on the dock panel and locate Application on the left menu bar.
  2. Go find the folder Utilities and open Disk Utility.
  3. All detected drives are listed on the left. Select the corrupted one.
  4. Choose First Aid on the top of the window and click Run to initiate the process.
  5. Wait till the whole process to be done.

You’ll see a notice if the repair is successful. However, for those whose USB flash drives are seriously damaged, this method may fail you.

Solution 2: Reformat to give the drive a new file system

Reformat the drive can wipe out everything and give a new file system to the drive. For those who wish to keep the files within, the best way is to use data recovery software to recover the data first.

When it comes to USB data recovery in the market, iBoysoft Data Recovery is known for its high recovery rate, promised secure, and free trial versions. After successful data recovery, you can move to reformat the drive.

  1. Open Disk Utility and click on your corrupted flash drive as we mentioned in the above method.
  2. Click Erase on the top of the window.
  3. Follow the onscreen instructions, including giving the name, scheme, and format to the drive.
  4. Click Erase again to finish reformatting.

Now you can both read and write the drive.

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