I have some files I want to keep on a 4 GB USB drive. Just yesterday I
put that USB drive into my computer and instead of opening the drive, I
got a message saying "The drive is not formatted. Do you want to format
Obviously, I clicked on the "No" option because formatting it would make
The files are undoubtedly all still there, but perhaps the partition
information was corrupted or something like that.
Does anyone know of any good file recovery freeware that would allow me
to recover all the files on this USB drive?
I'll Google something like "Award Winning Freeware File Recovery" and
see what comes up.
One problem I've found is that you have to be careful about how long ago
the web pages you get were put on the internet. If I get award winning
freeware from 1987, that's not what I'm looking for.
but I have paid versions of software that will do it so I'll post links
to the freeware programs I believe may work. ^_^
I wouldn't be messing with file recovery soft (which is doubtful anyway),
I'd be looking for partition management/repair/recovery/rescue programs. I
can't remember them all but I have used one from Paragon in the past and -
generally - I think well of Paragon software. Here is a link to their free
...and to their other free programs (they have paid ones too, more bells and
Another option is to get a bootable linux CD and see if it can read your
drive. IOW, I doubt it is the drive, more likely Windows. If you have
another computer, trying the drive on it might bring joy as well.
Finally, hardware failure (other than the drive) might be the problem;
specifically, the power supply unit.
Yep. Can't read partition table is frequently the whole drive down.
I just had that symptom and re-seating the Sata cable cured the problem.
Booting up with a Linux CD is a great suggestion.
Windows seems to just do mysterious things when confronted with an
error, but Linux produces readable diagnostics.
When a drive went bad in my laptop, Windows just hung. A Linux
boot CD told me the drive wasn't accessible.
I don't think the machine will turn on at all for most power supply
Yep. I use Linux as my main OS and have recovered dozens of Windows
drives by using it.
If there is a file system error other than what would normally invoke a
chkdsk /f , Windows will not mount the volume. No problem however from Linux
I suppose it depends upon exactly what the issue is but I'm here to tell you
that some will mimic a failed/failing drive.
A few years back I had a drive that gave me fits...sometimes good, sometimes
not readable. I tried everything I could think of, finally tried a
different PSU. Bingo, drive worked perfectly.
I Googled "Award Winning Freeware File Recovery" and downloaded about 17
different programs on top of the ones suggested in this thread.
Unfortunately, file recovery programs seem to all deal with undeleting
DELETED files, and in this case nothing has been deleted. I expect the
problem is a corrupted file allocation table because every computer I
put the USB drive in tells me the drive has not been formatted, and asks
me if I want to format it. That tells me the problem is with how the
USB drive has addressed the files stored on it, not with the files
Thanks again for everyone's input.
| Unfortunately, file recovery programs seem to all deal with undeleting
| DELETED files, and in this case nothing has been deleted. I expect the
| problem is a corrupted file allocation table because every computer I
| put the USB drive in tells me the drive has not been formatted,
Any partitioning program should be able to recover
corrupted or deleted partitions, which then makes
the files available. I'm not sure about USB sticks, though.
I have one stick that's not seen at all in one particular
Win7 laptop. I have no idea why. I don't trust them with
anything other than moving files from one place to another.
| > I have one stick that's not seen at all in one particular
| > Win7 laptop. I have no idea why. I don't trust them with
| > anything other than moving files from one place to another.
| Just wondering here... Is that USB stick encrypted?
No. It's a Sandisk "Cruzer". I have two. One has a
white slide and the other has red. That's the only
difference I know of. The Win7 laptop sees all sticks
but the red Cruzer. All other machines I've used the
red Cruzer in see it fine. I tried to rule out different
variables (OS, specific USB plug, etc) but never found
Yes, I think that's possible.
The power supply puts out multiple voltages.
Only one voltage could be effected and I suppose that
could be the voltage the drive needs.
Wikipedia says the 12v output was for disk drive motors.
I was really guessing when I said "most power supply issues".
I really don't have details on how power supplies normally fail.
Without data, it's still my best guess.
Could have been intermittent failure of 12v part of PSU (I guess).
I think it is more likely that when he replaced his power-supply
he fixed a loose connection on the supply lines to the drive(s)
(which are usually tapped multiple times with the ampex connectors).
First thing we always did on the mainframes was reseat the cards
and the peripheral connectors.
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