Storage

How to Fix a Flash Drive. Most Common Issues

how to fix flash drive


Handling your data or PC files around in the early days of computing necessitated the use of a floppy disk. These disk drives could only hold a little more than 1MB of information, which was ideal for storing worksheet or document files.

You may now quickly transport terabytes of data by using USB flash drives. These are little stick-like gadgets that plug into a PC’s USB port and enable quick storing and transferring. If you already own a PC or laptop, you may have a few of these with you.

To use a USB drive is straightforward; plug it into a system, and after it is detected, you should use a file explorer tool to transfer files to it.

However, some complications might arise that prohibit the USB drive from working normally. Even if you are using the best flash drives, you may face some of the problems. This is what we’ll be discussing today as we look at the most frequent USB flash drive issues.

How to Fix USB Flash Drive Not Recognized

When you connect a USB device to a PC, it is usually identified and issues a drive letter. But when you plug the USB drive, and nothing happens, and you get an error screen that says “USB Device not recognized.” When this happens, you must attempt the diagnostic procedures given below.

Follow the steps to fix USB Flash Drive on Windows/Mac.

3 Ways to Fix USB Flash Drive Not Recognized On Windows

Based on the fundamental cause of the issue, you may need only complete any one of the three procedures. To fix your issue, follow the following methods step by step.

Method 1: Scan Flash Drive to Find the Issue

  • Insert the USB drive into the PC.
  • Navigate to My Computer and right-click on the USB drive. Then, Click on the Properties.
  • Navigate to the Tools tab and click on “Check.”
  • usb drive error checking

  • The scan takes a while. When it’s completed, it’ll tell you what’s wrong with the flash drive.

Method 2: Reformat the Flash Drive

  • Right-click the USB drive and select Format. The Format box will appear.
  • Toggle between NTFS and FAT32 under File system. Press the Start button.
  • usb drive reformatting

Method 3: Perform driver updates

  • Open the Run command and enter MSc into the box. Click the OK button.
  • usb drive driver update

  • The Device Manager will be launched. Locate the Universal Serial Bus (USB) controllers.
  • usb drive device manager

  • Right-click on the Generic USB Hub in the expanded menu. “Update Driver Software” should be selected.
  • usb drive driver update from device manager

One of the three methods will fix your problem, and you can start using your USB flash drive on Windows.

3 Ways to Fix the Flash Drive Not Recognized Problem on MAC

Follow the steps to fix your USB drive on MAC.

Method 1: Manually Connect the Flash Drive

  • Navigate to Application and choose Utilities.
  • A pop-up window will open, and you should click on the highlighted commands in the figure below:
  • manually connect usb drive ios

  • Click External Devices under Devices to manually connect the unidentified flash drive.
  • manually connect usb drive windows

Method 2: Retune PRAM

  • Turn off your MAC.
  • Hold down the Command-Option-P-R key while pressing the Power button. This should be done before the appearance of the grey screen.
  • mac keyboard press cmd option p r

  • The MAC should restart automatically. Allow it to go after the startup chime.

Method 3: Format Mac’s Drive

  • Hit the Command-Spacebar icons simultaneously, insert the USB drive, and navigate to the Application folder. Select the Disk Utility option.
  • mac drive disk utility

  • The flash discs that need to be repaired can be found in the left panel.
  • mac reformat usb drive

  • To finish the operation, click the Erase button.
  • mac reformat usb drive erase

How to Fix Corrupted USB Drives without Formatting?

A Flash drive can get damaged for a variety of reasons, including a power outage, inappropriate use, being disconnected without ejecting, and USB issues such as file catalogs corruption.

In most cases, you will be instructed to reformat the USB drive to make it functional again. However, you will lose all of the files stored on that USB device. Today, we’ll teach you how to repair infected USB devices without losing any data.

Change the Drive Letter of the USB Drive

Often your PC is unable to assign a drive letter for unexplained reasons. To resolve this issue, it is preferable to reassign the drive letter manually.

  • Plug the USB drive into the PC.
  • Launch Computer Management, locate the mouse icon on This PC, right-click it, and then pick the manage option.
  • Select Disk Management from the Storage menu.
  • Right-click the disc volume and select Change Drive Letter and Paths from the menu that appears.
  • Select the Change option.
  • Select a drive letter from the drop-down list.
  • change drive letter and paths

If the problem is connected to assigning a drive letter, then your corrupted flash drive may be repaired.

Check Utility

This is the most straightforward approach to repair a USB drive that is not physically damaged and can be detected and provided a letter by your PC. In theory, the provided method will not result in data loss.

  • Plug the USB drive into your PC.
  • Click on This PC/My Computer.
  • Right-click The USB Drive and select Properties from the menu that appears.
  • Navigate to the Tools tab and then to the Check button.
  • Your system will next attempt to restore faulty sectors on its own.
  • Return to the screen, right-click the pen drive icon, and then select Eject to remove the device from the USB connection.
  • hard drive properties tools

Use CMD Commands

When the drive is destroyed or corrupted, it will never open again. The CMD command is the best option if you don’t want to lose your vital data when formatting the USB.

  • Connect the USB to your computer.
  • Type “CMD” into the search field and hit Enter.
  • Run “chkdsk USB drive letter: /f” or “chkdsk /X /f USB drive letter,” replacing “USB drive letter” with the drive letter of your infected flash drive.
  • Because this process causes Windows to recover file system errors automatically, no further action is necessary.
  • windows corrections to file system

How to Fix a Broken Flash Drive

To fix your broken USB drive, prepare the required equipment and utilities: precision soldering iron, tiny flat head screwdriver, cable strippers, solder, cable, and magnifying lens.

  • By using a screwdriver, remove the outer shell of the flash disc. Take care not to damage the PCB board or the NAND.
  • Use a magnifying glass or your naked eye to verify the damages. If there is still a problem, you will see a broken link between the stem and the PCB board.
  • Strip one side of the cable (0.6cm) and join the four wires together.
  • Locate the PCB pads and solder the wires to them with care. Start with the black wire on the left, followed by the green, white, and red wires.
  • Your data storage item should be ready to use following these simple procedures.

How to Fix a Flash Drive That Won’t Read

There might be several factors why the USB port is not reading the USB drive. The following are typical ones that you are probably aware of:

  • Unexpected removal of a USB drive from a PC while transferring data is in the process make it unreadable.
  • If the flash drive becomes infected with malware or a virus, your computer will neither be able to read it.
  • A sudden computer shutdown caused by a power outage while the USB flash drive is attached to the system corrupts the file system. It eventually renders the flash drive illegible.

Solution1: Repair Logical Errors

  • Right-click on your USB drive and then click on properties.
  • A pop-up box will be open; you simply click on “check” under the “tools” after that, your problem will be solved.

Solution 2: By Using CMD

  • First, open “CMD” from “start”.
  • Type chkdsk *: /f /r /x. Replace USB drive letter with #.

Conclusion

To summarize, maintaining a USB flash drive is not difficult. These suggestions are simple to implement and do not require the assistance of a professional.

These procedures can help you extend the life of your USB drive while also keeping your data secure.

About author

A finance major with a passion for all things tech, Uneeb loves to write about everything from hardware to games (his favorite genre being FPS). When not writing, he can be seen in his natural habitat reading, studying investments, or watching Formula 1.
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