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Recovering Lost Data from a USB Stick

I have a Sony USB memory stick which contains 4GB of storage space. I have been using this stick for some time, and so it was almost full. However, when I came to take a look at some of the images and files on the drive, the computer suddenly refused to open up the drive, and the stick, or the PC on behalf of the stick, said that there were no new pictures or videos to be seen. I don’t understand, as I could clearly see the pictures on there the day before. I haven’t added any other pictures to the list, so the system should not have been searching for any, but it still won’t allow me to view the folders which are already on there. I have a lot of important data on the USB stick, including some important photographs and documents which relate to my work. I need to be able to get these documents back as quickly as possible.


I have a SanDisk USB memory stick which contains a few files and folders, plus some pictures from my camera. The problem is that I can no longer read any of the information contained on the memory stick. In fact, the computer seems to think that it is invalid, and won’t allow me to open it, to view properties connected with it, or touch the icon at all. I am just getting a beeping noise and a message saying that the drive is invalid.

Recovering Lost Data from a USB Stick

A USB stick can be a lifesaver, whether in a personal or professional setting. This type of data storage device can save a large amount of data and information, and is extremely small, making it portable and convenient. In fact, for many people, USB sticks are the preferred way to store data because of the convenience factor. In addition to handiness of using a USB to store data, they are also beneficial because they are faster, can store more data and are in general more dependable than other forms of data storage.

Despite the ease-of-use and level of accessibility provided by storing data on a USB stick, they are prone to situations that can result in the loss of data. In fact, just as the portability of a USB stick is one of its biggest advantages, so is it a disadvantage when storing important data.
Because a USB stick is small, and often undergoes a great deal of traveling, it is also very susceptible to damage and overall wear and tear. A USB drive is fairly likely to be smashed, and that can lead to broken internal connectors within the device. Additionally, failure can occur for a range of other reasons, including:

• Corruption within the lookup tables
• Malfunctions of the internal onboard component function
• Controller failures
• Unplugging the device during the occurrence of a read or write function
• A power surge
• Electric static discharge
• Viruses
• Poor handling
• Problems with assembly and manufacturing
• Human error leading to accidental deletion of data

If a USB stick is subject to any of these situations, there are a number of ways the device user may realize there is a problem. The first indication that a USB stick is experiencing a problem that could lead to a loss of data is that it’s not recognized by the computer when it’s inserted into its port. Another indication that the USB stick could be experiencing a malfunction is that the device is recognized by the computer, but appears to be empty, even when data is stored on the stick. A broken USB stick can also be recognized incorrectly by a computer or show inaccessible data.

Common messages displayed by a computer when a USB stick is damaged include:

• A display showing the drive as having 0MB
• The device appears as an unknown device
• A message appearing from Windows prompting the reformatting of the drive
• An error message stating “unreadable”

If any of these situations occur, it’s best to stop using the USB stick immediately, to avoid causing further damage that would render the data completely irretrievable. If even the smallest sign of malfunction is detected, it’s important to discontinue the use of the stick right away, and avoid trying to fix the problem on your own.
The best course of action to ensure that data isn’t lost is to contact a data recovery service with expertise in retrieving data from damaged or malfunctioning USB sticks. If the cause of the problem is due to a failed component located within the USB stick, the first course of action for the data recovery service is to repair the device before data can be recovered.

After that, a data recovery service will retrieve the data using professional and effective techniques.