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Date: 02/17/22 11:44
Flash drives
Author: MEKoch

Flash drive has many pics saved on it but now it will not open. Office Depot tech said to reformat it. Nothing changed when I did that.

Posted from iPhone



Date: 02/17/22 13:28
Re: Flash drives
Author: jst3751

If you have reformated it, mostly like game over.

The time to attempt to recover is BEFORE doing something extreme like reformatting.

You may be out of luck.



Date: 02/17/22 14:58
Re: Flash drives
Author: norm1153

Yes, UNfortunately you "may" have lost them.  Download Disk Drill, and see what it can do.  I believe it is free for a limited number of files, or time. But it has worked wonders for me!   Cleverfiles.com  Both mac and windows.

Norm

 



Date: 02/17/22 16:33
Re: Flash drives
Author: BN6339

"Office Depot tech said to reformat it."   That is the absolute worst advice possible.  You are now at the mercy of some type of recovery software.  Do not write to or do anything more to it before trying recovery options.



Date: 02/17/22 17:43
Re: Flash drives
Author: sf1010

It's puzzling that reformatting made no difference.  The good news is that the reformat apparently failed, so maybe there is still a chance at recovery.

Before you do anything else, make a physical copy (aka image aka clone) -- not a file structure copy -- and apply all your recovery efforts to that.  You won't lose any ground that way.  Search the web for appropriate tools.



Date: 02/18/22 05:32
Re: Flash drives
Author: robj

Makes sense reformat would fail if drive cannot be accessed.

My first instinct would be to try different computer(s).   Not to be condescending but i assume other thumb drives are working on the same computer port.

I say this because ports can become unreliable.   The problem can be in the drive or the connections.

If the connection is a little "shaky" then another computer may work.

I'd keep trying as I have had a dirive fail but was later able to accees files very slowly.'

Bob



Date: 02/18/22 05:47
Re: Flash drives
Author: ATSF5669

Been there done that!  You've not lived until you've mindlessly reformatted an SD card with a wedding on it and then realized THAT was the card with the pics on it, and not the other one that looked identical!!!  Not to fear...at least most likely: unless you did a low level format (not likely), your pics are probably recoverable.  Reformatting simply wipes out the file directory on that drive, not the files.  They're still there, but the digital road map your computer looks for them has been erased...that is unless you've overwrittten them with new files or other data.  PM me if you wish and I'll try to recover them for you if you mail the drive to me.

Jerry
ATSF5669



Date: 02/18/22 10:16
Re: Flash drives
Author: jst3751

People, the OP states he could not open files on the USB flash drive. He then formatted it.

High probability the files are lost/corrupt.

When a USB flash drive starts having problems, you have a very small very limited opportunity to try to recover files from it. Once you start doing anything to that drive, including format, the possibility of recovering files from it goes down even further.

 



Date: 02/19/22 11:17
Re: Flash drives
Author: radar

I'm sorry that the original poster lost his files.  This is a good reminder that memory cards and thumb drives are not reliable for long term storage.  Optical media, such as DVD and CD do not last long either.  If you want to keep files long term, they need to be on multiple hard drives and/or the cloud.  If you use multiple hard drives, once of them should be kept disconnected from the computer except when running backups.  The data on hard drives needs to be refreshed by moving it to a new drive at least once every decade. You have to guard against the failure of the hardware, and having it locked or erased by ransomeware.



Date: 02/19/22 18:33
Re: Flash drives
Author: BRAtkinson

Maybe 3-4 years ago, the son of a friend lost his doctoral thesis and all the experimental data on a thumb drive that he accidently formatted.  It took 3 or 4 different 'data recovery' programs before one could 'restore' the more than 50 files on the drive.  Unfortunately, the files didn't have any reasonable names that were part of the database he had built, so in the end, he had to re-do more than 100 hours of experiments at the college computer lab where the computer was 'controlling' what the subjects interacted with.  He got a job after he got is PhD and moved away.  I wonder if he makes backup copies these days?

I've also recovered scratched up, unreadable DVDs for a friend that contained numerous short interview videos (5 minutes or so, each) using recovery software. 

Which product recovered what?  I don't know.  I kept trying one, then another, until I found something that worked.  Of course, they were all 'free demonstration' shareware that was limited in the number of files and/or bytes it would recover.  So I ended up spending $10-30 each (some seemed they would work on the whole drive, but didn't) on several of them through the years.  Some expired after a year, others didn't.  And be warned...even on an overclocked 4.8ghz 8-processor computer, the recovery process would grind away in excess of 30 minutes or so trying to figure out what is what before it produced any meaningful information on the screen.  They'd only use a single processor, so having 7 more was of no value.  So bring a book along and wait!



Date: 02/21/22 14:00
Re: Flash drives
Author: jst3751

radar Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> storage.  Optical media, such as DVD and CD do
> not last long either. 

Yes, there are indeed DVD and CD media designed and formulated for reliable long term storage if properly stored. 



Date: 02/22/22 13:34
Re: Flash drives
Author: Sunset150

Change the drive name.  I've had quite a few fail me like this and have always been able to recover the data by doing so.  Instead of a "J" drive, change it to"Z" drive for example.  It works for me, your mileage may vary.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 02/22/22 13:37 by Sunset150.



Date: 02/22/22 16:33
Re: Flash drives
Author: sf1010

Sunset150 Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Change the drive name.  I've had quite a few fail
> me like this and have always been able to recover
> the data by doing so.  Instead of a "J" drive,
> change it to"Z" drive for example.  It works for
> me, your mileage may vary.

That's a trick I never would have thought of!



Date: 02/24/22 18:06
Re: Flash drives
Author: chakk

jst3751 Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> radar Wrote:
> --------------------------------------------------
> -----
> > storage.  Optical media, such as DVD and CD do
> > not last long either. 
>
> Yes, there are indeed DVD and CD media designed
> and formulated for reliable long term storage if
> properly stored. 

PROPER STORING is the key.   I have a friend who had saved family photos on several CDs and put them away in what he thought was "safe storage".   But  when he returned to them many years later, he found that two had cracked and would not read correctly on his PC.   Now he stores everything in the cloud.



Date: 02/27/22 12:06
Re: Flash drives
Author: cchan006

chakk Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
>  But  when he returned to them many years later,
> he found that two had cracked and would not read
> correctly on his PC.   Now he stores everything
> in the cloud.

Some here on TO already know that cloud isn't safe if you happen to be a target. One business was brought down because of it, and not by hackers. Won't elaborate, because some can't handle the truth (and cause this post to be deleted).

Properly storing optical media is FAR MORE energy efficient than data centers (cloud) that gobble up electricity, generate massive amounts of heat, and have resource-hungry redundancy. Cloud might be convenient, but that's about it.

Primary cause of CD/DVD degradation is humidity and temperature, which deteriorates the compound (aluminum/organic/etc) that actually stores the data. The plastic that "cracked" (polycarbonate) of the CD/DVD actually lasts much longer than the storage layer compound within.

From personal experience, 20 years is where you might start to experience data failures. Few of my CD-R/DVD-R from ~20 yesrs ago are experiencing failures, where the PC is making several attempts to read the disc, sometimes succeeding (via error correction), sometimes failing. Those were stored on cheap "generic brand" media. More expensive CD/DVD discs have done much better, none of them have experienced problems yet.

Just an FYI, to better inform TO members the fundamentals behind optical media life expectancy. Much of this info can be researched further.



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