We have all had a USB flash drive that has needed formatting, the problem with formatting though is that it usually deletes much-needed data that is on the flash drive. When your custom USB flash drive becomes inaccessible, raw, or corrupted you can format it to make it usable once again. The process is simple to complete and requires only a little amount of time.
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Typically, when you format a flash drive you risk losing data, but there are a few different ways to do so without losing much-needed data that is saved on the USB flash drive. The only tools you should need when formatting a flash drive is your computer and your USB flash drive. There is some free software that is available on the internet that will format for you. However, you must always be cautious with free software as they often carry malware.
The first option for formatting a USB flash drive without losing data is very simple. You back up the data that is on the USB flash drive. This process may not be the best if you cannot access the data that is on the USB flash drive, just follow these short steps.
- Open the USB flash drive
- Copy the data within the USB flash drive to your computer or savepoint of choice
- Format the USB flash drive
Your second option is to attempt to repair the USB flash drive using via windows ‘repair’ feature.
- Open your USB
- Right-click and choose properties
- Find the tools tab and choose re-build
- Allow the process to complete and check.
Your third option is to attempt to change the drive letter of your USB
Occasionally a computer may be unable to locate the drive letter of a custom USB flash drive. In the event of this, you may need to manually reassign the drive letter.
- Right-click on MyComputer/ThisPC
- Click on Manage
- The computer management wizard should open
- Locate storage and choose disk management
- Right-click on Disk Volume and select change drive letter and paths
- Click change and assign the drive letter
Finally, you can scan your USB flash drive using your Windows computer
- Locate your USB drive from windows explorer
- Right-click on the USB drive and click properties
- Click on Tools and select the Check option under the error checking section
- After the error checking operation is completed, complete all necessary steps according to the error.
One of the most important things to remember when it comes to formatting a custom USB flash drive is that if it automatically prompts you to format the drive, do not. You have several options available to you to try first that may save your data. You may also want to look into professional recovery software if none of these options work and the data on your flash drive is critical information
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