Is It Possible to Recover Deleted Files From USB?
Yes, it is. There are several methods that you can use to try and recover deleted files from USB or thumb drives. You can can still get to deleted data because when files or pictures are removed by the OS you only lose logical access to them. Lost files are still intact on your drive and can be recovered until they are overwritten by new data. Stopping use of the drive after files are lost gives you the best chance to unerase them.
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To recover flash drive files follow these steps:
- Download and install the application.
- Connect the flash drive to your computer and launch the program.
- Select your disk from the list and click the Search for lost data.
- Preview the recoverable files, make your selections, and click Recover to retrieve the lost data.
Disk Drill for Windows employs powerful algorithms that scan your drive on a sector-by-sector basis to perform the most complete data recovery possible. It can recover deleted files from USB drives as well as any other type of disk-based storage device. This includes things like your computer’s hard drive, external hard drives, digital cameras, and SD or memory cards. Use Disk Drill to recover photos that you thought were permanently deleted from your flash drive.
Another factor that sets Disk Drill apart from other data recovery software is the inclusion of free data protection tools. One of these is Recovery Vault which allows you to designate specific files of folders for additional protection against deletion. Recovery Vault works like a supplemental Recycle Bin and retains a copy of protected files when they are deleted. Even after the Recycle Bin has been emptied, these protected files can be quickly recovered without the need to perform a complete data recovery.
A great feature is the ability to take a byte-level backup of a failing drive to be used for data recovery. This eliminates the stress on the storage devices that would occur during recovery and potentially cause irreparable damage to the drive.
Chances of performing a successful recovery of files from a flash drive without software depend on how the device is being used and if you have taken the time to back it up. Most users employ flash drives as supplemental storage and do not leave them attached to their computers. This means that internal Windows tools such as System Restore and recovering from Previous Versions are not likely to be able to successfully recover deleted data from a flash drive.
Try to Recover From a Backup
Recovering from a backup is your best bet to recover without software. Unfortunately, many users do not take the time to back up their flash drives since they use them for portable storage. They may download the data to more permanent storage and the files may be backed up from that device. Another factor that minimizes success with this method is if the files were deleted before a backup could have been taken. Perhaps you were trying to save the files and deleted them instead. Data recovery software will give you the best chance of recovering the files in that type of situation.
Perform Recovery via CMD
You may be able to undelete lost data by using the attrib command.
Here are the steps to try this method:
- Press the Windows and R keys to launch the Run Program.
- Type cmd and press the Enter key to open the Command Prompt.
- In the Command Prompt window, type chkdsk H: /f and hit the Enter key (Replace H with the drive letter of the USB drive).
- Use this command on your USB drive: ATTRIB -H -R -S /S /D “drive letter”:*.*
- Hit Enter.
If successful, you will find files in a new folder on the USB drive. You may need to change the file extensions to make them usable with your applications.
Deleting a file or folder inadvertently is a common occurrence for many computer users. It can cause undue stress as the user scrambles for a way to recover the lost data. In the case of a flash drive that may hold the only copies of important photos or audio files, the loss of data can be devastating.
Some precautions can be taken to minimize the chances of data loss affecting your flash drives. They are:
- Take backups of your data – This is a practice that should be followed with all of your storage devices. Having a single electronic copy of anything important is asking for trouble. If you want to protect your data, back it up!
- Flash drives are delicate – A flash drive can easily be broken or physically damaged, making it impossible to recover the data. Taking care of your data means taking care of your devices.
- Steer clear of malware – Malware can be responsible for the unexplained loss of files. Keeping your system protected by an anti-virus tool will help minimize the possibility that you will be impacted by a rogue program.
Losing data is never a pleasant experience. Taking the proper steps to protect your data can minimize your exposure to data loss scenarios, but there is no foolproof method of ensuring the safety of your valuable files. You may be called upon to recover data from a flash drive due to circumstances beyond your control. Data recovery software, like Disk Drill for Windows, offers the greatest chance of performing a successful recovery. Stop using the flash drive as soon as you realize data has been lost to prevent information from being overwritten, and let Disk Drill recover your files.