Data Recovery USB Drives: Potential Issues You’ll Encounter

by Rod Dunne on January 24, 2011

in Data Recovery

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When it comes to data recovery USB drives are no different from any other types of storage device. Software utilities can be used in a large number of situations to analyze the memory and retrieve your files. However, in this article I’ll take a look at some of the factors which can impede a successful retrieval of all your files.

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Problems You Could Experience

The first mistake many users can make is installing data recovery software onto the USB drive. If there is data lost on the USB memory stick then installing applications or storing files onto the USB memory has the potential of overwriting your original data. Always install the data recovery software into a secondary partition or any location you do not wish to initially scan.

One interesting issue that can cause data recovery tools to be less effective is the amount of disk space available on the USB stick. If the USB memory is reaching full capacity then it will increasingly use any empty sectors, including lost/deleted data clusters, for storing files. This will rapidly result in your lost data being overwritten. Best results are achieved if the drive is kept at least 10% free/empty.

In terms of data recovery USB drives can be used so regularly that your original lost data has the potential rapidly being overwritten. Your best chances of finding files using data recovery software is straight after the documents were lost. If you allow too much time to pass then storing files on the disk or running applications on a USB memory stick will result in your lost data being overwritten when new files stored on the memory.

Finally, data recovery on USB drives will be increasingly difficult if you have used disk repair tools or disk defragmentation utilities. Both these types of tools will reuse any available data clusters on the disk for moving files and data around. Your lost or deleted data is probably marked available for reuse so could potentially be used by these utilities extensively. Again, your best chance of finding files is the data recovery software is using the application before running a disk checks/defragmentation.

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