Data Recovery USB Memory | What Tools To Use

by Rod Dunne on December 10, 2011

in Data Recovery

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In terms of data recovery USB memory can be analyze and scanned in much the same way as hard drives can. In this post I’ll show you what tools you can use to do this and how to clone your files back onto your computer.

USB flash memory is based on the FAT32 file system format. This is the same format used by the Windows operating system for hard drives. Consequently, any data recovery software that supports this format (as most do) will work on hard drives and flash devices.

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All data recovery applications work in much the same way:

  1. Install the program onto your computer and then select the USB drive for scanning.
  2. The application will analyze the USB memory for any data clusters belonging to files.
  3. The clusters are then reassembled present back to a list of found files.
  4. You simply have to copy the files you need back onto your computer.

As regards other software utilities, you need to be careful when using data recovery tools in relation to disk checking utilities/disk defragmentation tools. Any bad sector repair tools or defragmenters will complete their work by reusing any available free space on the USB.

This could mean that clusters belonging to your lost files (which are marked available for reuse) could be overwritten by using these tools. For this reason, always use data recovery tool before running the other utilities.

There are some other factors which also affect the success rate of these applications:

  • The programs work best when used promptly. If you leave too much time before using the data recovery tool then there is the potential that new files stored on the USB memory could have overwritten your original data.
  • When it comes to data recovery USB drives that are reaching full capacity will return a smaller list of found files. This is simply because there is not enough available free space for storing documents so sectors belonging to lost/deleted data rapidly reused.

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