Data Recovery USB | Using Software to Retrieve Files

by Rod Dunne on December 5, 2011

in Data Recovery

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When doing a data recovery USB drives can often be analyzed for lost data using the same software used on internal hard drives. In this article I’ll show you how to run these applications and how to get the best results.

USB drives are for the most part based on flash memory. This is a good thing as the flash memory is based on the FAT32 file system format. This is the same format used by Windows and this formatting information is required by data recovery tools when analyzing memory. If you already have a data recovery tool, such as Remo Undelete, then this will work on internal drives, external HDD and flash devices.

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Using these programs is done as follows:

  1. Download and install the program onto your computer. Do not install it on the USB drive as this could overwrite your original data.
  2. Start up the program and select USB drive for analysis. You should be able to filter the results based on file type or size in order to speed up the process.
  3. When the results are returned, review the list of documents and then clone the files you want and USB drive back onto your laptop/desktop PC.

Even though the process is quite straightforward for data recovery USB drives can also experience some issues which reduce the volume of files you will find. Here are some possible issues you may experience:

  • Leaving too much time before running the tool. The longer you leave before running the disk recovery tool, the greater the chance that the USB drive has been used and new data has used any available space, including that of your lost data.
  • Running disk defragmentation tools could overwrite lost documents. Defragmentation utilities reorder data clusters on the USB memory in order to speed up file access times. In doing so, they can often make use of any available storage, including your lost files.
  • A lack of empty space on the USB drive will reduce the volume of lost files. If the USB memory stick is reaching full capacity then it will naturally start reusing any available empty spaces in memory more quickly. This will rapidly cause your deleted or corrupted files to be overwritten immediately.

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