Recover USB Data: When Data Recovery Experts Are Needed

by Rod Dunne on January 27, 2011

in Data Recovery

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Trying to recover USB flash drive contents after the device has been corrupted, deleted or formatted can often be done using data recovery software. However, there are several instances where these tools will not be successful. In this article I’ll show you some of the things to watch out for and why data recovery experts will have a better chance of success than yourself in some situations.

If you are trying to recover formatted data from a USB device then one of the first things to realize is that some formatting tools include a data cleaning sweep of the disk memory in order to clear down/protect your data. If the formatting tool includes this then most commercial data recovery applications will struggle to find any files. By contrast, data recovery experts may be able to use forensic grade applications which could search out data shadows (remnants of your files) and piece together partial documents.

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Fixing Faults

It is rare for USB drives to become mechanically faulty. That said they can develop internal faults due to humidity or physical damage to the electronics inside. If this occurs then data recovery applications will fail to be able to identify and reads the memory.

They all need to be able to successfully access the drive in the first place. A data recovery specialist will be able to use additional hardware tools for extracting the memory and reading it directly.

Finally, while I still recommend you attempt using data recovery software for yourself to recover USB flash drive contents after deletion/formatting, it is worth noting that data recovery experts will have access to more rigorous tools capable of piecing together data clusters on the USB drive back into files.

Regular commercial tools can be quite successful in the case of file deletions, but you may find that the experts will be able to find more documents if they have become corrupted or the drive was formatted.

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