Recover USB Files: Safety Tips For Using Data Recovery Software

by Rod Dunne on December 12, 2011

in Data Recovery

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sing applications to recover USB flash drive contents is relatively straightforward. There are however some tips to improving your chances of finding files using these applications which are worth knowing about. This article shows you some of the key things to watch out for.

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Safety tips


trying to recover formatted data using any software application is going to be made much more difficult if the formatting tool included an evidence wipe. This is often done for data protection purposes to clear out your personal information. It will completely overwrite data clusters on the USB drive making data recovery tools redundant.

Installation location:

One mistake many people make when installing data recovery applications after files have been lost is to install the application into the same USB drive as the lost documents. Any use of the memory for running applications, installing files or storing new documents could potentially start overwriting your original lost data. In order to recover USB files successfully you should make sure to install the application onto your computer rather than the USB drive itself.

Disk checking utilities:

Using a disk defragmenter or disk checking utility can result in data fragments being moved around the USB drive. This is done in order to repair bad sectors or improve performance. These tools do however reuse any available space, which may include space belonging to files you want to recover. For this reason, try to recover USB contents before running any disk checking utilities.


Data recovery utilities will scan the USB drive for signs of any documents and present you back a list of lost documents are found. A major error they can make is to copy these files onto the USB drive itself (rather than back onto the PC). Cloning the files back onto the USB drive could in fact overwrite the clusters in the middle of the copy/paste process.

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