How to Fix Errors and Format USB Flash Drives

By 09-08-2005   ComputersGadgets

How can you quickly fix and format your USB flash drives and make it functional again for optimal use. USB flash drives are a great data storage and safe data transfer gadget. But if you believe that flash memory is secure and stable forever, you are wrong.

usb flash driveFlash memory is considered insulated from jerks and related damage. However, these USB pen drive do get corrupt as I noticed. I use a top branded USb pen drive and am using it for the last 6 months and it worked very well. (Never rely on cheap unbranded usb drives – you never know when your data is lost)

So of late, when I started to open my powerpoint presentations, they would not open. Some error had occurred during transfer or storage as the main file from which it was transferred worked well. So the problem was in a data storage as the transfer was smooth.

Fix USB Flash Drives

An important precaution is not to remove the pen drive while the data is being transferred. Always remove the pen drive after stopping it. Go to ‘Safely remove hardware’ (green arrow icon art bottom right corner).

Safely remove drive

Stop the usb mass storage drive and when it says it is safe to remove it, then remove it.

remove hardware

Always check by opening your important files before that important presentation. If it does not open now, probably it will not open there also. If it works now, it should work there also.

If for some reason your file does not work. Transfer another copy of the file with a renamed version – it may work..

If you delete the file and retransfer the same file with the same name and size, it probably gets written to the same area and will not work. A different name with a different size gets written to another area and can work. Its better to transfers 2 copies of your file anyway.

If you want the presentation to work on older computers (like Windows 98), do not forget to take the drivers CD which will allow such computers to recognize your plug and play usb drive. Always keep this invaluable CD handy, you never know when you encounter an older computer. I also keep a copy of the Wind 98 driver on the USB drive, can become useful one day.

Flash drive data still getting corrupted

After going to My Computer, Right click the Removable drive, Go to Properties >Tools. Run Error Checking and Scan for errors and fix them. The files that are corrupt or in bad sectors already will not work but at least the new transferred files should work.

error checking

Format USB drive.

Remember formatting flash drives will delete all the data from your USB drive and make it fresh and hopefully remove all errors. The software for formatting comes on the CD or available on support sites for your branded usb drive on the net. For some reason, when I ran this formatting software, it would say the USB drive is not connected.

How did I format my flash drive?

Right click removable drive and select and format the drive. Then scan and fixes all errors.

Format Drive

In the File System drop down, you will see FAT and FAT32. So which one to select?

If you right click Removable Drive >Properties

Drive properties

The General Properties of the USB drive reveals it is FAT, so I use FAT in the format utility. Then just select “Quick Format” and “Start” and all data will be deleted and hopefully all errors are now gone.

If still none of these tips work – Get hold of the warranty and get it fixed from customer support. If all fails…. its time to buy a new high memory storage USB drive !

WARNIN: Please try this at your own risk. You may land up deleting all data or making your drive unusable. Seek professional help if needed.

477 comments on “How to Fix Errors and Format USB Flash Drives

  1. flyashi says:

    This is actually a really useful thing.

    I’ve had name-brand flash drives not always copy the data, and I’ve seen corrupted data be recoved by Windows. If this helps at least one person recover that vital data, then it was all worth it.

    So, thank you for sharing your experience.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Deleting and then recopying the file will most likely not copy to the same area of the disk. Flash memory has internal mechanisms that distribute data so that one area is not used more often then others; this improves the lifespan of the memory.

  3. Anonymous says:

    After pulling a USB stick out during boot of a PC, before Windoze had started, I found it was no longer readable. OK, no biggie, only non-critical data was lost. However I could NOT re-format the drive, Windows would fail at the task. I feard the stick was dead until I formatted it in a few seconds as a FAT drive using Linux!

  4. Anonymous says:

    I’ve had to do this a couple of times for a pesky SD Card on a camera. But, I use fdisk on a linux machine.

  5. Anonymous says:

    I bought a Lexar JumpDrive 512 and was horrified to discover that while I could read and write to it just fine, I was forced to use 8.3 style filenames.

    Turns out it was formatted in FAT, not FAT16. I reformatted it from windows file explorer just like it was a hard drive, and it’s worked perfectly ever since. I copied the autorun folder and it’s files back onto it afterwards, and it even installs the secure partition driver upon insertion.

  6. Mauricio says:

    hello
    i have an usb flashdrive (centrios, 256mb)..
    its not even 6 months old and its not working..
    i tried to format it but it doesnt work..
    the thing that finds and corrects all errors on the flashdrive doesnt work either..

  7. Anonymous says:

    Recently a friend gave me a flash drive to test (verify) it.
    As the documentation sais it’s a
    SONY Micro Vault USM8024 Mass Storage Device with a capacity of 8 GB!!!, with an
    unbeliveable low price of under 90$.
    It was suspicious at first, of course, so I plugged it in, and the system (Win XP OS)
    recognized it, installed the drivers automatically, and reported the capacity of 8 GB!
    When I re-connected the device, the system reports that everithing is O.K. but
    when I attempted to access the drive reported ” There is no disk in the drive”.
    I opened the properties to see the volume information which is reported UNKNOWN.
    I could,t format it under Windows, and it’s own disk formatter could’t access the drive too.
    If someone had an experience with a drive like this, i coluld use a help.
    Or, be carefull if someone offers you a flash drive like this!!!
    It may NOT be an authentic SONY product!!!

  8. Anonymous says:

    i can get in to my flash disk i tried everything scandisk which didn’t work and it wouldn’t format i’ve also tried some programs on the net to fix the problem “no luck ” if anyone as any ideas email me @ nickerr_@hotmail.com

  9. Anonymous says:

    Hey I have a similar problem as nickerr_@hotmail.com

    Please if you have a solution, e-mail it to averma@lta.com.fj

  10. Anonymous says:

    SONY 8G Model USM8024 appears to be a FAKE. There are loads of these selling on EBAY, but they do not work (atleast with Windows XP Pro) When I contacted SONY support they told me the model was not valid and that the unit was likely a counterfeit. Hope this sways others away so they don’t get burned like I did. Buyer beware !

    cheezystix@yahoo.com