Flash Drive Data Loss & How to Save Your Data

Flash drives are an inexpensive and effective data storage solution for people who want to store data somewhere other than their computer hard drive, usually for purposes of portability or data backup. Whether your flash drive has suffered some form of physical damage, or has a software problem, there are steps you can take to recover your data.

If you have a flash drive that is physically damaged, you will likely get an error message such as “USB device not recognized” or “Please insert removable disk” when you try to access it through your computer. If you’re asking yourself how you could have possibly damaged your drive, read on for some common causes of data loss that are typically quite preventable.

Causes of Data Loss

  • Virus attacks. Computer viruses are extremely common and easy to pick up. Even with the best anti-virus software out there today, it’s still possible to pick up a computer virus on occasion.
  • Accidentally deleted files. It’s very frustrating when it happens, but most of us have deleted files accidentally in the past and we likely will again. Fortunately, these files can usually be recovered with the help of a professional.
  • Lost or forgotten passwords for password protected areas of the drive. Another extremely frustrating experience, this one can and does happen. Of course, you should always write down your passwords and keep them in a secure place, but inaccessibility of data can often be caused by an incorrectly recorded or recently changed password.
  • Power surges or outages. It’s highly recommended to protect your electronics (including your computer!) from power surges and outages. This can cause irreparable damage and make data recovery very difficult.
  • Physical damage due temperature extremes. If your computer is exposed to very high or low temperatures, this can cause physical damage to its components. Always keep your computer in a cool, dry environment and consider using a dehumidifier to minimize the humidity in the room. http://smartwebsiteideas.com/
  • Physical damage due to fire, water or impact. It goes without saying that you should protect you computer and it’s components as much as possible. Your flash drive is no exception. Taking care in its handling and making sure it is well packaged and protected when you move it from one location to another will help to maintain the integrity of your data. Some forms of physical damage such as fire or flooding are difficult to protect against, but thankfully they happen much less frequently.

What You Can Do About Data Loss

  • If you have a physical problem with the flash drive, do not try to use data recovery software to retrieve the files.If the drive is damaged physically, data recovery software will not address the problem and is very likely to make matters worse. The more you use a damaged drive, the more likely it is that your files will be overwritten, making them unrecoverable. Your best bet in case of physical damage is to take the device to a data recovery specialist who can retrieve the data on the drive for you. You may find do-it-yourself instructions online to try to recover your own data, but doing so will further compromise the data in question and is not recommended.
  • If you have a software problem, there are a number of data recovery software programs that can help.These programs can help recover your data in case of loss due to accidental deletion, incorrectly formatted or corrupted flash drive, logical problems with the drive, or virus infection. Be careful in choosing a program, there are many of them out there and generally speaking, you get what you pay for. If your data is very important or sensitive, it may well be worth taking the drive to a data recovery specialist to give yourself the best chance of retrieving your information.
  • Back up your files regularly. The best thing you can do for the protection of your data and your peace of mind is to back up your files on a regular basis. The frequency of backup depends on how often you add new files and the sensitivity and importance of the information. Preventing file loss by having adequate backup is definitely preferable to trying to recover your information once it has been lost.

Your best bet if you suffer a loss of data on your flash drive is to remove the drive and not use it again until you take it to a data recovery specialist for recovery and repair. The more you use it, the more likely it is that your files will be overwritten and you may lose your data for good. Data recovery specialists deal with these problems every day and it’s best to leave it in their hands, especially with very important or sensitive information.


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