A damaged or nonfunctional flash storage drive is no picnic. We use these handy little devices repetitively for transferring files between computers and sharing information with colleagues. Unfortunately, as is the case with any storage device, the device and media on the drive can become corrupt, damaged or suffer from a broken USB port or PCB. If this happens, you may need the assistance of a trained professional capable of performing data recovery services.
Do you know how to spot the symptoms of a drive in need of recovery assistance? Believe it or not, there are some universal issues that should immediately indicate the need for drive recovery, but if you don’t know them, they can be easy to miss.
Common Device Issues to Watch For
USB flash drives are one of the most preferred types of media storage devices when transferring small files. They are fast and capable of holding a large capacity in comparison to other portable media. With consistent use, these drives are susceptible to one of the most common storage drive recovery symptoms: the drive can become broken or bent, especially at the port. Since this issue can happen instantly from an action as simple as removing the drive from the port, you can suddenly find yourself unable to pull needed files off of your device. Most of the cases eProvided has seen arrive are broken USB sticks on laptops from a knee jerk reaction so to speak.
Other common device issues to watch for include:
- The drive, when plugged in, will no longer appear as a drive letter in the computer’s explorer program.
- Many flash-based storage drives, including hard drives, will suffer from symptoms where, when plugged in, your operating system displays the message, “Drive not formatted. Do you want to format now?”
- Deleted data that you cannot recover.
- Lost files due to corruption of the data structure of the storage device.
Avoiding USB Flash Drive Data Loss
As is the case with all storage devices, the best way to avoid a disastrous loss of data is to frequently back-up all of your important data and files. By frequently backing-up your files, you can mitigate overall loss in the event of an unexpected corruption or device damage.
Flash memory technology has limitations, which is why such flash drives are not recommended for frequent file updates and transfers. However, it is important to use reliable flash memory, such as SLC flash, for important applications and critical data.
Another tip for avoiding data loss is to always ensure careful and safe removal of the flash media device. Never unplug the drive while it is reading or writing. Improper removal can lead to corrupt data, and data recovery may be your only option for retrieving the data.
Finally, remember that proper storage is crucial. Your flash storage device should never be exposed to extreme temperatures, humidity, or pressure; such factors risk shortening the lifespan of the flash memory storage significantly.
When Data Recovery Is Needed
What if you’ve implemented all of the preventative measures and backed-up your files as frequently as possible? It’s still possible to lose data, even with the most pristine habits and upkeep. No storage device is perfect. An unexpected corruption can happen at any time. A simple office accident, like spilling a cup of coffee, can also cause sudden, permanent damage to any type storage device. In this event, you will need the assistance of a trained data recovery specialist.
In order to have the best chance at recovering the most amounts of data, the recovery specialist will need an account of how the device came to be damaged or corrupt. Be sure to reiterate any symptoms that lead up to the device issue. Together, you and your recovery expert will be able to pick the best method for attempting to recover as much data as possible.