Recovering Data From USB Flash Drives in Research
USB flash drives are omnipresent these days. Their small, compact size makes them the perfect way to transfer files between computing devices. While these drives are relatively strong, they do suffer damage and can crash. When this happens, people are at risk of losing essential business files and presentations, student homework and projects, photos, and other precious data. Often, these drives suffer physical injuries like a bent USB connector, circuit board and USB connector separation, and heat or liquid damage. Sometimes, though, data is corrupted on flash drives because of improper removal from a computer, the effects of static electricity, or as a result of viruses.
What are the Signs of a Damaged Flash Drive?
Flash drives often fail with little warning. One time they work and the next time you attempt to use them, they don’t. Unlike some other storage mediums, flash drives don’t show symptoms over some time before they completely die. With that said, here are some common signs that your drive has been damaged:
- √ Device is Unresponsive
- √ Drive Light Fails to Come On
- √ You Get a Message that Your Device is “Not Recognized” or “Not Detected”
- √ You Are Told It Needs Formatting
- √ File System Shows Your Drive Has a 0 mb Capacity
How Do You Retrieve and Save Data From My Flash Drive?
There are two primary ways we recover data/files from your flash drive. The method used, of course, depends on what caused your data loss. Losses caused by physical damage like breaks, bent USB connectors, or separations are addressed with expert soldering to bypass damaged parts. When your issue results from controller chip failures, the chip-off technique is used. This method involves using a specialized reader to pull data from NAND storage chips that have been removed from the PCB board. So, regardless of how your USB flash drive was damaged, our trained experts are likely able to recover your important data and files.
Is There Any Way to Avoid These Issues in the First Place?
Yes, there are a few commonsensical ways to limit your risk of experiencing a flash drive failure. First, try to keep your drive away from water and other liquids. Second, don’t leave your device in hot areas, like your car, places with a lot of direct sunlight and storage areas without air-conditioning, for extended periods of time. Last, but not least, do not suddenly remove your drive from a computer before it tells you your USB is safe to remove. Otherwise, your files could be deleted or corrupted.