USB Drive not recognized, Important files inside

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by Radiosuit, Apr 15, 2012.

  1. macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Sep 1, 2010
    #1
    Hey everyone,

    I connected my USB flash drive into my Macbook pro and a popup comes up saying: "The disk you've inserted is not recognized" or something along those lines. I believe it is corrupted, I can't format it because I have really important files that I need to recover, Is there any way to recover a corrupted USB flash drive?

    Thank you in advance.
     
  2. simsaladimbamba

    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2010
    Location:
    located
    #2
    Is it recognised in Disk Utility and can you verify/repair it there?
    Do you have a Windows PC you can try the USB flash memory thumb drive with?


    ____________________________________________________________

    Links to guides on how to use Disk Utility, the application Mac OS X provides for managing internal and external HDD/SSDs and its formats.
    ____________________________________________________________
     
  3. thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Sep 1, 2010
    #3
    Ive attached a screenshot of how it looks when I open disk utility, It is all greyed out
     

    Attached Files:

  4. simsaladimbamba

    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2010
    Location:
    located
    #4
    To retrieve files, you can try the following applications:
    Data Rescue 3 (trial lets you scan the USB flash memory thumb drive and see, if data is recoverable, but to actually recover files, you need to buy the full version for 99 USD) or
    FileSalvage (trial lets you scan the HDD and see, if data is recoverable, but to actually recover files, you need to buy the full version for 89.95 USD).
    DiskDrill - lets you recover data from HFS/HFS+, FAT, NTFS & other file systems right on your Mac.​
     
  5. macrumors 603

    blueroom

    Joined:
    Feb 15, 2009
    Location:
    Toronto, Canada
  6. macrumors 601

    Mr. Retrofire

    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2010
    Location:
    www.emiliana.cl
    #6
    Important files? Really?

    I think the first damaged PNY USB flash drives appeared in 2006 or 2007. This brand has continuous quality problems.

    I recommend Kingston and Transcend flash storage products. As a rule of thumb:
    Do not buy USB flash drives from manufacturers, who are not known for good quality RAM modules.

    Btw, i use two JetFlash V70:
    http://www.transcend-info.com/products/Catlist.asp?LangNo=0&modno=255
     
  7. macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Sep 21, 2011
    #7
    Have you tried accessing the USB drive in either Windows or Linux (like Ubuntu)?
     
  8. macrumors 603

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2009
    #8
    Looking at the image you put up in post #3, the flashdrive shows as "unformatted" in Disk Utility. This suggests damage to the partition map or other "non-data" sectors of the drive.

    If you have no luck trying to recover or repair the flashdrive "as is", I would suggest you do this:

    - Get ahold of one of the Mac data recovery apps, such as
    Data Rescue 3
    Disk Drill
    Stellar Phoenix Data Recovery
    Nice To Recover

    - As a very first attempt to recover, see if any of the above can repair the flashdrive's directory. If that doesn't work, you'll have to go to the next steps.

    - Re-initialize the flashdrive to HFS+ using Disk Utility (YES, you ARE reading that correctly)

    - DO NOT put any new files on the newly-reinitialized flashdrive. Instead, launch your file recovery app, and now attempt to recover the files on the drive.

    - If the data recovery app "sees something", let it scavenge the flashdrive for whatever files it finds. Then, recover the files to a DIFFERENT location (such as your internal hard drive). You will lose folder hierarchies and you may lose some file names as well. That's the way data recovery works.

    Why I suggested this:
    A drive's directory/partition map can get corrupted, leaving the drive "unreadable" from the user's perspective. But just because the directory has gone bad, DOES NOT mean that the data is "damaged". It may still be there, untouched. But since the directory serves as the "table of contents" and/or "index" to the data, you can't see it or access it.

    By re-intializing the drive, you are replacing the corrupted and unreadable directory with a "clean" one. You can now mount the drive on the desktop. However, because the you have re-initialized the drive, you have wiped clean the contents of the DIRECTORY (emphasis intentional) and have replaced it with a new, but "empty" one. However, just re-initializing the drive DOES NOT "wipe" the data sectors. They are left alone until new data is actually written to the drive, then the directory is updated to reflect this action.

    What this means is that even though the drives "shows as if it were empty" because you replaced the directory, the old data may still be there. And if it is, a data recovery app like DataRescue3 can go in (bypassing the directory), and "scavenge" the sectors of the drive. It will find and re-assemble the "missing" files.

    Again, because things like file names and folder hierarchies are "structures of the directory", you will almost certainly lose most of this information. But, the DATA part of the files may be recoverable -- and that's what's important, right?
     
  9. Freyqq, Apr 16, 2012
    Last edited: Apr 16, 2012

    macrumors 68040

    Joined:
    Dec 13, 2004
    #9
    I have a kingston SD card that works well. I originally bought a transcend one and it lost data and died within a couple days.
     
  10. macrumors 601

    Mr. Retrofire

    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2010
    Location:
    www.emiliana.cl
    #10
    Really? Which model# (Transcend)? I ask, because i never had a problem with Transcend flash storage products. Btw, another good brand is SanDisk.
     
  11. macrumors 68040

    Joined:
    Dec 13, 2004
    #11
    it was a 32 gb SD card
     
  12. macrumors 601

    Mr. Retrofire

    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2010
    Location:
    www.emiliana.cl
    #12
    I use only SD cards from SanDisk, and USB flash drives from Kingston and Transcend.

    Thanks for the warning/info! ;-)
     

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