How to format flash drive without losing data


There are chances that your thumb drive would turned to not formatted and needs for a formatting or there are some other damages that your thumb drive would asked for a reformatting. The trouble stands right in front of you when there are data that could be deleted by the formatting since most devices would tell you this message 'Formatting would delete all files, do you want to format it?', format it or not?

The core: How do I format thumb drive without data loss?

usb flash drive format needed Format USB Flash Drive or Not?

This article would show you the right solution to pull you out of the flash drive format bizarre by the following content.

Some Urgent Tips You Should Know Before the Recovery

No matter what kind of device it needs a formatting, a usb flash drive, a usb external disk, or a small flash stick, what you should do is stop making changes to the device, we won't recommend you do a chkdsk to the damaged flash drive since any further change would bring possible disaster to the old data that was saved on the data storage.

Some source has told that chkdsk has fixed the damaged flash drive without formatting with data back inside of the flash drive, however it is not a 100% chance of successful recovery to each case and sometimes it may bring data disaster due to different damages. You may ignore this if your data were not that important and directly get it repaired by the second part that we would introduce several ways for fixing the damaged flash drives.

Part 1 - Retrieve data from corrupted flash drive

Preparations: Download free flash drive recovery tool iCare Pro Free on your computer and get it installed on the computer. Please do not select the flash drive as the destination for software installation since this would erase old files on your flash drive.

Step1. Start iCare and select 'Deep Scan Recovery' for flash drive data recovery after various kinds of damages.

select recovery
Step2. Select your flash as scanning device that the software would do a read-only searching on the device, which is 100% data untouched.

select drive
Step3. When the software finished scanning, choose the files and save them onto another digital device. This is quite important since if you save the files onto the same device, it would overwrite the lost old data. You may save the data from your flash drive to a computer hard drive volume.

recover files

Video Guide - How to recover files from flash drive

Part 2 - Fix damaged flash drive without formatting with chkdsk

Video: how to fix usb without formatting

chkdsk /f/r i: (you need to replace i with your usb stick drive letter)

Here are the steps to start using the cmd chkdsk for the flash drive repairing.

  • Start cmd by pressing Windows icon + R on your keyboard, or you may use whatever other methods you prefer to get cmd started

  • Go back to your computer and remember what drive letter your computer has assigned to your flash drive. (Usually the c drive is the computer boot drive that holds Windows operating system, and the rest English 25 alphabet would be assiged to different storage devices on the computer)
  • Type 'chkdsk /f/r i:' when you need to replace drive letter i with your own one.


Video Guide - how to repair meida using chkdsk (here in the video sd is made as an example that it works for your usb stick too)

Continue reading: here are 8 free ways to fix damaged flash drive without formatting

How to Format USB Stick Safely With Disk Management

If you do not want to format usb with right click, when the usb stick data has been rescued to somewhere else, it is now safe to format your flash stick by any regular format tools or you may directly get it formatted in Disk Management by right click the usb stick in disk management -> Format

Reinstall drive step 2 Format usb drive in disk management

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