USB Flash Drive Is Inaccessible and Needs to Reformat

format memory card

"I have Kingston USB flash drive with thousands of pictures on it. Recently, I met a terrible problem on my USB flash drive that I cannot access it because it shows not formatted error. Windows pops up message disk drive is not formatted do you want to format it now when I tried to open the USB. Please help me fix the error and access the USB flash drive normally."

format memory card

Many reasons can lead a USB thumb drive to be inaccessible. However, data is often recoverable as long as the USB flash drive is not physically damaged. Therefore, you can relax even if you cannot access any file on your USB flash drive.

Video - Fix USB Access Denied Error

recommendAlso read: 5 ways to fix usb drive not accessible, access denied

Reformat To Fix USB Flash Stick That Is Not Accessible

Supposing your USB thumb drive is not physically damaged and it only become inaccessible, you can use read-only data recovery software to restore the files on the inaccessible USB flash drive at first and then format the usb stick that would become a new one after the formatting.

  • You may make it work by several format ways on Windows computer, such as the right click format option

    format inaccessible usb

  • Format it under Windows disk managementformat inaccessible usb
  • or format with a mobile using an OTG cable.

Recover Data from Inaccessible USB Thumb Drive

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Step1. Insert the USB thumb/flash drive to your PC. Download and install data recovery software to the PC. Then, run the software and choose a proper recovery module.

select recovery
Step2. Choose the USB flash drive as target device. Then, the software will scan for the lost files. And you only need to wait in the scanning process.

select drive
Step3. When the scanning is finished, you can preview the found files. Then, you can select the files you need and save them to a different storage device.

recover files

USB Flash Drive Inaccessible & Not Formatted Error

One reason why USB flash drive is inaccessible is that you receive not formatted error message when you want to access the USB drive. Usually, the error message is:
"Disk in drive is not formatted do you want to format it now?"
"You need to format disk in drive before you can use it."
If you receive such kind of message and cannot access the USB flash drive, you can fix the problem by formatting the USB. Formatting can fix the not formatted error problem but it will erase the USB accordingly, so it is often recommended you to perform data recovery before fixing the not formatted error.

raw usb flash driveusb flash file sytem raw unreadable

Video - raw flash drive recovery

Reformat an inaccessible flash drive

Is it good to reformat an flash usb when it became inaccessible? The reformatting should depend on the data you saved on the flash stick. If the data have already been recovered with Data Recovery Software, then it is good to reformat the usb media. We strongly recommend you recover data before reformatting the not accessible usb before any step.

USB Flash Drive IS RAW File System & Inaccessible

In fact, when you receive not formatted message, you may find that the file system of USB flash drive has changed to RAW. When you format the USB drive, you can choose to format it into NTFS or FAT32 file system so as to fix the problem. Although formatting cannot erase the data completely, you may overwrite the lost files after formatting. Therefore, just like data recovery on unformatted USB drive, you also need to recover data first if you don’t want to lose it.

Other Message You May Receive When USB Flash Drive Is Inaccessible

  • Invalid media type reading drive. Abort, Retry, Fail?
  • Receive "Sector not found" warning when you want to access file on USB thumb drive
  • Windows says "Please insert a disk into drive" when clicking on USB pen stick
  • File names contain "weird" characters
  • USB Disk drive is not accessible. The file or directory is corrupted and unreadable on your flash stick

When you get those warning message, your USB flash drive is also inaccessible. The good thing is that data recovery software is available for data recovery from inaccessible USB flash drive when you receive the messages above. With the data recovery software, you can restore data from USB drive like Kingston, Lexar, SanDisk, Transcend, Seagate, Toshiba, Sony and more.

recommendAlso read: 7 free usb repair tools

Last updated on July 28, 2022

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