Recover files from a damaged flash drive using Windows tools and using the Recuva program


Please help me solve the problem: a memory card from a Philips smartphone, it contains videos and photos. So let's say, if the card was handled poorly, a small crack formed on it. When connected to a PC, it requires formatting the disk. Is it possible to do something?


Expert answer:

Hello Sergey! This is a fairly common problem associated with a malfunction of the media and / or with damage to media sectors. It can occur not only for the reasons that you described, but also from ordinary software failures and incorrect removal of the device, a large number of 'broken' or damaged files, viruses, and so on. And, of course, in such a situation, no one wants to lose the information stored on the carrier, and formatting is already an extreme option, which often does not bring results. Formatting is just not the solution to the problem in your situation.

What can be done

Since a memory card, even with the damages that you described, is still readable by a computer, it means that there is a hope to extract the files on it. It should be said right away that even in the case of a successful solution of the issue, further use of the physically damaged media will be inappropriate, since the risks of repetition of failures in operation are quite high.

Using standard operating system tools

So, now directly about the possible ways to resolve the issue. The operating system 'Windows' has a built-in 'check disk' utility – a disk check, and in the abbreviation 'CHKDSK'. This utility not only checks the media for possible errors, but also carries out the 'cure' of damaged files and sectors, of course, within its capabilities. So, in order to use this utility, you need to do the following:

  1. You must run Command Prompt as or with administrator rights. There are many ways to start this, but as simple and quick as possible, you will do the following: Open 'My Computer' or 'This Computer' (depending on the OS) and follow the path 'C: \ Windows \ System32'.
  2. In the opened folder, according to alphabetical sorting, find the file 'cmd'. Cmd file in System32 folder

    Find cmd in the file list

  3. Right-click on the selected file and select 'Run as administrator'. Run command line as administrator

    Run Command Prompt as Administrator

  4. A console will open labeled Administrator. Now, enter the command 'CHKDSK' and specify the letter assigned to the media separated by a space.
  5. Executing the command without arguments will check the media, but without the 'disinfect' procedure, to activate additional parameters, you need to specify the arguments '/ f' – to correct errors, '/ r' – to detect 'bad' sectors and restore information, '/ x' – to unmounting the media before the procedure. So, the optimal command to execute (example): 'CHKDSK A: / f / r / x'.
  6. All that remains is to wait for the completion of the check, a report will be provided based on the results, which will contain information about all errors found and corrections made.

Using third-party software

There are many programs that perform file recovery, and of all this variety, the 'Recuva' program should be distinguished, it is distributed free of charge, but with decent functionality, which has already helped many many times. The creator of the program was made by many known for the utility 'CCleaner' company 'Piriform', you can download 'Recuva' for free on the official website of the developers: After downloading and installing, run the program and do the following:

  1. Since the program requires access to many system resources, it runs as administrator.
  2. At startup, you will be prompted to use the setup wizard to determine the search criteria – select the type of files you are looking for and the location. Since your card has been identified (based on the text of your question), in the line 'In a specific location' select the media from which you want to 'extract' files.
    Assistant in the Recuva program
    The File Recovery Wizard will open
    Selecting the file type to recover
    The program will offer to choose the type of files
    Directory selection in Recuva program
    Select the folder where the files are located
    Starting the file recovery process
    Click the Start button to start the recovery procedure
  3. After clicking on the 'Start' button, the main program window will open, where you will again need to initiate the start of the search for files on the selected medium.
  4. After confirmation, the 'Scan' window will appear, which will inform about the status of the search – this is the percentage of progress, the number of files found and the remaining time until the end of the stage (there are 3 of them). File recovery process in Recuva

    The program will inform you about the number of files found

  5. Upon completion of the search and recovery of files, an extensive list will be provided with information for each file: name, location path, date of last modification and weight. Recuva check result

    The program will list the files

  6. To recover a file, check the box and click on the 'Recover' button in the lower right corner. Files to recover

    Check the files you want to recover

  7. A window will appear prompting you to select a folder to save, select the desired one and click 'OK'.

As another option, you can try to 'reanimate' the media using special utilities, for example 'D-Soft Flash Doctor', but since the flash drive is damaged physically, you should not hope for a positive result.

Your question was answered:

Avatar Andrey PonomarevProfessional assistance in setting up, administering, reinstalling any programs and operating systems of the family Windows.

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