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Today I ordered an external hard-drive, so of course my temporary (USB key) one died on me
March 28, 2012 9:30 PM   Subscribe

I have a SanDisk Cruzer 32 GB USB flash drive that is holding my data hostage. I got one of those "there might be errors, want me to check and fix them?" messages and said yes, which the PC did without problems. Then I was unable to "safely" remove it despite shutting down all programs on my computer, so I had to pull it. Now, although the computer recognizes that it is in the port and assigns it a drive letter, it cannot read any files, asks my to reformat, and shows as either full or empty.

I have tried various DIY solutions without luck, so I am looking for a data recovery service in Toronto (preferably central and must be TTC accessible) or I would consider sending it out. I need it to be relatively cheap and take no more than a week to 10 days, which I hope is doable since there's no physical damage. Any recommendations? Has anyone in Canada used the Staples/Seagate service with success? Anything else I should try (I've tried Testdisk and Photorec).
posted by sarahkeebs to Computers & Internet (2 answers total) 6 users marked this as a favorite
 
3 programs to try.

PC Inspector Recovery. Free with a weird interface but it finds things other free programs can't, by searching sector by sector and rebuilding files. It is difficult to understand at first.

Zero Assumption Recovery. This is shareware but its data recovery functions are free for memory card use. I am not 100% sure it will work free with a USB drive but it might. This program uses a different direct read technique, it does not use Windows functions.

Kernel Data Recovery. This program also uses a different direct read technique, intended for hard drives. This can even read hard drives that Windows doesn't recognize at all. It is shareware but you can download and try it and it will show you what it can recover, then you'd have to pay to unlock it. It works and I have paid.
posted by caclwmr4 at 9:44 PM on March 28, 2012 [6 favorites]


It sounds like the drive's FAT or MFT got corrupted. Seconding caclwmr4's suggestions, all good tools. Another one to try is Recuva. However, word of caution...before you attempt any more fixes make a digital image of the USB asap to prevent further loss. This tool might be of some help. HDDGuru's Raw Copy might be useful too if the USB image tool is unable to create a image due to problems reading the drive's format.
posted by samsara at 7:23 AM on March 29, 2012 [1 favorite]


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