How to Recover Data from Pen Drive Before Formatting

Format erases all data on pen drive. If you want to get data off the pen drive, refer to the post that shows how to recover data from pen drive before formatting.


By Bryce / Updated on April 2, 2024

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Pen drive says it needs to be formatted

Pen drive, also known as a USB flash drive, USB stick, or USB thumb drive, is widely used to save and transfer files. Sometimes, you might be told that you need to format it before you can use it just as the screenshot shows.

Format Disk Before You Can Use it

If you click “Format disk”, you’ll be warned that formatting will erase all data on this disk. Then, how to recover data from the pen drive before formatting if there are some important files that you can’t lose saved on it.

3 fixes to recover data from pen drive before formatting

When a pen drive/USB flash drive won’t open and asked to be formatted, it means that the file system of it is corrupted or unrecognized for Windows operating system, it is infected with viruses or there are some bad sectors. Formatting can be a final solution to fix your USB flash drive. But before formatting, you can try these methods to repair the flash drive and get off the data on it.

Fix 1. Try another port or another computer

To recover data from flash drive that needs to be formatted, first, you can remove the pen drive from the connected computer and connect it to another computer. If there is only one computer on it, you can try another port. Or connect another USB drive to your computer to see whether you can use the flash drive and the data normally.

Another Port

Fix 2. Run anti-virus software to scan pen drive and recover data

If you have connected the USB stick to an unsafe place, you can’t open it and see the files on it might be caused by virus infection. To restore the USB flash drive and the data, you can run professional anti-virus software like Windows Defender to scan the drive and get rid of viruses.

Fix 3. Run CHKDSK.exe to recover flash drive and the files on it

CHKDSK.exe, a Windows built-in tool, can be used to fix system errors and bad sectors. You can use it to recover files from flash drive that needs to be formatted. Check out the detailed steps:

Step 1. In the search box, type in “cmd” and choose “Run as administrator”.

Step 2. In the Command Prompt window, input “chkdsk G: /f ” and press “Enter” (“G” is the drive letter of the partition on the USB flash drive) to repair the pen drive.  


Step 3. Input “exit” and hit “Enter” key to close the window.

After that, go to File Explorer to see whether you can open the pen drive and see the files on it.

How to recover data from pen drive after formatting

The above part has explained how to recover data from pen drive before formatting. If the fixes aforementioned are not workable for your pen drive and you have formatted the drive for repairing it, what can you do to retrieve data from flash drive after formatting?

Don‘t worry, you can resort to an outstanding data recovery software, MyRecover. It is highly recommended out of these highlights:

  • Powerful: It can retrieve lost data from flash drive after formatting and recover them even if you have permanently deleted files.  
  • Different storage devices supported: it enables you to recover files from pen drive, SD card/memory card, external hard drive, and internal SSD/HDD.
  • Considerate: It will automatically run a quick scan and deep scan to retrieve data on the drive.
  • Compatible: It works with almost all Windows OSes from Windows 7 to the latest Windows 11 and also works with Windows Server.

Now, free download the tool and see the guides.

Download FreewareWin 11/10/8.1/8/7/Server
Secure Download

Step 1. To recover data from the formatted pen drive, insert the pen drive to the computer and then install and run AOMEI Data Recovery.

Step 2. Choose the pen drive where you want to recover data. Hover the mouse over the drive and click Scan to scan.

Start Scan

Step 3. Then the software will make quick scan and deep scan for the USB flash drive to find out all the deleted and missing files on it.

Scan Lost Data

Step 4. Select the files that you want to recover and click “Recover xx files” to recover data on the flash drive.


Wrap things up

If your pen drive asks to be formatted, don’t be hurry to click “Format disk” to erase all data. Try one or more fixes that show how to recover data from pen drive before formatting it. If the flash drive still needs to be formatted. You can format it directly and recover files from the formatted drive effectively and easily using AOMEI Data Recovery.

Then last but not least, to protect your pen drive data better, it’s recommended to back up it using feasible backup software regularly. Thus you can recover data effortlessly if the flash drive is corrupted and inaccessible.

Bryce · Editor
Bryce is an editor of AOMEI Technology, he covers backup & restore, hard disk & partitions management, cloud files transfer, website & database backup and so on for AOMEI. He enjoys helping people find solutions to their problems. He loves traveling, Sleeping, reserching and so on. He enjoys helping people find solutions to their problems. He loves traveling, Sleeping, reserching and so on. He would like to spend all time on reaserching computer problems. He is a very cute boy.