Recover Data from USB That Needs Formatting and Fix It Now

You can easily recover data from USB that needs formatting if you get a professional data recovery software. This article will show you such software and how fix flash drive. Get them right now!


By Ivy / Updated on April 2, 2024

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Sometimes when you connect a USB drive to your Windows PC, you may receive an error message like “ You need to format the disk before you can use it. Do you want to format it?

Format it or not? Why? And what to do with my data? You may be curious about these questions. Get the answer below.

USB Drive Says It Needs to Be Formatted

USB drive says it needs to be formatted, should I format it or not? No! The formatting process will delete all of your data on this USB drive, if any. Except for this, you still can try other methods to fix the USB drive. However, some methods may result in data loss. To protect your data, you’d better recover data from USB that needs formatting before fixing it.

Don't Format Now

If you need to format it eventually, you need to know the formatting methods: quick format and full format. The quick format method only deletes files on the disk and mark its used space as “free”. Your data will remain there if you don’t add new data to it. The full format method will overwrite data on the disk and erase it completely.

Why Does Your USB Drive Ask You to Format It?

You must be curious about why your flash drive needs to be formatted. It may provide you with some clues to repair it or take care of your data. Here are some possible reasons in the following:

  • Improper device removal.
  • File system corruption.
  • Sudden power off or shutdown during the file transfer process.
  • Bad sectors.
  • Aging flash drive or hardware components.
  • ...

Recover Data from USB That Needs Formatting Step by Step

It’s a wise choice to recover files from USB drive that needs formatting before fixing, since your data are still on the USB drive. MyRecover is a reliable and easy-to-use data recovery software for Windows 7, 8, 10, 11, etc and Windows Server.

Thanks to its two advanced scanning methods and high success rate, you can easily find out and recover data from unformatted flash drive in a short time. It is able to:

  • Recover Word documents, Excel files, PPT, pictures, videos, compressed files, etc and more than 200+ file types
  • keep the recovered files with their original name, format, quality, and path.
  • Recover specific files or folders during the scanning process. You don’t need to wait for the scanning result.

To get started, download the Windows data recovery software- MyRecover and install it on your Windows PC.

Download SoftwareWin 11/10/8/7/Server
Secure Download

Step 1. Launch Windows data recovery software- MyRecover. Hover the mouse over the drive saved deleted files before, and click Scan.


Step 2. The software will automatically scan the unformatted drive and display all the deleted or lost files. You can also filter specific files you want to recover (eg: recover files from a specific folder, flash drive, etc).


Here are two ways in the following:

Directly type its file name in the Search for files or folders box.

Use the Filter feature. You need to select file type (eg: Word documents), date modified or size.

  • Type: include all file types, such as images, videos, documents, mails, webpage, compressed files, etc.
  • Data Modified: support today, yesterday, last 7 days, last 30 days, and custom.
  • Size: filter file size from less than 128KB to 128KB ~1MB to 1MB ~ 512MB and above, or custom.

Step 3. Select the files you want to recover and click Recover xxx files. You don’t need to wait for the final scanning result if you find the files need to recover.


Note: MyRecover displays the number of files to be recovered and their full size. You can use this to determine if you have selected all the Shift Deleted files.

Step 4. Select a folder to store files on this unformatted drive and click Select Folder. Then, it will automatically recover files on this drive. Don’t save them to their original location as it may cause data corruption or permanent data loss.

Select Folder


  • MyRecover allow users to recover files from flash drive needs formatting for free, up to 500MB. To recover unlimited files, try advanced editions.
  • You still can use it to recover files from formatted hard drive, fix RAW SD card without losing data, and other data loss scenarios.

Fix USB Drive That Needs to Be Formatted

After recovering files from USB that needs to be formatted, you can feel free to fix it without losing data. Here are two effective methods below you can try.

Way 1: Fix USB That Needs to Be Formatted using CHKDSK Command

Step 1. Press Win + R to open the Run window. Then, type cmd and click OK to access command prompt with administrator priority.

Step 2. Type chkdsk G: /f /r or chkdsk G: /f /r /x and press Enter.



  • The /f and /r parameters is to find disk errors and fix it.
  • The /x parameter to mark bad sectors and recover readable information.

You may be able to access your flash drive and data in it. But if it becomes RAW, you may receive error message like “The type of the file system is RAW. CHKDSK is not available for RAW drives.”. If you are experiencing this error, try next method.

Way 2: Format Flash Drive That Needs to Be Formatted with DiskPart

Step 1. Press Win + R and type diskpart in the Run window. Then, click OK to open it.

Step 2. Enter the following commands and press Enter after each line.

  • list disk
  • select X (X is the disk number of the RAW drive.)
  • clean (The clean command will delete all the data on the RAW drive.)
  • create partition primary
  • format fs=ntfs quick (or format fs=fat32 quick)
  • exit

Format RAW Drive to NTFS

Your flash drive is now accessible and you can use it to do what you want. But sometimes you may receive “The disk is write protected” error. It's not posing a big threat. Simply add the “attributes disk clear readonly” command after selecting disk.

How to Take Care of Your USB Drive and Data

Dealing with unformatted USB drive is a little tricky if there are important data. To prevent this error from happening again, you can choose to take some precautions. Here are some useful tips you can use:

  • Eject safely. Simply disconnecting a flash drive may cause corruption that what you don’t want.
  • Keep at least 3 copies of your files. Except for the original copy, it’s suggested to create two file backup and save them on different devices, one is offsite. To make it, get free backup software for Windows - AOMEI Backupper Standard.

File Backup

  • Always keep antivirus software on. It is capable of scanning viruses or malware downloading  from non-official website.


✍ How to fix a corrupted USB without formatting

You may need to get the possible reasons for a corrupted USB. If it contains bad sectors, you can right-click it and select Properties, then start the error-checking tool. It will attempt to recover bad sectors on this drive.

✍ How to fix external hard drive not formatted error

This error may be caused by abrupt removal, power outage, virus or malware infection, etc. You can force the external hard drive to be formatted with the Diskpart utility.

✍ How do I recover files from a formatted USB drive?

By default, Windows uses the quick format option, which will not erase data on the USB drive completely. You are still able to access it from professional data recovery software like MyRecover and recover all of your data on it.

Ivy · Editor
Ivy is an editor of AOMEI Technology, she covers backup & restore,hard disk & partitions management and cloud files transfer and so on for AOMEI. She is an outgoing girl and enjoys helping people find solutions to their problems. She loves traveling, eating, reading and so on. She usually hangs out with friends at her leisure time.