Your USB drive isn’t recognized in your computer by Windows?

Do you want to fix a corrupted USB drive no matter brand it is?

In this guide (tutorial) you will discover the steps to follow to fix any types of errors you can face with your USB drive or SD card (flash memory).

If your USB drive is indetected or can’t be read nor formatted, I have the ultimate solution.

Please follow the steps in this tutorial and don’t skip any step.

Let’s GO!

Your USB Drive is Undetected?

If your USB drive doesn’t show up in your computer or you don’t even hear the Windows sound that plays up when you insert it on, do this:

  • Restart your computer and put the USB drive in another USB port that works or try it on another computer to make sure we are not dealing with a non-functional port. I know, this sounds dumb but it’s important to first check if the problem isn’t coming from the computer itself!
  • Go to “Control Panel“, click on “Administrative Tools“.
  • Then open “Computer Management“.
  • In the left list click on “Disk Management” to show all the disks available in your computer. Right-click on your USB drive (check out the size in the bottom graph of the window) and click “Change Drive letter and Paths…“. At this point I think it’s clear that the reason why the drive doesn’t show up is because MAYBE Windows failed to give it a letter, if it’s the case then your USB drive should work after you give it a letter.
  • Click on “Add…“.
  • Choose a letter or leave it default, here I have D: to assign to my USB drive. Click “OK” and check if your USB drive has appeared on your “Computer“.
  • Or  you can use the command diskmgmt.msc in “Run” to open the “Disk Management” window.
  • Don’t forget to format your USB drive after having a letter assigned to it if it doesn’t appear, you can recover your files later at any time.
  • If your USB drive still doesn’t appear, then continue to read this guide!

You Can’t Format Your USB Drive?

If your USB drive is not visible or cannot be formatted then there is two different solutions, the first consists of repairing your USB drive without formatting it and the second solutions requires formatting it but you can always recover the lost data from your USB drive later.

How to Fix a USB Drive Without Formatting it

  • First open “Run” using the shortcut Win+R and type cmd. You can also open the command prompt fast in Windows 10 using theses shortcuts: Win+X then press A.
  • Type in the command chkdsk /f D: (D is the letter assigned to our USB Drive)
  • Type “Y” if a message asks you to do so…
  • After the process has finished please remove your USB drive and insert it again. IF your USB drive is working again leave a “thank you” comment below this article, much appreciated. ELSE, continue reading…
  • Right-click on the icon of your USB drive and choose “Properties“.
  • On the tab “Tools” click on the button “Check“.
  • Wait for the progress of verification to finish, this will check for file system errors. In case this didn’t work then please continue reading…

How to Format a USB Drive Like a Boss

Now you will try to format your USB drive the geeky way, this is a good way that has worked nearly every time I faced this problem of not being able to see the USB drive due to a lost partition thanks to some short-circuit problem.

  • Open your “Command Prompt” using the cmd command in “Run“.
  • At first we will use the command format D:/FS/FAT32 (D: here is the letter of the USB Flash Drive, wait until the formatting is finished to test if your USB drive is working again).
  • If this didn’t work then we will use the tool “DiskPart” included in Windows. To start open a new “Command Prompt” (cmd) and type in diskpart.
  • In the new “diskpart.exe” window type in list disk to display all connected disks even if they are hidden.
  • In the list you will find the number of the USB drive (check the size to find which one is). Use the command select disk 1 (replace 1 with the number associated with your USB drive.
  • Type in theses commands (one after the other):
CLEAN
CREATE PARTITION PRIMARY
SELECT PARTITION 1
ACTIVE
FORMAT FS=FAT32 (Le formatage peut prendre quelques minutes, veuillez attendre)
ASSIGN
EXIT
  • If your USB drive is back to work then please write a comment down below this guide!
  • If your USB drive still doesn’t work we will try to use the free tool HP USB Drive Storage Format Tool. Download it, it doesn’t require any installation.
  • Open your program as an administrator and select your Device, choose FAT32 as File system and put on a nice Volume label, deselect “Quick Format” and click on “Start” to format your USB drive.
  • Click on “Yes” in the next window.
  • Wait until the formatting is done, it will take long time since we are not using “Quick Format” but in this way you are making sure to format the files the good way, it’s not low-level formatting but can produce better results than a quick format which cleans only the table of allocation of the files instead of removing the actual files. Low-level formatting consists in filling the USB drive with “00000…” (zeros) to override all data and make it unrecoverable.

If this tutorial has helped you then please share it with your friends and in your website, much appreciated!

I will publish new tutorials in the future days so stay tuned for more awesomeness in the Windows College!

Thank you for reading and have a nice day.

Soufiane – WindowsCollege.com