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How to Repair a USB Flash Drive

Sometimes, your USB flash drive gets undetected to your computer. Learn how to repair a USB flash drive in this article.

USB flash drives are compact portable storage devices with limited capacity usually ranging from 256 MB to 32 GB max. There are chances that your USB flash drive does not get recognized and you won’t be able to retrieve any data from it. It could be due to various reasons like problem with device drivers or conflicts in drive letters etc.

usb flash drive

When you assign a drive letter to thumb drive which is already assigned to another partition of internal hard drive, then it could result in your thumb drive getting undetected.

It usually happens when you plug-out your USB flash drive from laptop of personal desktop to networked workstation.  In such cases, you can follow below steps for troubleshooting and fixing it,

Changing Drive Letter to avoid Conflicts

Go to “Start” menu and click Run. Type “Diskmgmt.msc” in the dialog and click enter to open the Disk management application. Right-click the drive letter corresponding to your USB drive and choose “Change Drive Letter and Paths” in pop-up menu.

Choose the “Change” option and select any random letter like Z, Y or X in drop-down menu such that it does not conflict with already existing drives. Click “OK” to change and insert the USB flash drive again. Now, you can find that it is detected by your computer.

Restarting your computer

Sometimes, restarting your computer can solve the problem of help getting your USB flash drive recognized by the computer. Just shut down all open applications and restart your OS which will also reboot the mother board and USB ports. Also device drivers get restarted which will solve any communication errors between the hardware and software.

 Uninstalling the USB device and reinstall again

If restarting the machine doesn’t work, try to reinstall the USB device. Go to Device Manager, and select USB device in list of available hardware. Right-clock on the flash drive from the list and select Uninstall. Just wait for some time and plug-in the flash drive again. By doing this, the device driver gets reloaded and automatically your flash drive should get detected.

 Reinstall USB Device Driver Software

 If all the steps mentioned above were not successful, then you can reinstall the device driver software for USB from your mother board CD and try again.  Open the Device manager application in search box and expand universal serial bus controller’s option in menu. Right click the device, choose Uninstall and then restart your machine. Now, the USB device drivers will get reinstalled automatically. This should help in getting your USB flash drive recognized by the computer.

 Formatting the USB flash drive

Another problem for USB drive not getting recognized can be due to corrupted data inside your thumb drive. If this is the case, you can format your USB thumb drive after which the device will be detected automatically. If you are not able to open the flash drive, just right click the device and select “Format” from the properties menu.  After completing the format, plug-out and plug-in the USB drive.

 Installing latest patches and updates for your Operating system

If all these things do not resolve your problem, then search for latest updates and hot fixes from the support page of Microsoft if you are using windows operating system.  You can also look for updates of drivers for your mother board and install them as well.  You can also try the Microsoft Support page for troubleshooting the problem.

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