USB Flash Drive Data Recovery Blog

Providing expert advice on broken flash drive repair and flash drive data recovery.

Flash Drive Not Showing Up

Brian Ernst - Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Here’s a typical scenario: You turn on your computer, take your USB flash drive out of your pocket and plug it in, but instead of that familiar ding letting you know your computer recognizes the flash drive, there’s nothing. No sound, no pop-up window, no light, no nothing. You try it in another computer but it’s the same thing. This is about the moment all the blood rushes from your face as you remember just how much important stuff you have on that memory stick, and you don’t have a backup. Of course, you should have had a backup. Especially since there are backup programs out there like FDP Sync that will do the job automatically. But hindsight is 20/20, right?

Why Is My Flash Drive Not Recognized?

There are several reasons your flash drive might not be showing up. While there is no way to know for sure without removing the case and performing a diagnostic, physical damage is the most common reason a flash drive isn’t detected. The connection between the USB connector and the circuit board can become disconnected after even normal use. A telltale sign is a loose or bent connector, but sometimes the damage is undetectable with the naked eye.

Getting the Files off Your Unrecognized Flash Drive

The first step when troubleshooting a flash drive that doesn’t show up is to try it on several computers, preferably with different operating systems. If it isn’t showing up in any computer, you have two options. If you are “techy” and willing to risk causing further damage to your flash drive, you can try to fix the flash drive yourself. Your other option is to send it to a reputable data recovery company like FlashDrivePros for a free analysis.

How to Repair a Flash Drive Yourself

If you accept the risk and choose to repair your flash drive yourself, the first step is to apply light pressure to either side of the flash drive while it is inserted. Make sure the sound on your computer is on so you will hear the “ding” if the connection is momentarily reestablished. If you do get an indication, you can try to hold your flash drive in the position that causes it to show up. While you hold it in place, ask someone to access the drive and save your files to your computer. This requires a steady hand and if you have a lot of data on your flash drive, you might have to hold it in the same position for a long time.

When All Else Fails

If after all this your flash drive still refuses to be recognized, you’re going to need some help from a pro. The FlashDrivePros has recovered the data from thousands of unrecognized flash drives. We have a no data-no fee policy on all our services and will even pay return shipping in the event your files cannot be recovered. With our 94% success rate, your scenario is likely to have a very happy ending.

Give us a call or send us an email to speak with a data recovery engineer today.

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