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You are here: MacNN Forums > Hardware - Troubleshooting and Discussion > Consumer Hardware & Components > How do I recover files from an USB flash drive?

How do I recover files from an USB flash drive?
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Fresh-Faced Recruit
Join Date: Apr 2012
Status: Offline
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Apr 27, 2012, 12:23 PM
 
I have a flash drive that was used primarily on a Mac, and it was ejected improperly.

Now when I put it back in, the computer (I tried 2 different Macs and 3 PCs) does not even register the flash drive- it does not show up in Finder or in My Computer. Any ideas how to get the lost files back?
     
Clinically Insane
Join Date: Jun 2001
Location: Chicago, Bang! Bang!
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Apr 27, 2012, 02:20 PM
 
Full disclosure: the following is probably massive overkill.

SpinRite. You need to install it on a PC and it's going to set you back $100.

GRC�|�SpinRite 5.0 to 6.0��
     
Administrator
Join Date: Jun 2000
Location: California
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Apr 27, 2012, 02:52 PM
 
Plug in the flash drive, then launch Disk Utility.

/Applications/Utilities/Disk Utility.app

See if you can repair the flash drive. If Disk Utility can't repair it, then your choices are to reformat the drive (this will erase the files you want to recover) or use a 3rd party recovery tool.

Do you know what format was used on the flash drive? ie: HFS+ (Mac format), FAT32, NTFS (Win formats)?
     
Junior Member
Join Date: Feb 2001
Location: The Sovereign State of Southern California
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Aug 17, 2012, 06:34 PM
 
There is a free program called "TestDisk " that works very well. It runs in the terminal with a DOS type GUI, but even so, it's pretty easy to use if you're willing to read the instructions. I've used it to recover erased entire flash drives.
     
   
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