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I have an 8g PNY  flash drive.  I've been able to recover some of the files with WinHex.  It says it doesn't have a recognizable file system.  Its says it need to be formatted.    It shows as a drive.

Recuva says it is also unrecognizable and need to be formatted.  Any suggestions?  If I format the hard drive is there any way to recover the files?



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Hi Duane, and welcome to the forum.


The file system is being recognized by Windows as RAW, and because of that you could carry out a "Quick Format", which would initialise the file system and enable Recuva to carry out a scan.


A "Quick Format" would not delete any files, and because the issue is a faulty file system and not accidentally deleted files (I'm guessing you haven't deleted them), then you would need to select "Scan for non-deleted files" in "Options\Actions".


In fact you could check all boxes except the "hidden system directories" one.


But, before you do that, try scanning the drive with either or both of the following free recovery programs which will scan a raw file system ...


Lazesoft Windows Data Recovery:


With this program, you could also try scanning for a lost partition if the data recovery didn't yield the results you want. This program will scan and possibly restore the usual single partition on a flash drive if it's simply the boot sectors which are damaged, although that's an option to be left until after you've tried scanning the drive as it is now.


Also try PhotoRec and TestDisk: (Both in the same download)




Although they look like command line, they're not, They have a structured dialogue to follow.


And finally, with your drive being only 8gb, you could first try making an "Image" of it with "USB Image Tool", which would enable you to have it backed up before you try any repair or formatting operations.




If things didn't work out with one option, the Image could then be restored to the drive which will enable you to try another.


Hope that helps.

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  • 9 months later...

just wanted to give a big Thank-You for your recommendations, DennisD. While my 64Gb SDXC card didn't have anything that was irreplaceable on it, it's nice to have been able to recover virtually everything (less than 10 files were trashed), via your recommendations of: 1st, LazeSoft, and 2nd, 'quick format' -- especially the 2nd, since recuva recovered most files' names, unlike LazeSoft.

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