Data loss from a USB drive is not an uncommon occurrence. When your USB device gets corrupted, your Mac device won’t be able to read the disk when it is attached to the system. There are plenty of scenarios where USB gets corrupted and you can end up losing the valuable data you had stored in your USB device. How to Recover Data From corrupted Mac USB drive?
There are two things of importance here:
1. The data from the corrupted USB drive must be recovered
2. The corrupted USB drive should be fixed so that it can be used again. However, in the ideal scenario, you must extract the data before trying to fix the USB device.
The first point is the main subject of this blog i.e. the most efficient way to recover data from a corrupted USB drive. In this blog, we will only focus on Mac systems.
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What comes under the USB device?
A USB device comprises an external hard drive (HD), solid state drive (SSD), flash drive, etc. which can be connected to the USB port in the Mac device. The port can be A, B, C types.
Why your USB device gets corrupted?
Your USB device can get corrupted for plenty of reasons. The most common ones are listed below:
- Abrupt/Unsafe ejection: It mainly happens during file transfer, when people abruptly takeout the USB device. This can cause disk corruption as data isn’t settled properly. Therefore, it is advisable to safely eject the USB device from your Mac.
- Virus attacks: An infected file when transferred to the USB device can also corrupt the file system of the USB.
- Physical distortion: A physical damage to your USB device can cause it to malfunction. A USB can also get overheated and then stop working.
How to identify that your USB is corrupted?
The following symptoms can help you identify that your USB is corrupted and you need to take corrective actions:
- The Mac fails to recognize the USB drive when you connect it to the computer.
- The Mac recognizes the USB drive but when you open the drive, the files either vanish or become a shortcut.
- You see unknown and susceptible files on your USB device.
- The files on the USB device fails to open.
- When you try to access your USB device, the Mac system asks you to format it.
If you see the above symptoms then it possibly means that your USB drive is corrupted. After the diagnosis, you need to plan on how to recover your data from the corrupted device. After all, it might contain valuable information such as photos, videos, essential documents, etc. and losing them can cause you a lot of distress. Let us explore the different ways by which you can recover your data from a corrupted USB drive.
Method 1: Updating your USB driver
Sometimes, simply updating the USB driver can fix the device. The step by step process is listed below:
- Connect your USB drive to the Mac device
- Then go to the website of your USB manufacturer.
- Look for the support and downloads page.
- Next, chose Mac compatible software.
- Then click on the required driver installer/software.
- Download and install the USB driver.
- After the download, eject the external USB driver safely.
- Wait for some time and then reinsert the USB device into your Mac.
- Then restart your Mac. There is a possibility that the USB drive might start to work normally.
Method 2: Use the First Aid feature of your Mac’s Disk Utility
- Open Spotlight on your Mac by pressing Command+Spacebar.
- Open Disk Utility function by typing ‘disk utility’. Then press Return
- Under the View menu, select Show All Devices.
- Next, select the corrupt USB drive from the sidebar.
- A First Aid tab will be present. Click on that. Upon clicking, a dialog box will open. Confirm the repair action.
- Disk Utility will then attempt to repair the corrupt USB drive. This feature also might fix the issues in your USB device.
Method 3: Use a data recovery software
Data recovery software is a specialized software category that is designed to recover data from any loss scenario. It can also work to restore your valuable data from the corrupt USB device. You need to insert the corrupt USB device in your Mac and then run the mac data recovery software. There are plenty of software available in the market which can do the task for you. You need to follow the instructions and recover the data. One example is Stellar Data Recovery, which is an advanced tool, tailor-made to recover any type of file.
Once your data has been recovered, the next step is to fix your corrupt USB device. You can follow the step by step guidelines below:
How to fix your corrupt USB driver after data recovery?
Step 1: Open disk utility and then from the sidebar, select the USB drive.
Step 2: Click on the Erase tab.
Step 3: A dialog box will open which will ask you to enter a name, select format, and partition map. Fill the fields and click on Erase.
Step 4: After the erasure process, you can quit Disk Utility.
If the above steps do not work then you can opt for a professional file erasure software. A file erasure software works by overwriting on top of your data, once or multiple times.
This way the data in the USB drive gets completely wiped out. As with data recovery software, there are plenty of file erasure software in the market. You can try BitRaser File Eraser, a trusted file erasure software, which can assure you of a permanent erasure.
In this blog, we discussed about the different methods to recover data from a corrupted USB device. The steps, detailed above can help you in protecting your valuable data from permanent loss. You can choose the built-in functions in your Mac (steps 1 and 2) and if it doesn’t work then you can go for a Data Recovery software (Method 3). Once the data has been recovered, you need to permanently wipe the contents in your hard drive, so that the USB drive be used further.