Sometimes we think it is already dead. We are quick to decide to buy new one. Anyway it is much cheaper these days than three or five years ago. But before you rush to a computer store and buy a new Flash drive, there is nothing wrong if you try to recover it. After all, when you recover damaged USB flash drive, it will save you a lot of time, money, and most of all the important files you kept for years.

Granted that your USB flash drive is not yet totally dead but just maybe let’s say, playing dead. Ops! Now you know it’s not only dogs who can play dead… Yes, often times it is not yet that dead specially if it is working fine before that sudden unwanted situation happened. Some problems in the file system may have cause that to happen. Chances are, you can still fix that if you follow the steps carefully. You have to, specially if you have to travel miles and miles away before you can see a computer store.

Recover damaged USB flash drive using CMD

Sometimes your computer will prompt you to format the flash drive saying that it is not formatted so it suggest that you have to format it. Doing so will save it, but it will also erase your files. So, if you do not want something like that to happen, CMD is your best choice to repair and recover damaged USB flash drive. This requires no formatting, so your files are safe. No data loss. You can also do the same for SD cards, external hard drive, and your internal hard drive.

In this simple tutorial, I use a computer running windows 8.1.


  1. Plug in the USB flash drive into your personal computer.
  2. Right-click the START BUTTON and choose COMMAND PROMPT
  3. Type the following command and press your ENTER key.
    chkdsk h: /f

recover dead usb flash drive

Chkdsk will tell windows to check and fix your flash drive’s file system. The process will take few minutes. When it is done, windows will prompt a message telling you that the file system is fixed. Check windows explorer and see if your USB Flash drive is accessible again. If it is, then it’s a success!

Note that the drive letter H: may differ in your case. Just check your windows explorer to see what is your USB flash drive’s letter. Also consider the spaces in the command.

Also read: How to Fix USB Flash Drive Hidden Files to know how to check your windows explorer.


There are many ways to kill a cat, but this way of fixing your damaged USB Flash Drive is straight forward and the fastest and provably the most effective way. It is also the most simple way.

If it happens that your USB Flash drive is not recovered, it only tells that it is the end of its life and you can do nothing to fix it. This time, you have to consider buying a new one.

Bottom line is, it is really important to always make a backup of your files somewhere else. Do not just rely on your flash drive. It is portable and is designed for easy moving and copying of files. With it you can carry your files wherever you go (except when you take a bath or dive into the sea). It is designed for portability but not for a really long lasting storage of files. So make a backup!

You can make a partition in your local drive C: and divide it into two and the second partition will serve as your file storage or backup storage. It is a good practice. So consider having multiple disk partition if you want to avoid data loss whenever your computer crashes.

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