USB flash drives are truly a marvel of modern technology, making data storage and transfer effortless. However, much like any other piece of technology, they are not immune to problems. We often find ourselves grappling with issues like unexpected drive ejections, read/write errors, corrupt data, and even physical damage. Yet, the question remains: should we abandon the use of USB drives altogether? Definitely not! This comprehensive guide will take you through how to navigate these issues and recover your precious data from a damaged USB drive.
A frequent issue that USB drive users face is the inability to safely eject the drive. This typically occurs when you try to remove the USB drive via the ‘Remove Media’ button or the ‘Eject’ option. Several error messages might appear, such as:
These messages suggest that the device is currently in use and cannot be safely removed. The system is advising you to halt all actions before removing the storage device. This problem typically arises because your files, located in the USB storage, are still open and in use by other programs, or because the operating system is accessing the device. To avoid damage, the system prevents ejection and displays a “Problem ejecting USB mass Storage Device” Error.
However, if you abruptly unplug the USB drive without safely ejecting it, there’s a high chance that your data, or even the drive itself, will sustain damage. Therefore, it’s vital to learn how to fix this error and recover data from your flash drive.
There are several methods to solve an ejecting USB storage device error. Let’s discuss nine potential solutions:
The first avenue to explore is checking whether all files and programs on your computer are closed. If they aren’t, close them, then try ejecting the USB drive again. You can also refresh your desktop screen by right-clicking an empty area and selecting ‘Refresh’.
If you forcibly eject your USB drive without using safe mode, you risk losing or corrupting your data. If the ‘Remove hardware’ icon warns of potential data loss, follow these steps to safely unplug the device:
If the above methods don’t work, you can try ejecting the USB device through ‘This PC’. Locate your external USB device in ‘This PC’, right-click it, and select the ‘Eject’ option.
Your Device Manager allows you to manage USB drives connected to your computer. You can also use it to eject a USB drive. Here’s how:
Disk Management is another handy tool in Windows computers. If you’re using Windows 10, 8, or 7, you can use it to eject a USB flash drive:
Here are three simple steps to remove your device safely. You can use any of the steps that work best for you.
If you encounter a “problem ejecting mass storage device” error, the first thing you should do is check whether any files or programs are still running. Ensure you have closed the files or programs on your storage device as they could prevent Windows from ejecting the USB drive.
Check the Taskbar to see if any programs are running or if any files are open. Pay close attention to combined task buttons as they may be hiding an open file. If there are no active files or programs, check the processes running in the background with the Task Manager.
Some processes are crucial to your PC’s operation, and closing them can cause problems. If you’re unsure about this step, please skip it to avoid causing another problem.
Applications and processes accessing your USB drive may prevent you from ejecting the external drive. If you’re unsure how to close them, you can simply log out of your system. There are different ways to log out of various Windows systems:
After logging out, log back into your account and try to eject the storage device. You’ll likely not encounter the error again.
If all else fails, restarting your computer might be your best option. A comprehensive restart will automatically close all running programs, and you can eject your USB device once the system reboots.
In the unfortunate event that you have unplugged the USB drive without safely ejecting it, your data could be corrupted. In the following section, we’ll introduce a solution to recover your data and files from a corrupted USB flash drive.
Before formatting the USB drive, we strongly recommend you retrieve data from the broken USB drive. Recovering data after formatting is significantly harder. For this, you can use data recovery software like RecoveryMaster, which is ideal for recovering lost data on any storage device and useful in repairing corrupted files. Here are the steps on how to recover files from a damaged USB stick using RecoveryMaster.
Step 1 – Connect Your USB Drive and Initiate the Process
Step 2 – Preview and Recover the Files After the process is completed, a pop-up notification will display the recovered files.
A USB stick can get damaged in numerous ways. Some of the most common causes include:
A RAW USB device can be fixed in multiple ways, including:
In case these methods do not work, you might need to seek help from data recovery specialists, who are adept at salvaging data, even from disks and devices that might seem too damaged for recovery. One such service is the CleverFiles Data Recovery Center, which can help you recover data from a seemingly impossible situation.
In conclusion, while it’s essential to maintain the health and safety of your USB drives, unforeseen issues can arise. However, with the right knowledge and tools, you can recover your data and continue using these convenient storage devices. The key is to ensure you have reliable data recovery software, such as RecoveryMaster, at your disposal.