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Windows 7: Help! Flash drive is seconds from disaster

07 Feb 2015   #1
ish4d0w

Microsoft® Windows 7 Professional 64-bit
 
 
Help! Flash drive is seconds from disaster

Hi!

Today I got a really strange problem! I know we have great experts here so I would like to ask you guys, what do you think?

I got a 32 GB flashdrive (Corsair Voyager USB 3.0) about a year or two old. No problems so far. Until now.
Suddenly (from one day to the another) it started to give me an error message: "Drive is write protected".
I'm not able to save files anymore to it. But I can still access it and I can see the directory and file list.

This doesn't look right so I started to get data off of it immediately.
Here's the result. This is insane. Look at the numbers! It's showing I have a 293 GB folder on a 32 GB flashdrive! (that folder shouldn't be larger than 5 GB).

Check out this picture. I tried to rightclick, properties, and then do disk repair (chkdsk), it cannot access it. I tried it on different computers (also Windows 7 and I even tried it on a macbook), its the same. They all say write protected.

Help me! What do I do now? I need those files + I need this drive to get back working. It might still have warranty, but I'm not sure. But I'm afraid they would delete my files.

Edit: wow check out pic 2 too!
Help! Flash drive is seconds from disaster-flashdrive.png

Help! Flash drive is seconds from disaster-flashdrive2.png



(keywords for google) > flash drive problem fail readonly read only write protected cant write can't unable to save read backup back up copy size pen thumb key usb usb3 3.0 how to recover data from flash drive




My System SpecsSystem Spec
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07 Feb 2015   #2
LMiller7

Windows 7 Pro 64 bit
 
 

It appears that the drive is seriously corrupted and may need to be replaced. I would not trust it.

Flash drives are the least reliable of modern storage media and add to that the possibility that they may be lost, stolen, or physically damaged. Such drives should not be trusted as primary storage of important files but used primarily as a transport media. All important files, wherever they are stored, require at least one backup copy while those of particular importance need 2 or more backup copies. Having no backups is asking for trouble. Recovery methods after a problem develops cannot be relied on.

It may be possible to recover some of your files but I have never had the need.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
07 Feb 2015   #3
ignatzatsonic

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 7 Home Premium SP1, 64-bit
 
 

I've had that write protected error myself. I wasn't able to recover anything and didn't break my neck trying because the data wasn't critical.

LMiller7 is right. USB thumb drives are flimsy commodities. They work for a while and then don't. Don't rely on them for anything important. They are a convenience only.

As far as I know, the best tools to try would be PhotoRec and TestDisk. I've never used either.

Get them in one package here:

PhotoRec - CGSecurity

Below is member Jumanji's guide to using PhotoRec:

Guide to using PhotoRec recovery software.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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07 Feb 2015   #4
ish4d0w

Microsoft® Windows 7 Professional 64-bit
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by LMiller7 View Post
It appears that the drive is seriously corrupted and may need to be replaced. I would not trust it.
Yes you are definitely right.


Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by LMiller7 View Post
Flash drives are the least reliable of modern storage media and add to that the possibility that they may be lost, stolen, or physically damaged. Such drives should not be trusted as primary storage of important files but used primarily as a transport media. All important files, wherever they are stored, require at least one backup copy while those of particular importance need 2 or more backup copies. Having no backups is asking for trouble. Recovery methods after a problem develops cannot be relied on.

It may be possible to recover some of your files but I have never had the need.
Of course I have copies of many things on the drive but there are still some data which I'd like to pull. It seems I have some luck because I'm still able to read some files (but not all)



Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by ignatzatsonic View Post
I've had that write protected error myself. I wasn't able to recover anything and didn't break my neck trying because the data wasn't critical.

LMiller7 is right. USB thumb drives are flimsy commodities. They work for a while and then don't. Don't rely on them for anything important. They are a convenience only.

As far as I know, the best tools to try would be PhotoRec and TestDisk. I've never used either.

Get them in one package here:

PhotoRec - CGSecurity

Below is member Jumanji's guide to using PhotoRec:

Guide to using PhotoRec recovery software.
Thank you! This guide is great! I'll definitely give it a go in a few days and I'll report back with the results, just in case someone finds this thread later with a similar problem.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
08 Feb 2015   #5
ish4d0w

Microsoft® Windows 7 Professional 64-bit
 
 

I managed to pull some data.

I can not even format the disk! It says write protected. How do I format it?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
08 Feb 2015   #6
LMiller7

Windows 7 Pro 64 bit
 
 

Most likely the data is corrupted because of some internal failure which a format will not correct. While it may be possible to format the drive I would never trust it. Flash drives usually fail without warning or apparent cause.

Best to replace the drive.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
08 Feb 2015   #7
ignatzatsonic

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 7 Home Premium SP1, 64-bit
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by ish4d0w View Post
I managed to pull some data.

I can not even format the disk! It says write protected. How do I format it?
Windows isn't very flexible in the way it allows you to format USB drives, so there are a variety of downloadable tools out there that give you more control over file system and allocation unit size.

But they wouldn't help you get around a drive failure such as you've experienced, probably a controller issue.

If you are using those tools you downloaded correctly, I'd say there is nothing left to do.

You could RMA the drive to the manufacturer if it's under warranty and you have no anxiety over turning over private data to the manufacturer who may be able to read it using some heroic measures or tools unavailable to you. I don't know what that risk is, but I don't RMA drives due to privacy concerns.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
15 Mar 2015   #8
ish4d0w

Microsoft® Windows 7 Professional 64-bit
 
 

Okay thanks everyone. As per your suggestions, I returned it in warranty. It seems there is no other way around.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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