USB Flash Drive Data Recovery Blog

Providing expert advice on broken flash drive repair and flash drive data recovery.


Flash Drive Not Recognized? The Flash Drive Pros Can Recover Your Files in a Flash!

Ryan Stutzman - Friday, February 15, 2013

Since you found this blog post, chances are you just plugged your flash drive into your computer, but rather than accessing all your important files as usual, you got a small notification at the bottom right of your screen saying “Flash Drive Not Recognized” or “USB Device Not Recognized.” This is actually a very common problem with USB flash drives. 

Several things can cause a flash drive to stop working. The most common causes are failed components or USB connector damage. While a sure sign of physical damage is a loose or bent connector, the damage is often not so obvious. 

The good news is there is a very good chance all your files can be recovered!

Flash Drive Data Recovery Software

Flash drive data recovery software can sometimes recover files from flash drives that ask to be formatted, have become corrupted, or have even been erased, but software can't recover files from a physically damaged flash drive. So it's not going to help in your case. 

Guaranteed Flash Drive Data Recovery Service

The FlashDrivePros data recovery engineers are able to quickly repair any thumb drive with almost any type of damage, and at a price much lower than other data recovery labs. We have a 94% success rate will only charge after we recover your files. Otherwise you pay nothing. We will even pay for for return shipping.

To get started, just fill out our service request form then ship your flash drive to our office in Seattle. As soon as we recover your files, you will be able to download them from our secure server. Or your files can also be returned on a new flash drive. 

Please don't hesitate to give us a call or send us an email if you have any questions. We would be happy to speak with you about our flash drive recovery service or broken flash drive repair in general. 

FlashDrivePros LLC
888-806-6567
support@flashdrivepros.com

What Makes FlashDrivePros Better?

Ryan Stutzman - Monday, December 31, 2012

When my business partner and I started FlashDrivePros in 2009, we took a good, hard look at the other data recovery companies out there providing flash drive data recovery services, and also spoke with people in need of those services. By doing so we hoped to discover ways in which our new company could stand out and hopefully do a better job. It seems to have worked. Here's what people were telling us:

I want to know how much I'm going to pay up front.

The problem: We found that many data recovery companies had confusing, variable pricing structures which left the customer anxious about what the final bill was going to be. It even seemed that some companies might be using pricing structures that were deliberately convoluted in order to get as much of the customer's money as possible. This practice has been confirmed by dozens of conversations we've had with customers who went to "the other guys" first. 

Our response: We offer 100% fixed-rate pricing. Our customers know exactly what they are going to pay when they submit their recovery service request

I want immediate and personalized customer service from friendly and intelligent staff. 

The problem: A few of the other companies made it difficult to get a hold of a live person on the telephone and didn't publish an email address. Instead, they often used a contact form with one of those annoying captchas at the bottom that always tells you've entered the wrong text when you haven't. 

Our response: Our 800 number (888-806-6567) and email address (support@flashdrivepros.com) is published all over our website and we encourage our potential customers to give us a call. Sean, the general manager, takes every phone call and provides the friendly and intelligent support people want but rarely find.

I prefer a company with an excellent reputation and lots of third-party reviews. 

The problem: Finding real and unbiased reviews of the other companies was a serious challenge. Sure there were a few testimonials on their websites, but of course there's no way to no if they are real or fabricated. 

Our response: We invite all our customers to leave a review on our Facebook page letting the world know about their experience working with FlashDrivePros. These reviews are always the exact words of the client and can't be made up or modified by us. We now have several hundred reviews on our Facebook Page for anyone to read. 

I need to get my files back fast!

The problem: Other companies' websites had very little information about how long the recovery might take and the information we did find indicated that it could take well over a month.

Our response: We only hire staff and engineers with the same sense of urgency as our clients. We also decided to offer express services to anyone willing to pay a little extra. 

I only want to pay if the recovery job is a success. 

The problem: Most companies charge a diagnostic fee and return shipping. This seemed to us like a subtle disincentive for the company to do their very best work at recovering the data. They get paid either way after all.

Our response: If the rare event (about 4%) that we can't recover the files, there is no charge and we even cover the cost of return shipping. 

Doing these five things, as well as adhering to many other principles that we've found to be important, our company has indeed become one of the most popular places to get flash drive data recovery.


FREE Flash Drive Data Recovery for the Next 5 People Who...

Ryan Stutzman - Thursday, August 16, 2012

1. Order our standard or student flash drive data recovery service.

2. Record a short video testimonial describing what happened to your flash drive and your experience working with FlashDrivePros to get your files back.

3. Let us post your video on our Youtube channel and website. 

That's it! The first five people to send us their video after using our service will get a full refund!

Free Flash Drive Repair Services

Fine Print: Please do not let us know you are planning to send us your video until after your files have been recovered and the job is complete. Your video should be between 1 and 3 minutes long and be of reasonably good quality. Feel free to use the questions below as a template:

  • What happened to your flash drive? 
  • How important were the files that you needed recovered?
  • How did you feel when you realized you couldn't access your files?
  • How did you find out about FlashDrivePros?
  • What are the reasons you chose FlashDrivePros over another company?
  • Did FlashDrivePros recover all your data?
  • Please describe the quality of service you received?
  • Would you recommend FlashDrivePros to a friend?
  • Do you have any advice for someone who is unsure about sending a broken flash drive to FlashDrivePros?

P.S. The person with the most interesting and well-made video will get a free 16GB Super Speed USB 3.0 flash drive loaded with a free copy of our automatic backup software, FDP Sync.

Cloud Storage vs. Flash Drives: Which is Best for YOU?

Ryan Stutzman - Monday, July 16, 2012
Flash Drives vs Cloud Storage

As if you hadn't noticed, cloud storage is all the rage these days. Ever since Dropbox made cloud storage simple and available to the masses back in 2007, a whole slew of companies, including both start-ups and stalwarts, have been busy fighting to be #1 in this mufti-billion dollar industry that until just a few years ago didn't even exist. The list of start-ups to hit the cloud storage stage includes names like Box.net, Mozy, Jungle Disk, SugarSync, Carbonite, MediaFire, and SugarOak, to name just a few. 



And several years behind yet never to be outdone, the big names in tech have also now begun vying for their own piece of pie. Wealthy tech giants Amazon, Apple, Google and Microsoft have all recently launched their own cloud-based storage solutions, naturally doing their best to drive small guys like Dropbox (who kinda pioneered the whole idea of simple, personal cloud storage) out of business. But, I digress. 


Many ex-flash drive aficionados, compelled by the benefits of the cloud, have already made the switch. Their USB flash drives have been benched for all but the occasional computer-computer file transfer at home. And for those ex-flashophiles who have ever lost important data on a failed or lost flash drive, cloud storage is an especially attractive alternative.

Nonetheless, there are still a few folks out there who, for different reasons, are not ready to retire their USB sticks in lieu of some newfangled technology with such an ephemeral name as “the cloud.” But resistance to change and misguided phobias aside, there are definitely a few benefits to sticking with that USB; especially when it comes to security.

To help you make an informed decision about where and how you store your personal documents, we’ve put together a list of some pros and cons for both cloud storage and USB flash drives.

For all you faithful out there still using flash drives, tell us, what keeps you from going over to the grey side? Or if you have made the switch to cloud based file storage and ditched your flash drive, what compelled you to do so? Let us know and might just send you something nice!

Pros & Cons of Cloud Storage

Pros

Cons

  • It's easy to purchase additional storage capacity when you need it
  • You can access and synchronize your files across all your internet enabled devices
  • Files sharing is fast and simple
  • The threat of viruses is low
  • Many cloud storage companies offer free accounts
  • There are some very useful third-party apps

 

  • Data recovery is often extremely complex, expensive, and has a relatively low success rate
  • Files and personal information is potentially available to creative hackers
  • Transfer speed is limited by your internet connection
  • Transferring files over a network is inherently less secure than storing your files locally
  • You're often required to install software on all your devices

Pros & Cons of USB Flash Drives

Pros

Cons

  • Allows you to maintain physical custody and security of your files
  • No need for internet to access
  • The potential for extremely fast transfer speeds
  • You can run many applications and even operating systems directly on a flash drive
  • Susceptible to damage, loss and theft.
  • Limited service life
  • Automatic backup usually isn’t available  without purchasing third-party software
  • Adding more space requires purchasing a new flash drive
  • High potential for a virus infections

Let us know if we missed anything and we’ll add it to the list.

As always, if you found this info useful, interesting or mildly entertaining, please share it!

Flash Drive Not Showing Up

Ryan Stutzman - Wednesday, May 30, 2012


Here’s a typical scenario: You turn on your computer, take your USB flash drive out of your pocket and plug it in, but instead of that familiar ding letting you know your computer recognizes the flash drive, there’s nothing. No sound, no pop-up window, no light, no nothing. You try it in another computer but it’s the same thing. This is about the moment all the blood rushes from your face as you remember just how much important stuff you have on that memory stick, and you don’t have a backup. Of course, you should have had a backup. Especially since there are backup programs out there like FDP Sync that will do the job automatically. But hindsight is 20/20, right?

Why Is My Flash Drive Not Recognized?

There are several reasons your flash drive might not be showing up. While there is no way to know for sure without removing the case and performing a diagnostic, physical damage is the most common reason a flash drive isn’t detected. The connection between the USB connector and the circuit board can become disconnected after even normal use. A telltale sign is a loose or bent connector, but sometimes the damage is undetectable with the naked eye.

Getting the Files off Your Unrecognized Flash Drive

The first step when troubleshooting a flash drive that doesn’t show up is to try it on several computers, preferably with different operating systems. If it isn’t showing up in any computer, you have two options. If you are “techy” and willing to risk causing further damage to your flash drive, you can try to fix the flash drive yourself. Your other option is to send it to a reputable data recovery company like FlashDrivePros for a free analysis.

How to Repair a Flash Drive Yourself

If you accept the risk and choose to repair your flash drive yourself, the first step is to apply light pressure to either side of the flash drive while it is inserted. Make sure the sound on your computer is on so you will hear the “ding” if the connection is momentarily reestablished. If you do get an indication, you can try to hold your flash drive in the position that causes it to show up. While you hold it in place, ask someone to access the drive and save your files to your computer. This requires a steady hand and if you have a lot of data on your flash drive, you might have to hold it in the same position for a long time.

When All Else Fails

If after all this your flash drive still refuses to be recognized, you’re going to need some help from a pro. The FlashDrivePros has recovered the data from thousands of unrecognized flash drives. We have a no data-no fee policy on all our services and will even pay return shipping in the event your files cannot be recovered. With our 94% success rate, your scenario is likely to have a very happy ending.

Give us a call or send us an email to speak with a data recovery engineer today.

Toll Free 888-806-6567

support@flashdrivepros.com

Best Flash Drive Data Recovery Software

Ryan Stutzman - Monday, May 28, 2012
For the last few years, FlashDrivePros has been working tirelessly to develop the best flash drive data recovery software on the planet. Last December we released the first version of FDP Wizard, our proprietary data recovery software designed specifically for USB flash drives and camera memory cards. FDP Wizard is our attempt to create data recovery software that is easy to use, fast and recovers as many files as possible.



Since we released FDP Wizard last December, the data recovery application has been well received by our clients. Not only because it is incredibly easy to use, but also because we offer a full refund to anyone whose files cannot be recovered with software and choose to use our data recovery services. 

One key feature of FDP Wizard that distinguishes it from other types of flash drive data recovery software is actually what it doesn’t have. Most file recovery programs are designed for a wide array of storage devices in addition to USB flash drives and memory cards. As a consequence, many data recovery apps are confusing and difficult to use because of their many settings and features that don’t apply to your standard flash drive. Since FDP Wizard was designed specifically for NAND flash storage devices, it has only those features and settings that apply to flash drive data recovery. This makes our data recovery software much more efficient and easy to use than other brands. 

Another feature of FDP Wizard that has received positive feedback is the wizard style user interface that guides you through the process of recovering the data from your flash drive. We’ve broken the process down into five simple steps that anyone can follow even if they have never used data recovery software before. Below is a description of how FDP Wizard recovers files from a malfunctioning flash drive.



The first step is to enter your license key. If you don’t already have a license, you can purchase an activation key by selecting “get activation key” and then clicking the “next” button at the bottom.



The second step provides information about what types of damage flash drive data recovery software will work for. Specifically, if it appears your flash drive is physically damaged, FDP Wizard or any other data recovery application will not work. Instead, you should seek out a reputable flash drive data recovery service like that provided by FlashDrivePros. 



The third step is where you select the flash drive you want to recover. Make sure you select the correct drive. If you are unsure, you can remove the flash drive and take note of which drive letter disappears. 



Next, select the destination folder on your computer’s hard drive where you wish to save the recovered files. CAUTION: Make sure you don’t select the drive being recovered as the destination folder or your lost files may be overwritten making recovery impossible. 



The fifth and final step is where the magic happens and FDP Wizard recovers your files and folders to your computer. 



If FDP Wizard doesn’t recover the files you were hoping to recover or you are unsatisfied for any reason, you can apply the purchase price towards any of our in-house data recovery services.

When Flash Drive Recovery Is Impossible

Ryan Stutzman - Tuesday, March 06, 2012

Over the years, the Flash Drive Pros have become serious black belts in the art of data recovery from flash drives, as our 94% success rate and no-data, no-fee policy can attest. But what about the other 6% whose files cannot be recovered? Sure, they get a full refund and even get their flash drive mailed back to them for free. But why couldn't their files be recovered? Is there any hope?

Physical Damage to NAND Flash Memory Chips



The most common reason that files can't be recovered from a flash is physical damage to the NAND Flash chips. Small, hair-line fractures that are often only visible under magnification are fairly common. In this situation, data recovery is impossible. 

Another common cause of an unrecoverable flash drive is broken or missing pins on the NAND chip. Broken pins don't always mean the flash drive files can't be recovered since several of the NAND chip pins are not used. Even if the pins are used and have been bent or broken, they can sometimes be bent back into position or replaced and reattached to the circuit board making recover possible.

Too Many Bad Blocks in NAND Chips




Flash memory stores your data in blocks of information that are comprised of many small physical transistor gates. The chief benefit of flash memory is that it is non-volatile and has no moving parts as in a traditional spinning hard drive. The down side is that those transistor gates can only withstand so many read/write cycles before they wear out and become useless. Flash drive manufacturers use a process called "wear leveling" to make sure all gates put in their fair share of the work. Usually, dead gates on in NAND flash are not a big deal. However, when the ratio of good to bad blocks reaches a certain threshold, the NAND chip can stop working completely. Is this situation recovery is usually not possible.

Erased and Formatted Flash Drives

Data on flash drives that have been erased or formatted can often be recovered. When data is erased on a flash drive, is isn't actually removed but rather is set to be overwritten at some point in the future. As long as the data has not been overwritten, is can usually be recovered. The important thing is to unplug your flash drive as soon as it happens to make sure the underlying data on your flash drive is not damaged. 

If your flash drive has become damaged or inaccessible for any reason, give us a call and we can probably tell you the odds of a successful recovery.

FlashDrivePros LLC are global leaders in flash drive repair and data recovery. With advanced data recovery labs in the US, Europe and Asia, we have recovered millions of files from thousands of flash drive for clients all over the world. We offer much lower prices, faster turn-around and better service than other data recovery companies. Order our services today and find out for yourself.

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Three Most Common Types of Flash Drive Failure

Ryan Stutzman - Friday, March 02, 2012

FLASH DRIVES FAIL for all sorts of reasons, and we at FlashDrivePros LLC have certainly seen our share of issues over the years. Here are the top three causes of flash drive failure that we come across on a regular basis.

Broken Flash Drive Connectors




The most common type of flash drive damage is a broken USB connector. When a flash drive is sticking out of the side of a laptop or the front of a PC tower, it's very easy to bump or kick it causing the connector to bend or even break off completely. When this happens, it's very important to unplug the flash drive and not to plug it back in. When a flash drive's connector is bent, sometimes the power lead will be torn loose from the circuit board and short circuit across other components or data connections. Plugging it in in such a state could cause serious damage and make recovery very difficult or even impossible. 

Sometimes people with soldering iron experience will try to re-attach the broken leads themselves. However, more often than not, the solder pads have been torn off the circuit board leaving nothing for the solder to attach to. Is such cases, we will either rebuild the solder runs and solder pads. Or if the damage is too severe, we will either remove and attach the memeory chip(s) to a new identical circuit board or use one of our external NAND chip readers to access the raw data directly.


Failed Flash Drive Components

USB Flash Drive Parts that Fail


Sometimes one of a flash drive's components such as a micro-controller, oscillator, resistor or capacitor will burn out and need to be replaced. Having a very large inventory of old flash drives means we often have replacement parts on hand. If not, one options is to locate or purchase a flash drive of the exact same model to use for parts. 

From time to time a customer will ask us if they can use a flash drive after it has been repaired by the FlashDrivePros. This is not advisable since the process of repairing a flash drive for the purpose of data recovery is very different from the manufacturing process. Any flash drive that has been repaired by a data recovery shop should not be used as it will likely stop working very soon. 


Flash Drive File System Damage




Corrupted Flash Drive Files

Pulling a flash drive out while files are still transfering, power surges, viruses, and a host of other things cause file system damage in flash drives. When file system damage occurs, we usually have to use advanced command-line software tools to locate, repair and rebuild the data. This can be a very difficult and time-consuming process. One way to protect against file system damage is to always use the "safely remove hardware" feature in Windows. 


A Word About Flash Drive Backup Software


Flash Drive Backup

Of course, if you keep an up-to-date backup of your flash drive files, the only thing you have to worry about is the cost of replacing a broken flash drive rather than loosing all your important (often irreplaceable) files. FDP Sync automatically syncronizes all the files on your flash drive with a special backup folder on your PC or laptop. Now that you know the most common ways flash drives can fail, there's no excuse for not downloading a free trial version today.

New Affiliates Get Double Commissions Until March 31!

Ryan Stutzman - Thursday, February 16, 2012

FlashDrivePros Affiliates Earn Cash

Interested in becoming a reseller or affiliate marketer of FlashDrivePros high-speed, low cost flash drive data recovery service? Now is definitely the time to sign up! From now until March 31st, all new affiliates who sign up for one of our referral programs will earn double commissions on every referral. 

We offer four standard programs for other companies and individuals to start earning money as affiliates or resellers of our flash drive recovery services. For larger companies interested in partnering with FlashDrivePros, we are often able to develop a plan tailored to your clients' needs. 

Visit our Affiliates Page to learn more about the various programs and commission levels. 

With the fast turn-around and low cost of our services, computer repair shops and other data recovery labs interested in offering "white label" flash drive recovery services to their local clients are able to create a substantial source of additional revenue by partnering with FlashDrivePros LLC. Call or email us today if you would like to discuss how your company might be able to work with the pros. 



The Flash Drive Data Recovery Business

Ryan Stutzman - Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Data recovery is one of those services that is there when you need it, but it’s usually not something you think about, talk about, or share on Facebook. Unless, of course, you just lost the last few years’ worth of work on a book manuscript, doctoral dissertation, research project, etc. Likewise, data recovery companies like FlashDriverPros LLC tend to stay out of the limelight, both because people rarely need data recovery services, and because when folks do need to recover their lost files, they usually don’t want the whole world to know that they didn't have an up-to-date backup. All this to say, data recovery can sometimes feel like thankless work. 

Over the last few decades, digital files have definitely become a very important part our lives. Things like file cabinets, notepads, and school binders have been replaced by hard drives, laptops, and USB flash drives. Unfortunately, most of us have too much faith in our electronic gadgets. When disaster strikes, it’s important to have someone you can trust to recover your lost files quickly and for a fair price. Sadly, some data recovery companies have become known for taking advantage of people’s desperation to retrieve their important files and often charge prices in the $1,000s; a price that certainly defies reason. In fact, FlashDrivePros was founded to make fast and accurate data recovery available to those who couldn't afford it otherwise.

Students in particular seem prone to storing (and loosing) all their important digital documents on USB flash drives. And they rarely keep a backup. In 2011 alone, we recovered dozens of school documents for desperate students. And these were not just homework files that could have been replaced with some extra credit work. Several were doctoral dissertations, master’s thesis, and long-term research documents, representing tens of thousands of dollars and many years of research and hard work. Below is a small sample of our client’s stories they posted on Facebook page.

Katelyn Boyles - There really aren't enough words to explain how grateful I am!!! I'm an English major and pursuing graduate study in Creative Writing, and my flash drive had dozens of shorts stories and novel ideas, in addition to fifty plus poems that I've been working on for six years. Basically every document I had ever written, used, or received was on my flash drive and my laptop fell, snapping the head neatly off at the port. The campus tech people said it was hopeless; the local computer guys did too. But the Pros did it!!! Again, thank you!!!

Rhonda Blackwell-Flanagan – I had a flash drive that decided to die without warning me. My life's worth of work was on there. It was inconceivable the amount of mental anguish I experienced at the thought of all my data being gone. I investigated Flash Drive Pros to the 'inth' degree. I searched them on Google Earth, read every link on the BBB about them. I over-nighted my dead flash drive to them and four days later, I got an email, "Your Files Are Recovered Rhonda". What music to my ears. I teared up immediately.

Amy Prettyman Burns - You just recovered my life! Literally, 3 months before graduating with my masters, my flash drive breaks. You know, the one with EVERYTHING on it! Did I have a backup of the files? Nope, that was on my "to do" list that of course I never got around to doing. LUCKILY, you were able to recover my files and I have everything back! You are the BEST!!!! THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU!

Julie Nicole - I cannot even begin to express the gratitude and happiness I am feeling right now! With one week left in my first year of teaching and 3 days before final exams…I put the drive into the computer to find out it was broken! The most terrible 2 days of my life! My first year of teaching and 4 years of college on that thing! Not only did you guys recover all of my files, but I sent it out and received my files in less than a week. You saved my life! Thank you!

Tracy Brisson - FlashDrivePros rescued my business. After a trip to the beach and a bad packing job, my flash drive was split in two and a project I had been working on that was only 75% backed up was in jeopardy. If I hadn't got it back, I would be out thousands of income. Luckily, the rational part of my brain decided to search if there were any options and was blessed that I found this highly recommended service! Thank you! I will recommend you to all my friends, colleagues, and clients (college students).

Julie Townsend - I had 4+ years of schoolwork and projects that I thought were lost forever. PC Doctors charged just to look at my broken drive and tell me they couldn't fix it; Geek squad wanted to charge up to $1000 to recover the files! Flash Drive Pros seems like the only reliable place that doesn't try to take advantage of people!

BradTanya Simons - Over two years’ worth of work and research for my Master’s and thesis was on my flash drive that just stopped working! … by god-send I found Flashdrivepros.com!!! The service I received from them was impeccable.

We are always thankful to get feedback from our clients. It's your kind and encouraging words that help remind all of us at FlashDrivePros that we are here to serve the community as much as we are here to run a business!

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