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Formatted USB Drive: 2021 Tutorial to Recover Deleted Data

Sometimes after you connect the USB drive to the Windows computer, you may get a message that says “You need to format the drive before you can use it.

  • Do you want to format it? “.
  • Do not rush, because formatting will clean all the data that you keep on the drive?

If you carelessly or intentionally click “Format disk”, you won’t be able to access the files stored on the flash drive or the USB drive anymore.

  • Is there a safe, fast solution to recover data from the formatted flash drive?
  • How can I solve the “USB Drive not Formatted” error and then access the important data properly?

In this article, you will learn how to use the backup file or third-party software like MiniTool Power Data Recovery to recover the lost data step by step after formatting the USB drive.

Part 1. Solutions to Recover Formatted Files from USB Drive

Formatted USB Drive

Recover formatted files from backup files

Data loss is inevitable due to many unexpected reasons, such as mistaken data deletion, accidental partition formatting or deletion, hardware damage, virus attack, system crash, etc. Backing up data regularly is a good precaution to avoid the risk of losing your valuable files.

For instance, after you format the USB drive accidentally, you can quickly restore lost data from backup files. (RelatedHow to recover files after cut and paste).

  • What if you have a saved backup of your data?
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The most feasible way to recover formatted files from the USB drive is either through data recovery companies or data recovery software.

If you do not have much time to learn how to use computer tools to get back the lost data, you could seek help from the data recovery companies and ask the professionals to recover lost data from the formatted drive for you. Some data recovery companies charge a per-gigabyte fee, some data specialists get paid on an hourly basis.

If you want to safeguard data privacy, you could choose professional data recovery software and then recover formatted files by yourself. Another advantage of this method is that that it’s more budget-friendly than the data recovery services.

In this post, I will show you how to use MiniTool Power Data Recovery to recover files from the formatted USB.

Recover Data from Formatted USB Flash Drive – Detailed Tutorial

  • Step 1. Download MiniTool Power Data Recovery from the official site, install the program and launch it. You will see the interface like this.
Formatted USB Drive

On the main interface of this full-blown free data recovery software, you can see 4 different data recovery modules, each of which is designed for different data loss scenarios.

  • This PC - You could choose this data recovery module when you want to recover the lost or deleted data from the damaged, RAW or formatted partitions on your HDD/SSD. Simply put, this data recovery module allows you to you can recover your files and folders as long as the partition exists.
  • Removable Disk Drive – This module is designed to recover the lost photos, music files, videos, office files, etc from flash drives and memory sticks.
  • Hard Disk Drive - This module is mostly used for recovering files from deleted or lost partition after Windows re-installation.
  • CD/DVD Drive - It is useful for you if you plan to recover data from the formatted or erased CD/DVDs.
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Here, you should select “Removable Disk Drive” to recover the files after formatting the USB

  • Step 2. Select your USB drive and scan the data.

To guarantee the best possible data recovery result, it is recommended to wait till the full scan finishes.

Formatted USB Drive

If you only want to recover certain types of files, you can click the “Settings” tab to specify the needed file system (like FAT12/16/32, NTFS, and HFS+) and file types (such as documents like Microsoft Word, archive, graphics/pictures, audio, email, and more).

Formatted USB Drive
  • Step 3. Select all the files you need, then click the “Save” button that is in the lower right corner to save them.

Be warned that you should not directly store the needed files to the original partition on your USB drive, otherwise, the deleted data will be overwritten and you won’t be able to get lost files back anymore.

Formatted USB Drive

When the scanning process is completed, you can export the scanning results to a specified safe place. Later you could load the previous scanning results to the software, so you do not have to scan your USB drive again. Pay attention – do not export the scanning results to the location where data loss happens, because that operation will overwrite the lost data (see picture below).

Formatted USB Drive

Now you are all set.

Part 2. What to Do when Meeting the “USB Drive not Formatted” Error?

Next time when you mistakenly format a USB drive, you could stop using the drive and follow the instructions above to use backup files or the professional data recovery to get lost data back as soon as possible. As long as the lost files are not overwritten, you can recover them successfully.

  • But what can we do if the “USB Drive not Formatted” error occurs?
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To be more specific, when you access your USB drive to your computer, a message suddenly appears on the screen – “You need to format the drive before you can use it. Do you want to format it?” What is your next move?

Formatted USB Drive

At this time, you cannot read the USB drive data. Besides, the system will ask you to format the disk, then you can read it. Please think twice. Once you click on “Format disk”, you will lose all original data immediately.

People who have got around the “USB Drive not Formatted” error do 2 things. First, do not format the drive, use professional data recovery software like MiniTool Power Data Recovery to recover all important data to a safe place. Then, format this USB drive.

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