Best USB Flash Drive Repair Tools

The Top 10 Best USB Flash Drive Repair Tools

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Written by Odysseas Kourafalos Odysseas Kourafalos Editor-in-Chief • 24 articles Odysseas Kourafalos, as the writer and chief editor at Handy Recovery, specializes in complex data recovery topics. Joining the team in late 2020, Odysseas quickly distinguished himself with his remarkable ability to grasp new topics rapidly and thoroughly. His meticulous approach to research and testing, which spans the entire spectrum from A to Z, rivals the precision of our QA specialists. LinkedIn Approved by Andrey Vasilyev Andrey Vasilyev Editor Andrey Vasilyev is an Editorial Advisor for Handy Recovery. Andrey is a software engineer expert with extensive expertise in data recovery, computer forensics, and data litigation. Andrey brings over 12 years of experience in software development, database administration, and hardware repair to the team. LinkedIn
Quick summary

We have compiled a rundown of the ten best pendrive repair tools for you to make an informed decision.

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Everybody has at least one USB flash drive, and we usually take them for granted. They're our mobile data pack and host the files we need everywhere. Unfortunately, however, they also occasionally fail.

Thankfully, there are ways to get back missing files, fix corrupted file systems, and keep using most USB flash drives after a mishap. Multiple USB flash drive repair utilities can help you address many such problems.

Why replace a working device when you could "fix it" with straightforward USB flash drive repair software? Let's see how!


When you can't access your USB flash drive's contents, the first thing to do is to ensure you eventually will. You should avoid using the device, for it could lead to further corruption. Instead, only "use it" with the proper USB flash drive repair tools depending on the problem, as we'll see in this article.

How to Tell If Your USB Drive Needs Repairing

Does your computer refuse to detect your USB flash drive no matter what you try? Unfortunately, in such cases, there's not much to do but recycle and replace the device.


As a Windows user, it's important to realize that a USB device might still be recognized in Device Manager even though it's impossible to access through File Explorer.

If, however, your device is detected, you'll probably be able to get your data back from it. Maybe you'll even fully fix your USB flash drive and keep using it as if nothing happened.

Before moving on to our complete ranking, here is a quick recap of the best USB stick repair tools.

What Are the Capabilities of the USB Repair Tools?

Multiple solutions fall under the somewhat vague term "USB repair tools". Although they can achieve the same result, repair a USB Flash Drive or other storage device connected through USB (like an external HDD, a portable enclosure for NVMe drives, etc.), they can also be radically different in various ways.

  • Error checking and correction: Some of the best USB repair tools specialize in checking storage devices for errors and attempting to correct them if they are found. For example, the CHKDSK tool that accompanies all versions of Windows and the third-party Victoria utility belong to that group.
  • Backup and cloning: Acting on a failing USB drive may drive it closer to the point of no return. In such cases, it's best to first use a backup or cloning tool before attempting anything else. This way, you can be sure your precious files will be safe even if an old and battered USB Flash Drive becomes completely unusable.
  • Data Recovery: Some apps can be considered "USB repair tools" even if they don't come with any actual repair features, and that's because they're still relevant and helpful when dealing with such issues. We're talking about data recovery solutions that might leave a USB Flash Drive "unfixed" after using them, but which are crucial for saving your precious files out of it.
  • Formatting and partitioning: Just like Alexander the Great "solved" the legendary Gordian Knot not by finding a way to untie it but by slicing through it with his sword, sometimes the easiest way of "repairing" a USB drive isn't by trying to find and "fix" every single error on it, but by "nuking" it. That's where formatting and partitioning solutions can help you perform the equivalent of "rebooting" the USB drive by erasing everything on it and recreating the data structures required for using it from scratch.

Some of those tools might come bundled with the operating system or be available as third-party downloadable software. Depending on the solution, they might require installation, work as standalone portable apps, or expect you to create bootable media and use them from there.

10 Best Tools to Repair Your USB Drive

The USB stick repair solutions we will see here are the best for dealing with multiple problems. If you know what you're dealing with, feel free to pick the best USB flash drive repair tool for the issue at hand.

However, we've arranged and listed them in a logical progression that prioritizes the integrity of your data, minimizes the possibility of data loss, and maximizes recovery potential.

1. Disk Drill

The first thing to do when dealing with a problematic USB stick is to ensure the precious data you had stored on it won't get lost. For that, there's nothing better than Disk Drill, one of the most straightforward but powerful data recovery apps worth adding to your USB stick repair utility collection.

In this article, we'll use Disk Drill to recover files from a non-accessible USB stick. Still, the app is capable of much more, so it's worth checking out our comprehensive review of this fantastic app to learn everything about it.


In the following guide, we'll take a complete byte-to-byte backup of a USB stick. This is a necessary precaution in case the problems are because of a hardware issue that could soon render the USB drive completely inaccessible and useless. We’ll then use this backup image instead of the USB stick for data recovery.

Are you confident your USB stick is working correctly and has no hardware problems? Then (and only then), you can skip the guide's first part and recover your files directly from it. However, it's best to go through all the presented steps to ensure your data will be recoverable even if your USB stick fails.

  1. Download Disk Drill from its official site and install it. With your USB stick connected to your PC and correctly detected, run Disk Drill and choose Drive Backup from the Extra Tools menu on the left. Select the USB stick you want to back up from Disk Drill's Device Disk List at the center of its window and click on Byte-to-Byte Backup on the top right. Disk Drill Drive Backup Byte to Byte Backup
  2. Click on the button with the three dots to select a destination for your backup image. Then click OK to have Disk Drill start backing up your USB stick. Disk Drill Byte to Byte Backup Image Destination
  3. Disk drill will start backing up your USB flash drive. The time needed for this process to complete primarily depends on the size of your USB flash drive, the speed of the port it's connected to, and your computer's CPU. Disk Drill Backing up Device to DMG Image
  4. When the process completes, Disk Drill will tell you that the disk image was created. You can click on the Show in Explorer button to check it out in your default file manager or click on the button with the Home icon to return to Disk Drill's main interface and proceed to the next step, recovering your data from the backed-up image. Disk Drill Byte to Byte Backup Created
  5. When on Disk Drill's primary interface and with your USB stick backed up, click Attach disk image on the bottom left of the Device/Disk list. Disk Drill Attach Disk Image
  6. From the Open requester window that will show up, navigate to where you stored your USB flash drive's backup image and select it. Then click on Open to attach it to Disk Drill. Disk Drill Byte to Byte Backup Image Selection
  7. The attached image will appear as a virtual device in Disk Drill's Device/Disk list. You will see its type reported as "Mounted Image". Select it and click on Search for Lost Data. Disk Drill Selected Backup Image Virtual Device Search For Lost Data
  8. Give Disk Drill time to thoroughly scan your backup image file for any files it can locate. Disk Drill Scanning Attached Image Virtual Device
  9. When Disk Drill reports that the scan was completed successfully and all recovery methods are complete, click on Review Found Items to see all the files the app located in your USB flash drive's byte-to-byte backup image. Disk Drill Backup Image Virtual Device Scan Complete
  10. Go through all the files Disk Drill located and place a checkmark on the left of the ones you want to recover. If you need help deciding whether to recover a file, Disk Drill lets you preview many popular file types, like images. To do that, click the little hovering eye icon on the right of any file's filename. Disk Drill File Preview and Selection
  11. Since it's probable Disk Drill will have found thousands of files, it's easier to locate the ones you want to recover using the app's filters and categories. You can filter down the results by choosing a category from the list on the left of Disk Drill's window or define a filter from the options above the file list. When you've found and selected all the files you want to recover, click the Recover button on the bottom right of Disk Drill's window. Disk Drill Filters and Categories
  12. Disk Drill remembers the destination paths you've chosen in past recoveries and will show them in a list allowing you to select one of them. If you don't want to store the newly recovered files in one of the existing destinations, click the Choose Destination button and set a new one. Then click on the Next button to proceed to the actual recovery. Disk Drill Recovery Destination Selection
  13. Give Disk Drill some time to recover your files. The process should be relatively swift. The time required depends on the number and size of the files selected for recovery and the speed of your storage devices and PC. When done, Disk Drill will present a brief report of the results and allow you to check the recovered files by clicking the Show recovered data in Explorer button. Alternatively, you can click on the button with the Home icon to return to Disk Drill's main interface. Disk Drill Data Recovery Complete Report

2. AOMEI Partition Assistant

Is a corrupted partition table rendering your USB flash drive inaccessible? You can fix it using AOMEI Partition Assistant. The tool's Standard Edition is free for personal use and can be a lifesaver when dealing with a problematic Master Boot Record (MBR for short).


The process we'll see can render your USB stick accessible again, but it might also do the opposite, further corrupting its contents, especially if you choose the wrong MBR type. It's best to use Disk Drill to take a complete Byte-to-Byte backup of your USB stick's contents, as we saw in the previous section, before proceeding.

  1. Start by downloading AOMEI Partition Assistant Standard Edition from its official site and installing it. AOMEI Partition Assistant Download
  2. Right-click on your USB stick (not on any partitions inside it) and choose Rebuild MBR from the menu that shows up.AOMEI Partition Assistant Rebuild MBR Menu Option
  3. Select the correct type of MBR on the Rebuilt MBR prompt. Note that despite what the prompt suggests, if you want to keep the data on your USB flash drive intact, you should select the OS under which your USB stick was originally partitioned and formatted. Try the first setting for Windows XP/2000/2003 if dealing with a USB stick with MBR and the FAT32 file system, or the last option, Windows 7/8/10/11/2011/2012, for USB flash drives with GPT and formatted with NTFS.AOMEI Partition Assistant Selecting MBR Type
  4. You'll see nothing happening despite your actions, and AOMEI Partition Assistant Standard Edition will remain idle. That's because you must manually start any pending operations by clicking the Apply button.AOMEI Partition Assistant Apply Changes
  5. AOMEI Partition Assistant Standard Edition will present the remaining pending operations. Click on the Proceed button to do precisely that.AOMEI Partition Assistant Proceed With Pending Operations
  6. AOMEI Partition Assistant will give you one last chance to abort the pending operations. If you are sure you want to proceed, click on Yes.AOMEI Partition Assistant Final Warning
  7. Rebuilding the flash drive's MBR should be relatively quick. In mere seconds AOMEI Partition Assistant will inform you about the successful outcome of the operation. Hopefully, your USB stick should be accessible again.AOMEI Partition Assistant Operations Completed Successfully

3. Live Linux ISO

Sometimes operating system or automatic driver updates may introduce incompatibilities with particular hardware. To ensure you're not dealing with such a problem, you can use a Linux distribution as a USB flash drive repair tool instead of an alternative operating system.

Let's see how you can do it using the popular Ubuntu Linux distribution. Start by downloading it from its official site and creating bootable media with it. Then, boot your PC from your new bootable media - you might have to check your motherboard's manual to find how to do that.

  1. When Ubuntu's installation wizard welcome screen appears, ignore "Install Ubuntu" and click on "Try Ubuntu". Ubuntu installation media's "Try Ubuntu" option allows you to test-drive the distribution.
  2. After a short while, you'll find yourself on Ubuntu's default desktop. Click on Files from the icon dock on the left side of the screen. Use Ubuntu's Files app to access your storage devices and check your files.
  3. If your USB flash drive is accessible under Ubuntu, you'll see it listed on the left, under a list of popular locations. Click on it to "Mount and open" it. If your Flash Drive appears on the bottom left, click on it to access it.
  4. If you can access your files, copy them to an HDD or other type of storage media. Make sure you've copied everything you need. Use Files to copy your files from your Flash Drive to another storage device.

After finally accessing your USB flash drive, are some files missing or corrupted? That's where software specializing in data recovery can help, as we'll see right next.


If you go for a different Linux distribution, check beforehand that its installation media offers a live desktop environment - many don't.

4. GUI Error Checking

Windows 10 offers multiple paths that lead to the same error-checking tool. The quickest way to reach it is through the operating system's File Explorer.

  1. Run File Explorer (Windows Key + E). Right-click on your flash drive from the list on the left, and choose Properties. Right-click on Flash Drive and choose Properties.
  2. Move to the Tools tab of the window that appears, and click on the Check button in the "Error checking" section. Click on Check in the Tools tab to scan the Flash Drive for errors.
  3. Click on "Scan and repair drive" to do precisely that. The dialog might look different from our screenshot since the USB drive we used for testing didn't have actual errors. You can force a scan by choosing Scan and repair drive when asked.
  4. After a while, the Windows error-checking tool will inform you about the outcome of the process, successful or not. Windows Error Checking tool will present a short report of its results.

If the process fails, you can also skip the command line approach that follows. Although the graphical and command-line solutions appear different, they work similarly and don't lead to different results. Which you use is purely a matter of preference.

5. TestDisk

TestDisk is a powerful open-source data recovery tool that specializes in "fixing" various types of inaccessible storage devices, including USB Flash Drives. Unlike typical data recovery apps, TestDisk doesn't focus on retrieving lost files but on finding lost partitions and rendering them accessible again.

If your USB Flash Drive is detected by your computer but shows up as corrupted or RAW space, the cause might be a corrupted partition table. Thankfully, TestDisk was explicitly created to deal with such issues.

  1. TestDisk is a "portable app" (doesn't require installation). Download its archive from TestDisk's official site, and extract it to a local folder. On older versions of Windows than 10/11, you might have to use a third-party archive manager (like 7Zip or WinRAR) to do that. Execute the extracted testdisk_win.exe file to launch the app. You can use the cursor keys to move through the options in its menu and Enter to select the highlighted one. Start by choosing that you want to Create (a new log file), which could help troubleshoot issues if something goes wrong. TestDisk Create Log File
  2. Select your USB Flash Drive from TestDisk's media list, and choose Proceed to accept the selection and move to the next step. TestDisk Media Selection
  3. TestDisk requires selecting the correct partition table type for the selected media. This choice usually doesn't require overthinking: in most cases, Intel (the first entry) is the right option. The app also shows a hint about the detected partition table type under the media list. TestDisk Partition Table Selection
  4. Select Analyse and then Quick Search to have TestDisk seek lost partitions. TestDisk Analyze Current Partition Structure
  5. Removable storage like USB Flash Drives and SD cards usually have only one partition. TestDisk should find and select automatically, in which case you can hit Enter to continue. TestDisk Partition Selection
  6. TestDisk will present your USB Flash Drive's new or updated partition table. Select Write and hit Enter to accept and write the partition table to the device. TestDisk Write New Partition Table
  7. Press Y on your keyboard to confirm writing the partition table. When done, select OK to return to TestDisk's disk menu. Since your USB Flash Drive should be "fixed" now and there's nothing more to do with TestDisk, select Quit to return to the app's disk menu and then Quit again to exit the app. Alternatively, you can close the terminal's window to skip those last two steps. TestDisk Write New Partition Table Confirmation


Checking your USB flash drive from the command line is equally easy.

  1. Press Windows Key + X to access Windows 10's quick menu of administrative tools. From there, run Windows PowerShell with administrative privileges. Windows 10's admin tools quick-access menu
  2. Use the command get-psdrive -psprovider filesystem to see a list of all storage devices attached to the computer and locate your USB flash drive. Use command get-psdrive to locate your Flash Drive.
  3. Use chkdsk DRIVELETTER /r /f, where DRIVELETTER is the one of your USB flash drive, to check for and try to repair any errors on it. Use the command CHKDSK to check the drive for errors and repair them.

Even if repairing your USB flash drive fails, not all is lost. You might be able to reformat it to keep using it.

7. File Explorer Format

Even if the actual hardware of your USB flash drive is failing, maybe by reformatting it, you will be able to keep using it for a while. The quickest and easiest way to format your USB flash drive is once again through Windows 10's File Explorer.


We must stress that you should stop storing essential data on the device in such cases - a total failure is only a matter of time. We suggest you order a replacement before the inevitable happens.

  1. Run File Explorer and right-click on your USB flash drive. Choose Format… The quickest path to a Format is through Windows File Explorer
  2. Windows 10's format dialog will show up. Choose the filesystem you want to use (FAT32 is the most popular and widely supported option) and enter a volume label. Since you are dealing with a potentially problematic device that you want to check in its entirety, disable Quick Format. Click on Start to begin the Formatting process. Format process option dialog.
  3. You will see a final warning before formatting the device. Click on OK if you are sure you want to proceed. Windows warning about potential data loss before format.

8. Diskpart

If you'd prefer the feeling of control offered by the command-line, you can use Diskpart instead to format your USB stick:

  1. Press Windows Key + X to see Windows 10's quick menu of administrative tools and, from there, run PowerShell with elevated privileges.
  2. Type diskpart and press Enter to run the app. Running diskpart in elevated PowerShell
  3. Use the command list disk to see the diskpart-compatible storage devices attached to the computer. Note the number of your USB flash drive. Use list disk command to pinpoint Flash Drive number.
  4. Choose your USB flash drive by typing select disk DISK_NUMBER, where DISK_NUMBER that of your USB flash drive you noted in the previous step. Choose Flash Drive with select disk command.
  5. Erase everything on your USB flash drive with the command clean. Fully erase Flash Drive with clean disk command.
  6. Make a new partition by typing create partition primary. Then, format it with format fs=fat32. Format Flash Drive through diskpart.

When the process completes, type exit and press Enter to quit Diskpart. You can then close PowerShell's window.

9. HP USB Disk Storage Format Tool

HP offers a tool specifically for formatting USB flash drives, which many people prefer.

  1. Unfortunately, HP doesn't offer an easily accessible link directly to its USB Disk Storage Format Tool. Your best bet is searching for it and downloading it from a trusted software repository, like Techspot. Download HP's Format Tool from a trusted source.
  2. HP USB Disk Storage Format Tool doesn't need installation. However, what it does require are administrative rights. Thus, you should right-click on the file you downloaded and choose "Run as administrator" to run it. HP's Format Tool demands administrative rights.
  3. Ensure your USB flash drive is selected under "Device", choose a file system, and enter a label. Disable Quick Format to format the whole storage, locating potential faults in the process. Set up format options in HP's Format Tool.
  4. Click "Yes" when the tool shows a final warning to proceed with the format. Acknowledge HP's Format Tool warning to proceed with the format.

10. HDD LLF Low Level Format Tool

With decades of experience, HDDGuru offers various tools specializing in storage diagnostics and recovery. The HDD LLF Low Level Format Tool, which we'll see here, can be especially handy when you want to effectively "reset" a USB Flash Drive by completely eliminating all data from it and turning it into a "blank slate" like when you first purchased it.


As the very name of the tool implies, a Low-Level Format is an irreversible process, after which all data on a storage device is gone beyond any chance of recovery. Thus, you should ensure you have backed up or recovered all crucial files from your USB Flash Drive before attempting to format it this way. That is unless you check the app's "Perform quick wipe (just remove partitions and MBR)" option, which enables a quicker, less drastic, and (with some effort, potentially) reversible mode.

  1. Download the app from HDD LLF Low Level Format Tool's official page. We suggest you go for the portable version since it works identically to the one with an installer but without "cluttering" your Windows installation with additional files. Then, execute the downloaded file to launch the app. Although you'll be prompted to upgrade to a paid version or enter a registration code if available, for casual use, you can go with the "Continue for free" option, which only limits the app's speed. HDD LLF Upgrade Nag Screen
  2. HDD Low Level Format Tool starts at a device selection screen. Choose your USB Flash Drive, and click Continue to proceed to the next step. HDD LLF Device Selection
  3. The app will show you information about the selected storage device on a Device details tab. Feel free to check that information, and when done, move to the LOW-LEVEL FORMAT tab. HDD LLF Select Low Level Format Tab
  4. Leave the "Perform quick wipe (just remove partitions and MBR)" option unchecked to ensure everything on the USB Flash Drive will be erased to effectively "re-enable from scratch" its whole storage area. When ready to proceed, click FORMAT THIS DEVICE (on the bottom right) and answer positively when informed that "All data on the selected device will be lost". HDD LLF Lost Data Prompt
  5. The process requires some time, depending on your USB Flash Drive's write performance, condition, and size. Unless there's a need to interrupt it for some reason with a click on Stop, let the formatting process run its course. When it's done, your USB Flash Drive should be ready, with all of its storage space available to use again. HDD LLF Low Level Format In Progress


Various tools can be used to "repair" a USB flash drive, and many are free. The choice of "the best" depends on the problem at hand. Does the USB flash drive show up empty or RAW? TestDisk can help with such issues. Do some files appear garbled? CHKDSK can attempt to "fix" its (probably) corrupted file system.

Still, out of all the types of USB flash drive repair tools, we consider one the most important: true data recovery solutions, like Disk Drill or Data Recovery Wizard, that can save your files from one storage device to another to ensure you won't lose them.

Your USB flash drive is corrupted when it looks empty, appears as RAW, or the files stored on it are inaccessible.

There are many ways to fix a corrupted USB stick, but each might be a vastly different solution. If you're dealing with filesystem corruption, try running CHKDSK on it. If you need to access and recover data from your flash drive, use a USB data recovery tool.

Using USB sticks on Android devices never really caught on. With an almost non-existent target audience, app developers seem not to see a point in creating flash drive repair solutions on Android.

You can use the same programs, like AOMEI Partition Assistant and Disk Drill, to fix flash drives made by Silicon Power, SanDisk, Lexar, Kingston, or any other brand.

Many people use the terms USB repair kit and USB repair tool interchangeably. Still, the term "kit" is mainly used for hardware.

For example, a broken USB connector doesn't mean the USB stick itself is useless. If you have soldering equipment (and know-how), you can also purchase a USB socket connector (or ten) and replace the broken one on your USB flash drive. Then, keep using it as if brand new.

The way to deal with a write-protected USB flash drive depends on the particular USB stick:

  • Is your USB stick the official media where software like Microsoft's Windows 10 came on? Then, it might be write-protected on purpose to avoid accidental deletion of the operating system's installation files.
  • Some USB flash drives, like SD cards, come with a write-protection physical switch. Flick the switch to the opposite position try writing to it again.
  • Unfortunately, the most usual cause of USB flash drives appearing as write-protected is a hardware fault - their actual chips failing. If this happens more than once, it's probably time to order a new USB flash drive.
About article
Editor-in-Chief Odysseas Kourafalos

This article was written by Odysseas Kourafalos, a Editor-in-Chief at Handy Recovery Advisor. It was also verified for technical accuracy by Andrey Vasilyev, our editorial advisor.

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