USB thumb drives are everywhere these days. Gone are all the legacy media we used to use to shuttle data back and forth between PC’s and laptop. Remember ZIP disks? 3.5″ & 5.25″ floppies disk? Data stored on all of these magnetic based media were susceptible to loss from commonly found household items like magnets to random electro-magnetic radiation including sunspots. Fortunately, today’s flash based USB drives are much safer for storing data. Most of the USB data recovery needs arise from the thumb drive being physically broken or data being overwritten.
There are many software packages available online that claim to be able to recover data from USB devices including thumb drives and external hard drives. Unfortunately most prey on the potential buyer’s desperate situation and charge exorbitant prices knowing that people will pay anything to recover a precious items such as photos, love letters, transcripts, or legal records. Worse yet, is that some do not offer refunds if the data is not recovered.
USB flash memory recovery does not have to cost an arm and a leg however. Nor does it have to leave the buyer paying for something that doesn’t work. If you have a need to recover data from a flash based storage device including pen drives, thumb drives, CF cards, micro-USB, or USB 3.0 disk drives it is important you carefully evaluate your situation before spending money on a potential solution. You may just be able to recover your files at no cost with a little patience and research.
NAND Flash stores data differently than traditional spinning hard drives. If you do decide to seek professional USB data recovery services be sure to ask if they specialize in flash memory rather than magnetic disks.
Data needs to be recovered from USB drives often when the user encrypts their data and forgets the password or losses the key used to unlock the USB drive encryption. In this situation it is best to contact the manufacturer directly. They are often able to reset the device for little to no charge.
Sometimes the lost data results from exposing the drive to extreme heat or water. For these cases, the flash chips can sometimes be inserted into a new USB drive but the cost is usually quite high.
Some of the most common USB devices brought in for data recovery services are listed below: