How to Recover Data From a USB Flash Drive

By Carl Pruit

A USB flash drive is a convenient portable storage device that allows you to download all types of files from one computer and load them into another or into your laptop computer. You can plug them into any computer that has a USB port. The USB flash drive is about the size of a key fob and can actually be attached to your key chain. They can store on an average of 2 GB of information and allow for faster access of your information. Recovering your data from a USB flash drive is a simple process and can make it much easier to transfer important files.

Step 1

Plug the USB flash drive into the USB port of your computer. On a desktop computer, the USB port is normally in the front of the CPU case. On a laptop computer, you can find the USB port on the side.

Step 2

Verify that your computer has a device driver for the USB flash drive. You can do this by going to the devices and printers section of your start menu. Click on add a device and the computer will attempt to locate your USB flash drive.

Step 3

Go to the Windows update section of your computer if you are unable to locate the device and click on "Check for updates." This will automatically update any drivers that you need in your computer system.

Step 4

Access the drive that is being used by the USB flash drive once the device driver is installed and you should see any information that is stored on your flash drive. From this point it is a simple "Copy" or "send to" command and you will transfer the information to your hard drive. If you simply want to see what is on the USB flash drive, then click on "Open."

Step 5

Update your device drivers if you are unable to download or view any files on your USB flash drive. You can access more device drivers by going to any of the websites listed below in the resources section.

Tips & Warnings

  • If you find that your USB flash drive is corrupted or just not working, there are many flash drive recovery programs available to assist you in bringing your USB flash drive back to life. See the resources section below under Handy Recovery for one such program.