How To Recover Data From A Corrupt Memory Card or USB Drive

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flashHead I rely on my Windows Mobile device on a daily basis (make that hourly) and this morning when I was not able to access my 8 gigabyte Micro SD card I was almost dead in the water.

All my email attachments, work files and even the storage for all my applications including photos, music and RSS data are on there. I was able to check email (albeit without attachments for what has already come in to my inbox.) I was able to get on the internet and make calls but I could not research a new article, email my invoices from the day before or even look at the pictures and video we took of my daughter yesterday.

I thought I covered all possible scenarios and problems with Windows Mobile Devices in our Windows Mobile Guide – but this one had not happened to me yet.

I will walk you through what happened and how to recover data from a USB drive or memory card if it becomes corrupted.


I turned on my HTC Fuze this morning and my RSS program called RSS Hub said to me that it could not find my memory card with the default storage location and it asked me if it should use the internal storage for the data”¦ WTF?!?

This is what I need this early in the morning right? I took out my laptop as I opened up my file manager on my phone and there was no storage card! I popped the Micro SD card out and threw it into an adapter. The adapter let me slide the card into it and then it has a USB adapter on the end. I plugged it into my laptop and my machine recognized it as a drive and gave it a letter. But when I went to click on it I get a error box with a message. It says E:\ is not accessible. The file or directory is corrupted and unreadable. DAMN! DAMN! DAMN!

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recover data usb memory

Ok time for a little command line magic. I hit the start menu – run and typed CMD to bring up a command prompt. Then I typed Chkdsk e: /r

recover data usb memory

The chkdsk command checks a disk for structure corruption. The e: tells it what drive letter to use and the /r tells it to repair the issues it finds. You may see the warning that your drive is not a Windows XP drive – this is not an issue. You can continue on by pressing Y to continue. It will start to run through the files and directories. You will feel a lot better when you see your file names”¦ It proves all is not lost! Aren’t you glad you went this route instead of formatting it?

recover data from usb memory stick

When it is almost complete it will ask you if you want to save lost chains into files I always pick yes but have never used those files once to this day!

recover data usb drive free

Chkdsk will report back what it has done and then go to my computer and check out your drive. Mine opened at this point and I was able to get to all my data as you can see below

recover data from usb drive

I then popped my Micro SD card back into my Windows Mobile and was good to go. All in about 7 minutes on the train. Not too shabby eh?

Do you have any repair stories to share with us? Leave them in the comments. Your hardship and work might just help someone else out!

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Comments (51)
  • Andi Merfeld

    Thank you so much! Super easy and saved me from redoing two hours plus of work!

  • Dawn Toribio

    i guess i’m the only one. but still thank you for the help :)

  • Dawn Toribio

    mine was deleted :(

  • Elisabeth Brunelle

    Doesn’t work for me, it says “not available fo RAW files”. Help?

    • Alexandra Moondancer

      im having the same thing pop up. Please help! I have so much important stuff on this usb and no backup :'(

  • Bex Forgan

    OH MY GOD
    I cried a little when this worked. I was so close to giving up.

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This review may contain affiliate links, which pays us a small compensation if you do decide to make a purchase based on our recommendation. Our judgement is in no way biased, and our recommendations are always based on the merits of the items.

For more details, please read our disclosure.
Affiliate Disclamer

This review may contain affiliate links, which pays us a small compensation if you do decide to make a purchase based on our recommendation. Our judgement is in no way biased, and our recommendations are always based on the merits of the items.

For more details, please read our disclosure.