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

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

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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!

flash1   How To Recover Data From A Corrupt Memory Card or USB Drive

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

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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?

flash3   How To Recover Data From A Corrupt Memory Card or USB Drive

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!

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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

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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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17 Comments - Write a Comment



I just recently had corrupted paritions on my media hardrive, long story short, I lost most of my data. If it really does come to last resort file recovery, highly recommend Testdisk. It recovered an unbelievable amount of my pictures back (if not all), which was what I was after mostly.



I had try on is a freeware and pretty good.



Is this way can recover lost iPod data?



I’ve 5 USB drivers (or USB Key from 1 GiG to 16 Gig) and I’ve never had any problem. I installed EjectUSB 1.6 (freeware) on each one. Here’s the Author site:



This was exactly my problem and this fixed it! I never thought about just running a disk check.

Thanks for posting!



sir my mobile memory card is corrupted and i want to recover the data before formatting it.specially i want to recover my please help me and advice me what should i do?



Sir, I am forever in your debt. I am a professor and I used this trick to recover my midterm exam. Thank you, thank you, thank you. Though my students would probably prefer the file disappeared into the ether.



I can see pendrive in My Computer and can not open…
After doing chkdisk with it(u:)…

C:\>chkdsk u: /r
Cannot open volume for direct access.

Any Ideas..



I lost all my photos from my last adventure trip. sadly I dint knew this trick existed.



I’ve never used CheckDisk, as it always seemed to be intent on just truncating damaged files. I’ve lost so much data due to that silly program…at least this was back in Windows 2000.

Anyway, I used Runtime Software’s GetDataBack just this last year on a trip to salvage a whole memory card worth of photos that someone accidentally formatted. CheckDisk would not help with that at all. There’s also a decent program called FreeUndelete by a company called OfficeRecover, IIRC. GetDataBack costs $, but it is has been a super program for me. I definitely avoid CheckDisk like the plague, however…but maybe that’s just me.

As with all data-recovery, YMMV.



I have a pen drive which is recognised as drive ‘e’. But following the system above I got the message drive cannot be locked will run the chkdsk when nexttime computer is run. I think my pen drive is trash.


If it was mine, I’d cancel the checkdisk and run either the demo of GetDataBack or the FreeUndelete program I mentioned earlier. I’ve had great success with them.

Of course, if there is a fatal hardware issue (damaged memory chip, scratched platter, etc), then there’s not a lot a person can do on their own to retrieve whatever was in that area of the data storage. You should be able to recover other areas of data, tho.





it is a brilliant thing i like it.


rysan fro phil.

thanks a lot sir,…


rysan from phil.

thank you very much sir,…



What if my card is scratched and is not recognized by my PC but recognized by my phone ( it recognizes that it is a corrupt card but cannot access it). I need to know if there is a way to access the card. I have a lot of pictures that hold special meaning to me that I cannot afford to lose.


Darrien Gordon

Losing data from a damaged memory card or USB drive is very common nowadays. But you need to employ Remo Recover software to restore them without difficulty.

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