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So my friend has a USB flash drive that isn't working. I don't know a whole lot about "recovery" software so I figured I'd ask you guys.

What steps can I try (I have access to a Linux machine as well) to see....if I can get ANYTHING off the flash drive?

I've google'd around, but most of the stuff seems for windows.

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It really depends on what's wrong with the drive. If there's no hardware issues, you could use testdisk ( to recover deleted partitions or files. If it's a hardware problem (check dmesg on Linux for read errors) I don't know what to do. – user55325 Mar 28 '12 at 4:20
up vote 1 down vote accepted

You can use TestDisk to recover files from FAT, NTFS, exFAT and ext2 filesystem.

For recovering photos use PhotoRec

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photorec is useful for more than just photos, despite the name. – Rob Apr 26 '12 at 17:37

Flash drives are one of the more sticky devices to recover from. Booting into a live linux environment such as Ubuntu and going "test", or an opensuse live environment will enable you to get greater control over the device.

In such live environments you can use the disk utility to not only check the device, but also forceably mount it, and then use the folder access program to jump on the drive. If this fails you are probably looking at either a more complex recovery method, or the possibility the data is irrecoverable.

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protected by slhck Sep 10 '13 at 4:26

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