I have an 8GB Transcend USB stick which - as of yesterday - is no longer recognised as such. When I plug into a USB port it shows as a new drive but clicking on the drive in Windows (XP) Explorer brings up the message "Please insert a disk into drive X:".

Looking at the drive Properties shows Type: Removable Disk, File System: Unknown, Capacity: 0 bytes.

Is there any way of rescuing this drive - more specifically the data on it?


  • Unfortunately, electrostatic charges can cause this, and I've noticed it more frequently with less expensive models (I've found Transcend's products to be in the "high quality" category). I'm hoping that someone will recommend some software that can attempt a recovery from these types of devices as I have use for it too. Good question (+1). – Randolf Richardson Aug 25 '11 at 0:02
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    Have you tried the stick in another computer? – BillP3rd Aug 25 '11 at 1:27
  • Here is a discussion you might be interested in, they're talking about an external hard-drive but most of the same concepts should be the same. Also check this out. – John Aug 25 '11 at 1:44
  • @BillP3rd - yes, tried it in different USB ports on 2 different laptops. – paoloricardo Aug 26 '11 at 1:13
  • @johnthexiii - the JetFlash Online Recovery service will wipe the disk first so the data is gone. However if doing that will restore the USB stick I'll give it a try. Thanks. – paoloricardo Aug 26 '11 at 1:16

If the partitioning has been corrupted you may be able to recover the stick using this HP utility:

HP USB Disk Storage Format Tool


NB: This will wipe the stick so if you want to try some data recovery first this might help if it can see anything on the stick:


PhotoRec is file data recovery software designed to recover lost files including video, documents and archives from hard disks, CD-ROMs, and lost pictures (thus the Photo Recovery name) from digital camera memory. PhotoRec ignores the file system and goes after the underlying data, so it will still work even if your media's file system has been severely damaged or reformatted.

PhotoRec works with hard disks, CD-ROMs, memory cards (Compact Flash, Memory Stick, SecureDigital/SD, SmartMedia, Microdrive, MMC, etc.), USB memory drives, DD raw image, EnCase E01 image, etc.

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  • "Photorec ignores the file system, this way it works even if the file system is severely damaged." That sounds like it could be a possible solution especially as Windows is reporting the USB file system as unknown. Thanks. – paoloricardo Aug 26 '11 at 1:20
  • Unfortunately PhotoRec doesn't 'see' the USB stick - it only 'sees' my internal HDD. – paoloricardo Aug 26 '11 at 1:28

Well, that's very interesting. I've just launched the Disk Management service in the Computer Management console and the USB drive is recognised and shown as healthy. I had changed the drive letter to Z a couple of weeks ago and I guess Windows Explorer, for some reason, hadn't recognised the change.

Anyway the USB stick is now shown in Windows Explorer (as drive Z), and PhotoRec now 'sees' the USB stick.

Thanks to all who responded.

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Try with Transcend recovery tool - usually it helps http://www.transcend-info.com/products/online_recovery_2.asp

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