The files on my pen drive are impossible to open, and the names have been replaced by strange characters. In Ubuntu is worst, the Windows system crash.

What can I do to recover my information?


I would recommend making a backup image of the pen-drive using the dd command (using Ubuntu). That will let you get back to the current state of the drive if your recovery efforts go horribly wrong.

I would also stop using the pen drive for storing any new information -- it has proved itself unreliable at first glance. Until you can prove otherwise, assume the hardware is failing.

As for recovering your data, make a second copy of the data and use the fsck command on the image of the pen-drive, and see if that is able to fix anything. Then loopback mount the image and see if you can read any files from it.

Beyond that, you would have to start digging into the details of FAT filesystem layout.


some free data recovery tools you may want to use: TestDisk/PhotoRec in Ubuntu (or Windows) or Recuva (Windows only)


(Though the question was asked six months ago, the following answer may be relevant to any future users with similar issues.)

The activity described in this question is often caused by removing a jump drive from a computer while one or more of the files are being accessed--in other words, removing it without ejecting the jump drive.

It is sometimes possible to restore the files simply by plugging the jump drive back into the computer you were previously using it with if that computer hasn't been logged out, shut down, etc since you used it. (Be sure to properly eject it!)

While this is by no means a failsafe way to recover your files, it is the simplest and should be the first step you take.

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