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Repair guides and support for USB flash drives, also known as jump drives, USB sticks or thumb drives.

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USB working earlier, now won't open and demands to be reformatted.

Alright, so my mom has a USB drive, it's about 14GB of family photos. She was going through them, got through quite a bit apparently (she said like a thousand). She pauses to look at one, and then goes to the next. The computer crashes. Now the USB says it isn't readable by her device (Macbook Air), I plugged it into my MacBook Pro, same thing, we plug it into a ThinkPad. The USB shows up, but when clicked on it says that it can't be formatted, and demands to be re-formatted.

Re-formatting the drive would erase all of the photos, the USB was working before, both on my Macbook Pro, the Macbook Air, and another Macbook Air. Now it won't even let us open it.

Google suggests the cause is file corruption, and that we should just erase the entire thing, which, no thank you. There are photos of people who have sadly passed on that USB, we aren't gonna give up on it easily.

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Hi @computermoth,

Don't know Mac OS, but try the following using the Thinkpad to see if you can fix the file system.

Insert the USB HDD into the laptop and then open the File Explorer app → This PC → right click on the USB drive → Properties → Tools → Error checking → Check

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Alright, we will give that a try, hopefully it works.

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I get the following

The disk check could not be performed because the disk is not formatted.

Would you like to format the disk?

Yes. No

Edit: Checking the storage on the USB gives me

Used space: 0 bytes 0 bytes

Free space: 0 bytes 0 bytes

Capacity: 0 bytes 0 bytes

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@computermoth

Try a chkdsk command and see if that fixes it.

Type cmd in the search box on the desktop and then click on the Command Prompt run as administrator link.

When in Command window type C: and hit the Enter key to make sure that you're on the C drive (Windows drive)

Next type chkdsk (insert drive letter of USB HDD): /x /r then hit Enter.

e.g. chkdsk F: /x /r , where F is the USB drive letter

Note: there is a space before the / symbols but not after

Also this is old time computing so the mouse doesn't work in the Command window. If you make a typo to delete it, you need to step back to the error using the backspace key on the keyboard and start typing again.

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