IMPORTANT: If you’re not a tech-savvy user and the storage device contains precious data, contact your IT guy for professional advices, or you can start a online chat with a Tech expert.

You may notice a prompt telling you to format the disk when you plug in an external device such as a USB flash drive or an SD cards. If you don’t know what’s in the drive or you want to keep the data, don’t format the drive just yet! In some cases, the device won’t work even when it’s formatted.

The error message will appear like the image above. Note that the drive name in the image (drive R:) may be different according to the device you are using and the partitions you have.

When you encounter this error, try these solutions first.

Try these fixes:

You may not need to try all the fixes. Simply work your way down until you find the one that does the trick.

  1. Try different USB ports 
  2. Recover the disk using Windows DOS (Data won’t be lost.)
  3. Use a data recovery tool
  4. Run Antivirus software to scan your computer
  5. Test the device on another computer

Fix 1: Try different USB ports 

One easiest potential fix is to plug your device in another USB port. You can give it a shot first and see if the problem persists. You may want to try all the USB ports on your PC, including the ones on the back panel. 

If you’re still seeing the error, take a look at the next fix below.

Fix 2: Recover the disk using Windows DOS (Data won’t be lost)

You can try to recover the disk using the built-in Windows tool. This won’t affect the data in the removeable device.

Here’s how:

1. Press Win+R (the Window logo key and R key) at the same time. A Run dialog box will appear. 
2. Type cmd in the run box. Then press Ctrl+Shift+Enter to run Command Prompt as an administrator.

3. Type chkdsk <Your hard disk letter>: /f. Then press Enter and wait for the process to complete.

Your hard disk letter means the name of your hard disk shown in computer. For instance, if your hard disk is named as “G”, just type chkdsk G: /f (see the following screenshot). The process won’t finish until the verification is 100% completed. 

Fix 3: Use a data recovery tool

If the drive contains important data, you can try to recover the data with a recovery tool.

And Stellar Data Recovery is a powerful tool that suits all hard disk recovery needs, whether you’re a technician or a power Windows user. It can retrieve lost or deleted data and help you effortlessly recover data from formatted drives, deleted partitions, and RAID arrays.

  1. Download and install Stellar Data Recovery Professional.
  2. Run Stellar Data Recovery Professional.
  3. Select which type of data you wish to recover, or you can just select All Data. Click Next to proceed.
  4. Select the location where your file was in, then click Scan.
  5. Wait for the san to be complete, then find the file you want to recover and click Recover.

If this fix doesn’t help you, take a look at the next fix.

Fix 4: Run Antivirus software to scan your computer

The problem can be caused by virus. If you have installed Antivirus software like Norton360 or Avast, use it to scan your computer to detect the problem. 

Fix 5: Test the device on another computer

Plug the device to another computer. If the problem still persists, the device most probably is damaged. You might need to replace it with a new one.

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