The logical division of mobile storage drives like hard disks and SSDs is known as disk partitioning. Similar to hard drives, USB drives can be divided into volumes of various capacities for file isolation, better data management, and less fragmentation. USB drive is an external flash memory based on a USB interface. It serves as a convenient and efficient mobile storage device, which is widely used for data transfer, backup, and storage in both personal and commercial fields because of its small size, fast read/write speed, and other advantages.
However, the partition can be inaccessible if the USB drive malfunctions because of corruption, virus infection, or human mistakes including unintentional formatting or deletion. At this time, it becomes especially important to recover important data from a USB flash drive. Do not panic. Keep reading below, let’s learn how to deal with it from this post.
A Lost Partition on a USB Drive: What Causes it?
There are many reasons for losing a USB partition, including human error, software or hardware problems. Below are some common scenarios that can lead to the deletion of a USB partition:
|Causes for Lost USB Drive Partition
|When performing file operations, partitions could be unintentionally deleted, for instance, if you accidentally use disk management tools or format a USB device
|🎖️Use partition recovery software to restore deleted volumes without losing data
|🐜Infection with malware or a virus
|Malware can target a USB device and try to destroy or harm the partition. A virus infection on a USB drive could be due to the deletion or inaccessibility of the entire device.
|👩💻Disinfect drive with antivirus program then rebuild partitions
|🐜Software fault or error
|The elimination of the USB partition can occasionally lead to a fault or error in the operating system or disk management software. During the partitioning process, a software error or malfunction could create an unexpected deletion of the partition.
|🛠️Isolate software faults; recover/rebuild partitions or volumes affected
|⛔Power failure or improper ejecting
|Abruptly disconnecting a USB hard drive from your computer while reading/writing may lead to data corruption or a corrupted partition table. This may cause the partition to be deleted or inaccessible.
|🎖️Use recovery software or backups to restore partition data
|Data loss or partition deletion may occur if the USB drive sustains physical damage, such as a busted connector or malfunctioning controller.
|👩💻Repair/replace damaged hardware then retrieve data with software
|❓Hard drive re-partition or reformat
|When a hard drive is formatted or reformatted, all the data and partitions deleted. Therefore, before executing hard drive re-partitioning and reformatting, it is crucial to make sure that the data is completely backed up.
|🎖️Attempt partition recovery before reformatting if needed; restore from backups
|When reinstalling the operating system, people occasionally make the incorrect decision to wipe up the hard drive rather than the original system partition. The USB partition gets lost in the course of this transaction.
|✅Back up drive partitions before reinstall; restore after or recover deleted partitions
|⛔ Wrecked Sectors
|-USB drives fail over time
-Excess sector read/write cycles cause errors
-Partition system files may be impacted
|✅-Scan drive health for errors, then attempt partition recovery or reformat if needed
-Tools can fix bad sectors, restoring partitions
-Care and maintenance prolongs drive lifespan
Can Erased Partitions be Recovered?
Absolutely yes. Partitions on USB flash drives can still be lost, destroyed, or damaged despite all of your precautions. Anyone can experience this owing to different causes.
No matter what caused a partition to be lost or deleted on a USB drive, it can be effectively recovered by utilizing some of the practical ways described in the post’s section below.
How to Recover a Deleted Partition from a USB Drive?
Recover USB Partition using the CHKDSK Scan
The system tool and command CHKDSK (short for “check disk”) is available in the following operating systems: DOS, Digital Research Flex OS, IBM/Toshiba 4690, IBM OS/2, Microsoft Windows, and others. It attempts to fix logical file system faults and checks the integrity of the volume’s file system.
A USB drive partition may change to RAW format due to a sudden power failure, malware intervention, improper use of the USB drive, etc. You risk losing pictures, videos, music files, and other data if the USB device becomes inoperable for these reasons. However, you can use the command prompt to repair the corrupted flash drive and make it accessible by using the CHKDSK command. You need to perform the following actions to accomplish this:
Step 1: Launch Command Prompt as an administrator.
Step 2: After typing chkdsk /r /f X: and press the “Enter” key. Then replace the letter X with the letter of the drive volume that changed to RAW.
Step 3: To access the USB drive properly, you must disconnect and reconnect it.
Recover USB Partition using Windows Diskpart Utility
Partition loss is typically caused by a drive letter, a missing volume label, a partition name, or the Diskpart clean command. Diskpart utility is similar to CHKDSK utility, a free Windows tool that assists in solving disk partitioning issues by allocating new drive letters to erased partitions. Additionally, as this tool is used from the command prompt, you must be logged in as a system administrator on your computer if you want to use it. The procedures are as follows:
Step 1: To begin, locate the deleted partition in disk management.
- To open the Run window, press “Windows + R.”
- Then, in the pop-up window, type “msc” and press “OK” to open disk management.
- Next, locate the deleted partition and note its partition size. Deleted partitions are generally marked as unallocated.
Step 2: Enter “cmd” in the search box and execute it as administrator, then enter “diskpart” and click Enter.
Step 3: Next, enter the following commands in the box and press the Enter key:
- To view all linked disks on your PC, type “List Disk.”
- Select disk n (where n is the USB device containing the deleted partition).
- Type “List Volume” to see a list of all available disk volumes.
- Select Volume m (m is the number of the lost partition).
- Letter=r (r is a drive letter that has never been used before).
Recover USB Partition using Attrib Command
A virus or malware infection can change the attributes of a file on a USB device. It hides data and creates executable shortcuts to hidden files and directories by changing the attributes. When you press the shortcut key, the malware enters the system. So, if you are able to notice shortcuts on the USB drive’s partition, use the “Attrib” command to restore hidden files caused by virus or malware infection, and then conduct an antivirus check to isolate the infection.
It is similar to the previous two methods. This command line allows you to alter the attributes of USB devices and unhide any concealed folders or files on USB drives. Go to the Command Prompt and input the following:
Step 1: Insert a hard disk, memory card, or USB drive into your computer.
Step 2: Type cmd in the Windows search box. Choose “Run as administrator” from the “Command Prompt” menu.
Step 3: Enter: attrib -s -h -r /s /d *.* and press Enter. All previously concealed files and folders are now accessible.
How to Recover Data from USB Drive After Partition Loss?
To perfrom USB drive partition recovery, you can try ONERECOVERY. This software comes with extensive features that allow users to scan their every single partition on a drive. No matter how the partition get lost, this USB drive partition recovery software can retrieve lost or deleted partition and data stored in it with ease!
ONERECOVERY supports all kinds of partition including NTFS, HFS, HFS+, FAT, HFSX, Ext2 and Ext 3 file systems. With 3 simple steps, you can recover data from lost USB drive partition. No professional skill is needed during data recovery.
Step 1. Launch ONERECOVERY and connect the USB to your PC
Step 2. Select your USB drive to scan
Step 3. Preview and restore data from USB drive
Signs You Need to Recover/Repair Your USB Partition
If you notice any of the following signs when plugging in USB drive, it’s likely that the partition table has become corrupted and damaged and needs to be fixed.
|❓Drive Not Recognized
|– When you plug in USB drive, it isn’t showing up at all in File Explorer(Windows) or Finder(Mac).
– The drive may not be assigned a letter.
|– You may see the USB drive in File Explorer/Finder but get an error when trying to open the files stored on it.
– Common errors include prompts to format the disk before use or files showing up as unavailable or damaged.
– This indicates that the file system on the partition is corrupted.
|🐜Errors Occured When Accessing Drive
|You may experience slow response times, freezes, or apparent input/output errors when interacting with USB.
|🔨Strange Storage Capacity Readings
|If the reported storage capacity is completely wrong (for example, a 16GB drive shows 128MB), the partition table is corrupted and the true size cannot be obtained.
How to Repair a Corrupted USB Drive Partition?
After recovering data, if the USB drive partition is logically damaged, you can repair it with following solutions.
Check USB Errors and Repair
The direct way to check for file system errors is using error checking tool. This inbuilt feature of Windows OS can diagnose and fix the basic corruption issues. However, it will probably not be able to fix everything. Follow the steps below to check for problems and repair the USB drive:
Step 1: Plug in the USB on the computer.
Step 2: Right-click the USB disk after opening File Explorer and select Properties from the menu.
Step 3: Click on the Tools tab.
Step 4: Click “Check” in the “Error Checking” section.
Step 5: Windows will scan the hard disk for errors and repair any that are identified.
Change the Drive Letter
Assume your USB device has the same letter as an existing partition on your system. As a result, it is possible that the operating system or File Explorer will be unable to access or recognize it. In this situation, you can try changing the drive letter in Disk Management to resolve the issue.
Step 1: From the Start menu, select Disk Management.
Step 2: At the next prompt, notice the USB drive letter.
Step 3: Right-click the drive and choose Change drive letter and path from the menu that appears.
Step 4: Select Change→ Assign the drive letter listed below.
Step 5: From the drop-down option, decide on a different drive letter than the existing drive partition letter in the system. Finally, press the OK button.
Step 6: Reboot the system and check to see if the USB appears in File Explorer and is accessible or not.
It usually occurs when there’s a problem with the partition table on USB flash drive. You can try to fix it with following solutions:
- Clean and repartition USB via Command Prompt
- Use Windows PowerShell to run commands by right-clicking on the Windows icon and click Windows PowerShell (Admin). Then execute the commands below.
- Use partition recovery software like ONERECOVERY to scan the USB flash drive and rebuild the partition table to show only one partition again.
How to Show Hidden Files in Mac?
Step 1: Using Finder, navigate to your USB.
Step 2: To see the hidden files, use Shift+Command+.
What If Partition Gets Lost on SD Card?
Even if you accidentally deleted partition on SD card, you still can retrieve partition using ONERECOVERY. It supports lost partition recovery on various storage devices including SSD, USB drive, sd card and other external hard drive.
Files that have been concealed without your permission can be concerning. Files can be hidden by accident or as a result of malware assault or corruption. In any case, you should take caution because your USB may be about to fail.
I am a content writer specializing in the technology and data fields. With over 5 years of writing expertise, I have produced clear, engaging content to communicate complex information to a variety of audiences. I am skilled at translating technical concepts about the latest software, AI systems, data recovery, file and video repair, and digital trends into easily understandable language for the average reader. My articles and copy bring clarity to murky tech topics through the use of metaphors, analogies, and strategic explanations.