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This is a discussion on USB "no media" within the Removable Media Drives forums, part of the Tech Support Forum category. Hi, recently I was transferring data to my USB. The transfer itself was very slow, which was unusual, but I


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Old 12-29-2019, 11:37 AM   #1
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Hi,

recently I was transferring data to my USB. The transfer itself was very slow, which was unusual, but I didn't worry too much. Now the USB cannot be recognised neither in Windows 7 nor in Linux Mint. When I plug the USB in the computer, the Windows notification tells me the media is "ready to be used" and the media itself shows up in My Computer, but when I try to open it, it says "please insert disk". Under properties it says it has 0 B of data on it, even though I know it has over 20 GB. Chkdsk in CMD (admin) doesn't work either as I get the error "Cannot open volume for direct access".

I also tried recovering data from the disk using the EaseUS recovery tool, but the program doesn't even recognise the disk.

What else can I do to get my data back?
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Old 12-29-2019, 11:42 AM   #2
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Not to be pessimistic, but any chance you either deleted data or formatted the (whatever the media?) USB device?
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Old 12-29-2019, 11:48 AM   #3
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No chance, not deliberately anyway. I was copying some Excel files from my desktop to be used on my laptop, nothing else. When the transfer was done, I removed the USB, plugged it into my laptop and that's when the problems started.
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Old 12-29-2019, 12:24 PM   #4
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By USB do you mean a USB Flash Drive? or some other USB Device?
Put the Flash drive in the source computer (ie) where you copied the files from. Does that computer recognize the drive? On Windows 10, press the Windows key+X choose Disk Management. if the Flash drive here says it is RAW, Not Initialized, or No Media, chances are great that the USB Flash Drive has failed and needs to be replaced. https://www.easeus.com/storage-media...ent-error.html
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Old 12-29-2019, 12:32 PM   #5
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Yes, it's a USB flash drive. I'm on Windows 7 and I did just that, plugged it back in and tried to follow the instructions on the link you posted, but since their software doesn't even recognise my flash drive, I couldn't follow them through.

In Disk Management it says "No media".
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Old 12-29-2019, 12:38 PM   #6
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I would say that you are very likely out of luck. Once these devices fail the way yours has it is very, very difficult to recover the data.

Not to rub salt in an open wound, but this is another instance where the admonition to never keep a single copy of any data you consider precious comes to the fore. USB flash drives are a media of convenience, but are not even close to the most stable for long term use. Every once in a while any heavily used USB flash drive should be backed up somewhere.
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Old 12-29-2019, 06:58 PM   #7
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Unfortunately, USB Flash Drives are volatile and known to fail at the drop of a hat for no reason. Never keep the only copy of a file or program on them. They should never be used for a backup device. Just for transferring files from one computer to another. When copying files, always leave the original in place until the data has been successfully transferred to another device.
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Old 12-31-2019, 04:56 PM   #8
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Did you eject the drive before removing it?
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Old 12-31-2019, 05:29 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by larrya View Post
Did you eject the drive before removing it?
This has not been necessary under Windows since Windows 7, unless someone has gone in under the hood and changed the defaults for how USB media are handled.

The only thing you have to avoid doing is pulling something out while you know that it's being actively written to, which is pretty easy to avoid.
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Old 12-31-2019, 06:24 PM   #10
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https://support.microsoft.com/en-au/...emove-hardware

Safely remove hardware in Windows 10
Applies to: Windows 10
To avoid losing data, it's important to remove external hardware like hard drives and USB drives safely.

Look for the Safely Remove Hardware icon on the taskbar. If you don't see it, select Show hidden icons . Press and hold (or right-click) the icon and select the hardware you want to remove.
If you can't find the Safely Remove Hardware icon, press and hold (or right-click) the taskbar and select Taskbar settings .
Under Notification Area, choose Select which icons appear on the taskbar.
Scroll to Windows Explorer: Safely Remove Hardware and Eject Media and turn it on.
If this doesn't work, make sure the device has stopped all activity like copying or syncing files. Select Start > Settings > Devices. Select the device, and click Remove device.
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Old 12-31-2019, 06:45 PM   #11
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https://www.howtogeek.com/118546/htg...ve-usb-sticks/

It's been this way, with Quick Removal as the default, since Windows 7. Yes, you *can* eject devices, but it's absolutely unnecessary to do so and has been for a very, very long time.
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Old 12-31-2019, 08:00 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by britechguy View Post
https://www.howtogeek.com/118546/htg...ve-usb-sticks/

It's been this way, with Quick Removal as the default, since Windows 7. Yes, you *can* eject devices, but it's absolutely unnecessary to do so and has been for a very, very long time.

Ehhhhh as you really have no idea when Windows is using the drive, I personally would never lead people away from ejecting their USB keys.

I know what leads you to say what you do, but in my experience, as someone who uses USB drives frequently, I disagree. I have bricked/reformatted so many drives due to the drive being active when I am not actively transferring data to the drive, as Windows is doing something to the device.
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Old 12-31-2019, 08:10 PM   #13
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I assume the USB Flash drive was not purchased from eBay and isn't one of the fake drives that have been selling there in the past, I don't know what they're like these days.
I was given one by a friend, claimed to have 8GB, after transferring about 2GB it showed 0GB and couldn't access it. Investigation showed that it had only 2GB capacity (can't remember which software I used, sorry).
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Old 01-01-2020, 06:35 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kerflot View Post
I assume the USB Flash drive was not purchased from eBay and isn't one of the fake drives that have been selling there in the past, I don't know what they're like these days.
I was given one by a friend, claimed to have 8GB, after transferring about 2GB it showed 0GB and couldn't access it. Investigation showed that it had only 2GB capacity (can't remember which software I used, sorry).
I bought some 256GB on Wish.com like three years ago, and it took me like a year until I realized they were 16GB and the hardware was misreporting the size.. :( common China fraud
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Old 01-01-2020, 12:36 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by britechguy View Post
https://www.howtogeek.com/118546/htg...ve-usb-sticks/

It's been this way, with Quick Removal as the default, since Windows 7. Yes, you *can* eject devices, but it's absolutely unnecessary to do so and has been for a very, very long time.
With the number of times I've had to deal with corrupted(not dead) usb drives for customers, and with the number of times I find the "Safely Remove Hardware" NOT allowing removal as the device is in use.. I prefer to suggest ALWAYS using the "Safely Remove...." method.. then less likely to have problems.
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Old 01-01-2020, 01:07 PM   #16
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Clearly the battle between the "You must use safely eject" and "It's unnecessary to use safely eject (when you know the device is not actively being written to)" camps is never going to be resolved.

Neither camp is incorrect.

It will never hurt to use the eject option, so if you want to, then do so. It is also utterly unnecessary to do so if you know the device is not in use since Quick Removal has been the default since the introduction of Windows 7.

I do not use Eject simply because I am fully aware if I am writing something to a USB device or have a program running that might be doing so at random times. If neither is the case, Windows does not access USB devices at random.

Pick what makes you comfortable. But don't claim that hot swapping USB flash drives will corrupt them if you exercise even a modicum of attention when doing so. If nothing's being written (it can be reading, no problem, but the thing reading will get upset when its input stream is interrupted) then it simply will not have any chance of corruption. The Windows operating system defaults, which I presume are still in place when making this assertion, prevent that.

Also, what gets corrupted is the file being written. The rest of the drive and its content should be completely unaffected.
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Old 01-02-2020, 12:55 AM   #17
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This is a long shot, but any chance you can connect the drive back to the original computer where the data was copied ? Can you check if you're able to read the drive there ?

Use any disk image utility, grab a raw image of the flash drive.

Mount the raw image as a disk, run a tool called testdisk, see if you can rewrite the partition table, if this works, you'll be able to get your data back.

USB Flash drives are not backup mechanisms and should not be used as such, it's always recommended to have a robust backup setup.

If you're not worried about the data on the drive and just want to fix it, you can skip the steps above and just perform a low level format of the flash drive.
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Old 01-02-2020, 03:05 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by britechguy View Post
Clearly the battle between the "You must use safely eject" and "It's unnecessary to use safely eject (when you know the device is not actively being written to)" camps is never going to be resolved.

Neither camp is incorrect.

It will never hurt to use the eject option, so if you want to, then do so. It is also utterly unnecessary to do so if you know the device is not in use since Quick Removal has been the default since the introduction of Windows 7.

I do not use Eject simply because I am fully aware if I am writing something to a USB device or have a program running that might be doing so at random times. If neither is the case, Windows does not access USB devices at random.

Pick what makes you comfortable. But don't claim that hot swapping USB flash drives will corrupt them if you exercise even a modicum of attention when doing so. If nothing's being written (it can be reading, no problem, but the thing reading will get upset when its input stream is interrupted) then it simply will not have any chance of corruption. The Windows operating system defaults, which I presume are still in place when making this assertion, prevent that.

Also, what gets corrupted is the file being written. The rest of the drive and its content should be completely unaffected.
In my experience, not ejecting USBs is like running yellow lights. Eventually something bad will happen. You can argue as much as you want but tons of IT people are going to say the same as me. There just isn't enough justification to tell people to risk their data for two seconds of laziness.

Also you act like Windows is some ironclad OS. Like ME, Vista, and 8 don't exist...

The fact you tell people to pull USB from Windows 8 is agregious.
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Old 01-02-2020, 03:11 AM   #19
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This debate is not helpful to the OP, so please lets get back to the original issue and assist with that.
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Old 01-02-2020, 07:18 AM   #20
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Quote:
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This debate is not helpful to the OP, so please lets get back to the original issue and assist with that.
In all seriousness, I don't think there's anything to assist with. The offerings by myself and @spunk.funk back on December 29th, which indicate that the drive is likely unrecoverable still stand.

There may be a professional service available for flash drives, but if so, I've never had occasion to try one.

A repeated "No Media" message across multiple machines has only indicated one thing in my experience: unrecoverably dead flash drive (or SD media, when that's what's being used).
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