Many businesses uses cheap flash drives as a marketing medium – they are used to store marketing material for customers to keep and as "premium" items as a way to reward loyal customers. It is a shame to toss them out, even if they have small storage capacity. You can easily format a USB flash drive and reuse them.
Do take note that reformatting your flash drive is the last resort for any situation. This is because it is not reversible and once the flash drive is reformatted, all data will be wiped off from storage. Therefore, make sure you have back-up data if you decide to start this process.
There is quite an extensive list of reasons why a USB format may be required. Before getting into them, let’s have a look at what formatting is!
We hear a lot about formatting and why it's important not just to keep your data safe, but also for maintaining good health of the USB flash drive.
Formatting is the process where the data on the USB drive is completely erased and a new file format system is written on the device. The user can choose the file format system to be used before formatting. The most common file system used by Windows computers is NTFS. You can also use FAT32 or ExFAT if you want the USB drive to work on Mac systems too.
Another option you might have seen in the format window is the option to do a quick format. The difference between normal formatting and quick formatting is that normal formatting automatically checks for bad sectors. In a quick format, no such scan is performed. Doing a scan on bad sectors is good for prolonging the life of a USB drive.
Why do people format when they can just delete all the files and call it a day? The answer can be just summed up in one sentence. There are multiple reasons why you would want to choose format over just deleting the files from a USB drive. Let us review some of them!
While it sounds extremely scary (it is not!), there are no fancy flash drive format tools other than what is already existed on your computer. Formatting your flash drive is a fairly simple process that should not take more than 3 steps. However, you will need to care that the process is done uninterrupted to ensure that it is a success.
Take note that you should not use third-party software to execute this task. While it will probably format USB flash drive, it will also make the device vulnerable to data theft with a Trojan-like malware. You could be a victim of data and privacy leaks as this type of malware could transfer documents located in the flash drive across the internet.
Formatting the USB flash drive is easy with the built-in feature. Here is how:
While we did say that formatting is irreversible, there is still a way to unformat the flash drive. Recoverit Data Recovery unformat software can help you unformat flash drive and recover data back. Supports to recover data for formatting, sudden deletion, lost partition, virus attack, system crash under different situations.
If you are comfortable with using the command line, then you can try this solution right away. You can unformat a USB drive using the Windows tools. The following guide will help you understand how to unformat a USB drive.
Step 1: Press Windows Key + R to open the Run box.
Step 2: Type cmd and press Enter.
Step 3: In the command box, enter the code ATTRIB -H -R -S /S /D H:*.* where you must replace H with the drive letter of the USB device which you lost data.
Now all the hidden and lost files will be saved to a new folder on your USB drive. The process is fairly simple and you can do it easily by yourself.
Prior to the process to format USB flash drive, there are several things you should do – this means checking the health of the drive. This simply means that you will need to find the cause of the faulty flash drive or check if it is infected by malware or virus. If it is the second, formatting the USB flash drive is the best corrective move.
In the case of unformatting a flash drive, just make sure that there is no important document stored in the flash drive. While it is possible to recover data from a newly formatted USB flash drive, it is advisable to not format and unformat flash drive too frequently.