How To Fix a Broken USB Drive in Windows

If your computer doesn’t recognize your pen drive, don’t worry. There are several methods to recover the files and fix a broken USB memory. Maybe it’s a problem of format or another with an easy solution. It does not have to mean that the device is physically broken.

1 MTP or MSC?

There are two ways to connect a USB device to a computer, two protocols. They are the MSC and MTP. Both work but you may not have installed the necessary drivers for it on your PC.

  • MTP: Media Transfer Protocol
  • MSC: Mass Storage Class

The main difference is that while Windows supports both standards, macOS only supports the MSC. That can cause a problem when reading a pen drive, although it is not insurmountable. If your computer does not recognize the pen drive,  don’t panic.

Whether you are using MTP or if you use MSC, in case of problems it is advisable to try to change the format or install the corresponding drivers. This is the way to fix a broken USB drive if this is the problem:

  • Right click on the My Computer icon> Properties
  • Go to the Hardware tab
  • Open the device manager and look up your name
  • Right click> Update driver
  • Select Install from a list or specific location (Advanced)
  • In the next window choose Do not Search
  • Select MSC or MTP mode

2 Fix the Format

Fix the Format

A common problem when using a USB memory is to make the mistake of giving the wrong format. When formatting a pen drive or a hard drive, not all formats are useful: there are NTFS, FAT 32 (or simply FAT), EX FAT and several others.

Of your interest, there are only two: MTFS, the one you should give if you want to install Windows on those devices and FAT32 or FAT, the ones that interest you if you want to store files.

It may be the case that you have formatted the USB device in MTFS and that your PC doesn’t recognize it as a storage device. In this case, the broken USB memory is not broken , but you must reformat it in the correct way:

  • Open My PC
  • Right click on the USB device
  • Go to Format
  • Select the FAT format and click Start
  • Wait until the process is completed

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