What to do when the USB flash drive stops working

USB flash driveCustomer writes: I’ve been backing up important documents using a Crucial Gizmo USB flash drive. This drive is no longer functional. I tried to connect it to my other Mac, but that computer can’t read the files, either. I also have a Kingston device that I use for backup purposes. However, when I try to save new docs onto the Kingston they aren’t accessible. While I can just go out and buy a new USB drive and back up everything again, do you think there is something else I can do?


Option #1 – Run Repair Disk from Disk Utility

Disk Utility is located in the Utilities folder inside the Applications folder of your hard drive. From the Finder, go to Applications > Utilities, then click Disk Utility to open the software program.

To repair a drive, first select the name of your USB drive in the list that will appear on the left side of the screen. Afterward, click the Repair Disk button. The repair process may take several minutes to complete. If Disk Utility completes the repair without generating any error messages, see if you can use the USB drive in a normal manner (e.g., try copying files).

Option #2 – Reformat (erase) USB drive and back up data from scratch

If Option #1 doesn’t reenable normal access to your USB device, try reformatting.

From the same Disk Utility window, select the name of the USB drive’s partition (the secondary name that appears indented below the topmost volume name), then select the Erase tab that appears in the menu bar. In the subsequent screen, click the Erase button and confirm the process.

Once the USB drive has been reformatted, see if you can copy files to it.

Option #3 – When all else fails, go out and get a new USB drive

Fixing Things with Disk Utility in Mac OS X – For Dummies
By Bob LeVitus


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Filed under Apple Software, Mail Bag, Third Party Hardware, Troubleshooting

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