How to fix USB flash drive file system unknown issue?

Posted by Katrina to Data Recovery on September 29th, 2018

When I plugged in my USB flash drive, I received an error "Please insert a disk into Removable Disk". In properties, the drive showed 0 bytes total space and its file system is unknown. When I choose the format option, it didn't do anything and told me: "There is no disk in drive E:. Insert a disk, and then try again." How to fix USB flash drive file system unknown problem?

Some people complain their USB flash drive shows unknown file system and they are unable to access files on drive. This passage will tell you some common symptoms, reasons and effective solutions to USB flash drive file system unknown issue.

USB flash drive file system unknown

Symptoms of USB flash drive file system unknown issue

Except for the above example, there are other symptoms of USB flash drive file system unknown issue:

> When inserting USB flash drive, you get error message: "Please insert a disk into Removable Disk".

> If you try to open the USB flash drive, it says: "You need to format the disk before you can use it" in Windows 10/8/7 or "The disk in drive is not formatted USB drive" in Windows XP.

> In properties, the USB flash drive shows 0 bytes free space and used space. Meanwhile, its file system is unknown or RAW.

> When checking in Disk Management, the USB flash drive displays as RAW or unallocated.

> Sometimes Windows is unable to format flash drive and gives you error message: "There is no disk in drive E:. Insert a disk, and then try again."

Data recovery when USB flash drive file system becomes unknown

If you encounter the above symptoms, your USB flash drive gets corrupted/RAW. In this case, the operating system can't recognize its file system and all files on the drive turns to be inaccessible. Have important files on the USB? Didn't make any backup before? As any operation will erase the original data, the first thing is to recover data from corrupted USB flash drive. Here recommend you free RAW USB data recovery software - iBoysoft Data Recovery.

iBoysoft Data Recovery can help you recover data from RAW USB flash drive, corrupted USB flash drive, recover data from formatted, inaccessible hard drive, external hard drive, SD card, memory card, etc. on Windows 10/8/7/Vista/XP and Windows Server 2019/2016/2012/2008/2003. It supports 500+ file formats, including document, picture, audio, email, etc. and file systems like NTFS, FAT32, exFAT.

Tutorial to recover data from RAW/corrupted USB flash drive:

Step 1: Download & install iBoysoft Data Recovery, and then connect the corrupted USB flash drive to your computer.

Step 2: Launch iBoysoft Data Recovery and choose the corrupted USB flash drive.

Data recovery when USB flash drive file system becomes unknown

Step 3: Click Next to search for lost files on the corrupted USB flash drive.

Step 4: Preview the scanning results. After that, select the lost data and click Recover button to get them back.

Step 5: Have a check to ensure you have recovered all lost data.

How to fix USB flash drive file system unknown issue?

After restoring important data with iBoysoft Data Recovery, it's high time to fix USB flash drive file system unknown issue. The following are four effective solutions:

Solution 1: Change drive letter

Sometimes, the USB flash drive file system unknown issue is caused by the conflict between drivers' letters. For example, you already have a Drive E on the computer, but the USB drive letter also changes to Drive F, the operating system feel confused and give you error message "Please insert a disk into Removable Disk".

Step 1: Go to Disk Management.

Step 2: Right click on the USB flash drive and choose Change Drive Letter and Paths…

Change drive letter

Step 3: Click Change…, then assign an unused letter to the drive, choose OK to apply, and then Yes to confirm.

Solution 2: Format USB flash drive in Disk Management

If the above option doesn't work for you, you may have to reformat the USB flash drive in order to reclaim the storage.

Step 1: Go to Disk Management.

Step 2: Right-click on the USB flash drive and select Format. (If the USB flash drive shows Unallocated space, right-click the drive and choose New Simple Volume…)

Step 3: Setup the required information and click Start. The process will finish in minutes.

Solution 3: Run diskpart command

If you can't format USB flash drive in Disk Management, you can convert RAW to NTFS/FAT32 using diskpart command.

Step 1: Click Start and search diskpart.

Step 2: Right click on diskpart and then click on Run as Administrator.

Step 3: Type list volume to list all the available partitions and drives, then press Enter. According to the listed disk/partition information, identify which drive/partition you want to clean. For example, F drive is your target drive you want to select and it is Volume 3.

Step 4: Now type select Volume * and press Enter. Be sure to choose the correct drive.

Step 5: Type clean and press Enter.

Step 6: Type exit and press Enter to close the command prompt.

Run diskpart command to clean USB flash drive

Solution 4: Send it to local repair company or replace with a new one

After trying the above three solutions, USB flash drive file system corrupted issue still can't be fixed. That means the drive has some physical problems. Then the last choice is to send the USB flash drive to local disk repair company or replace it with a new one.

Why does USB flash drive file system become unknown?

When the file system of USB flash drive is corrupted, Windows can't recognize the file system and it becomes unknown. There are various reasons for USB flash drive file system unknown issue, such as virus attack, unsafe ejection, bad sector, power failure and some physical problems.

How to avoid USB flash drive file system unknown issue?

Since you have learn about what cause USB flash drive file system unknown issue, you should think about how to avoid the problem. Firstly, please make regular backups of important files on the USB. Secondly, don't drag your USB directly and always safely remove USB device after transferring files. Thirdly, don't plug your USB flash drive into an unknown computer. Last but not least, download a reliable antivirus software and check your USB flash drive usually.

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