Question USB drive corrupted? CHKDSK converted it to FAT32

turre2

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Jan 10, 2018
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Not certain if this is in the right section, if not, I apologize.

Anyone have a clue what might have happened to my USB drive?

I had sorted some 500 photographs I took in a wedding party on the drive. Some of them I had edited with Photoshop. I was about to give the drive on to the married couple when I decided to copy a handful of photos from my PC's SSD to the drive.
While copying, the drive suddenly showed multiple folder with names as if encrypted, like C=%,v_¤56:F and so on.

I ran Windows' check and fix -tool on the drive (chkdsk?) and it returned the drive back to normal visually. Except that every photo I had retouched (somewhat 50) were gone completely.
I downloaded and ran Disk Drill, which found a lot of files with the ending .CHK. I tried to recover them but the program froze after a short while. It also allowed only 500mb of recovery with the free version so I deleted it and moved on.

At this point I re-tried chkdsk, cause why not. I shouldn't have as the drive was converted to FAT32 by windows and now I can't access it at all with the file explorer.
I tried to convert it back to NTFS in command prompt, but i says "convert is not available for RAW drives". Never heard of those. Apparently for the same reason Recuva can't access the drive as the format is uknown to it.

I can see the drive with Minitools partition wizard, which also shows it has somewhat 29gbs of content. Around the amount it should have, I guess. It can scan it for recovery but it seems to take more than 3 hours and the free version might not support actual data recovery. I'll let it run during the night.

But I'm confused, what went wrong here? Bad drive that got corrupted?
Virus? Avast scanning got jammed at 2% and now with the drive in FAT32 format both Avast and Malwarebytes seem to consider the drive empty. Also seems kinda unlikely to me.

Also, what next?
 
As of several years ago, some USB 3.0 spinning drives' internal circuitry could actually not handle sustained USB 3.0 write speeds/transfers without overheating/locking up...(the USB 3.0 drives worked fine on the slower USB 2.0 connections, however)

Not sure what happened to your drive, of course, but, no single drive should ever be trusted as a single copy source of data.
 
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turre2

Reputable
Jan 10, 2018
19
0
4,510
0
As of several years ago, some USB 3.0 spinning drives' internal circuitry could actually not handle sustained USB 3.0 write speeds/transfers without overheating/locking up...(the USB 3.0 drives worked fine on the slower USB 2.0 connections, however)

Not sure what happened to your drive, of course, but, no single drive should ever be trusted as a single copy source of data.
Yes, I did make a mistake by usina a shortcut to save edited photos and doing the culling work on the drive itself. The full set of original photos are in a more safe place on my PC. Just lost the effort I put into it, nothing permanent.
 
Thanks, I'll see that next. I have PhotoRec running right now. It seems to take forever.
Also read about CHKDSK being the bad guy. Wish I knew that a few hours ago.
PhotoRec is a file carver. It makes no attempt to recover the original file names or file system metadata.

DMDE is another data recovery tool. The free version will recover up to 4000 files of any size from any one folder per run.

You could speed up your scans by limiting the file types to those that you need.

I suggest that cloning your drive to an image file on your HDD would be the best option, especially if it is starting to fail. Then you can run data recovery software against the clone.
 
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