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Question

SOS: Cannot access USB contents without formatting/deleting!

by Marienna / March 1, 2013 12:16 AM PST

I stupidly lent a Kingston USB stick to a friend (who's awful with computers) for one evening. It contains a ton of irreplaceable work for my university disseration. My life literally depends on being able to access those files, and now I can't - really hoping someone can help me...

My friend tried to use the USB to transport an imovie (he works on a Mac, I work on windows). For some reason he was unable to do this and tried to follow the instructions in this youtube video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6TpS5dYkdZM

I don't know how well he followed the instructions but now whenever I plug in the USB it says it needs to be formatted for use, but warns that formatting the USB will delete all its contents, which I can't let happen!

Please, can anyone help?

Thanks.

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Clarification Request
What file system are you using?
by morgan.h / March 1, 2013 9:50 AM PST

If you are using NTFS as your file system, and your USB drive was formatted with NTFS, some versions of Mac OS X can't write to an NTFS drive. This may be why he wasn't able to use the USB drive without reformatting it to Mac OS format. If he's already reformatted your USB drive to Mac OS then your PC will not be able to read the USB drive without extra software (like MacDrive), and so it will say it needs to format the USB drive back to a format that it can read. Even if you could read it, however, your original data will likely have already been affected by his reformat, and all you would be able to see is the data that he copied onto the drive after he reformatted it. It would seem to me that you will need some kind of data recovery software to try and get at your previous data on the USB drive. If you format it back to NTFS then that will only mean that there are two levels of formatting to try and undo, instead of just one, so your data recovery software needs to be something that can read the USB drive in its current Mac OS format. I haven't tried to do that before, but maybe someone else will know of some software than can do that.
Good luck.

All Answers

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Answer
Did you try the titles given so far?
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / March 1, 2013 12:23 AM PST
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Given titles
by Marienna / March 1, 2013 12:35 AM PST

Hi Bob - yes, I know, it's awful. I'm usually good on the back up front but the irreplaceable stuff was a series of lecturers I only recorded 2 days ago, and I hadn't gotten back to my desktop yet :s

I'm going to start trying to run through some of these titles, but I'm so pressed for time in the coming days that if that's the only way I may just have to accept the loss and keep working without the material Sad

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I hear you.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / March 1, 2013 12:54 AM PST
In reply to: Given titles

That link also notes drivesavers.com that you can ship it off to them for the work. Not everyone thinks it's worth the fees but if you are in the industry you know time = money.

Again, I'm repeating myself that there is not a single solution but many because the damage is not always the same thing.
Bob

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Answer
Thanks For the information Friends
by sebcomkt / March 1, 2013 3:24 PM PST

Thanks For the information Friends

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