Is it possible to recover data deleted from a USB flash drive?

Our Computer Support Q&A series is a look inside our email inbox here at TUCU tech support company in Toronto, ON.  We share stories that may help and entertain you with your computer problems.  All identifying information is removed or altered.  Recently a reader wrote in to ask about data recovery options.

QUESTION: Is it possible to recover data that was deleted from a USB flash drive?


I was trying to create a recovery partition and used my external backup drive. Now all my data that was backed up is gone. Let me know if you have experience doing this. I saw a $99 special elsewhere but want to know how much you would charge me.

ANSWER: Data recovery is often a yes and no answer.

Data can likely be partially recovered, without a guarantee of full recovery. Data may be fully recoverable. It may be simple and relatively quick. It may take hours.  Generally, yes, it is possible to recover lost data from a USB jump drive.

However, here at TUCU, before we start any data recovery attempt, we always have a conversation with clients to determine just how important the lost data is. We do this because each data recovery is unique, and because each attempt at recovery can further corrupt a drive and make recovery impossible. That’s why, if a drive is heavily corrupted, and the data is very important, we might start with the most effective but costly data recovery attempt, because we may only have one good shot. If the drive isn’t badly corrupted or the data is not high value, we can offer less expensive options.

IT is complex and most clients don’t understand the complexities, so we always try to share useful information and advise against buying IT services based on price. IT involves many factors and your situation may not be best served by a cheap special offer.

That said, let’s talk about the data and have a look at the drive so we can give a clear picture of what we are dealing with and what might be the best course of action for you.  

Get Better Data Backup Services

Prevention is better than cure.  This applies to data backup to prevent data loss, and IT Support Services in general.  The benefits of a long-term, trust-based relationship with a good IT provider far outweigh the small price savings of chasing specials and one-off deals from weekend “computer guys” offering cheap “fixes”.  Studies have shown the strong effects of investing in IT on small business revenue.  Having your own dedicated IT support company is good for your small business. And  Managed IT Services give you proactive help and support when you need it, so you don’t have to waste time chasing down answers that may or may not be best for your needs.

Whether it’s data backup setup or data recovery of lost files, we can help. TUCU is a small business IT Support Company in Toronto. To schedule support, more information about our computer support and network maintenance services, please contact us today.