7 Ways to Fix Unreadable and RAW Flashdisks in Windows 10 – One of the most common problems encountered when using a flash drive to transfer data is that Windows 10 cannot read the flash drive. When you insert it into the USB port, it should not take long for the Pendrive to appear in Explorer. However, if the Flashdisk is unreadable, nothing will be seen there.
How to Fix Unreadable and RAW Flashdisks in Windows 10
Under certain conditions, you may hear a sound coming from the laptop or PC that you are using as if a device is connected and then disconnected again and again.
Sometimes a message also appears in the notification bar that reads:
- “USB device not recognized.”
- “The device you connected to this computer malfunctioned, and Windows does not recognize it.”
- “One of the devices attached to this computer has malfunctioned, and Windows does not recognize it. For assistance in solving this problem, click this message.”
- “Unknown drive, port reset failed.”
- “Unknown device, descriptor request failed, error code 43.”
- “Drive did not load successfully.”
When you click on the tray icon area, there will be a USB icon as if there is a USB drive connected, but when viewed in File Explorer, the flashdisk that is plugged in is not readable.
Causes of unreadable flash drives in Windows 10
There are several reasons that could be the source of the problem why your flash drive doesn’t appear when used on a Windows 10 PC or laptop, including:
- The flash drive is broken
- The USB port used is damaged
- Conflicts with other devices
- Outdated, corrupt, or deleted USB drivers
- File system error
- Imperfect formatting process
- The flash drive was immediately removed without ejecting
- Virus dan malware
How to Fix with an unreadable flash drive in Windows 10
1. Check the flash status using the Disk Management or Partition Manager application
If when plugging in the USB your laptop responds with the message USB device not recognized, that means the flash drive is still detected but Windows 10 can’t read it.
To find out what happened to the Flashdisk, we can use the help of the Disk Management program.
Follow these steps:
1. Press Windows key+R on the keyboard
2. Type the command: diskmgmt.msc
3. Click OK
4. Wait until the Disk Management program opens
5. See the status of your flash drive in Disk Management
In this case, there may be several cases:
- The flash drive is detected in RAW format
- The flash drive partition has been deleted so that it becomes Unallocated space
- The drive letter on the flashdisk is missing (a drive letter is a letter commonly used to label disks such as C, D, E, etc.)
- Flashdisk does not appear at all in Disk Management
Depending on where the problem is with your flash drive, there are also different ways to deal with it. Follow the next steps below.
2. Overcoming the Flashdisk is unreadable because it changes to RAW
Flashdisk problems that change to RAW format often occur suddenly. Maybe before when you used the flash it was still functioning normally, but the next day when it was used again it became unreadable because the format changed to RAW.
Some of the things that often cause this to happen are a sudden power drop when the Flashdisk is being used, the formatting process is not perfect, forcibly removing the Flashdisk without ejecting it, or the Flashdisk being disconnected while the file transfer process is in progress.
If you have important data on the Flashdisk that needs to be saved. So the first step that must be done is to perform data recovery first.
How to restore data on a RAW Flashdisk
Follow these steps to restore data on a Flashdisk that has become RAW without formatting:
1. Download the EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard application here: Download
2. Install the application as usual, when there is an offer to upgrade to the pro version press the Skip button
3. After the application is finished installing, plug the USB Flashdisk into the laptop or PC that you are using
4. Run the EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard application
5. On the main menu you will find an option called Removable Disk
6. Click the Scan button on the menu
7. The EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard application will scan the files on the flash drive and try to recover them (restore the data so it won’t be lost).
8. Wait until the scan process is complete
9. When finished, you will see which files can be restored from the Flashdisk that has changed to RAW
10. Tick the files you want to save then click the Recover button then select a safe storage location on your computer.
The next step is to repair the RAW Flashdisk so that it can be used again.
Follow these steps:
1. Open the File Explorer application
2. Click on the This PC directory
3. Right-click on the USB Flashdisk that is there
4. Select Properties
5. Click on the Tools tab
6. In the Error-checking section, click on the Check button, then select Scan drive again
7. Wait until the scan process is complete
If successful, the Flashdisk will be able to be used again without having to format it. But if the method above doesn’t work, you can format the flash drive as usual.
As an alternative, you can also use CMD (command prompt) to deal with an unreadable Flashdisk because it has changed to RAW.
Follow these steps:
1. Click on the Windows button
2. Type CMD
3. In the menu that appears click on the Run as administrator option
4. After the Command Prompt program is open, type the command:
CHKDSK /F E:
Replace E: according to your flash drive letter. For example E: F: G: and so on.
5. Press enter then wait until the scanning process is complete.
The steps above are powerful enough to overcome errors in the Flashdisk file system and if successful, an unreadable Flashdisk can be used again.
If using an application or using the Command Prompt still doesn’t work, the last remaining step is to format the flashdisk and give up the data in it because it is already difficult to save.
To format a Flashdisk, you can do this using the Easus Partition Manager application, how to:
- Download the application here: Download
- Install the Easus Partition Manager application as usual
- After installation is complete, run the application
- Right-click on your flash drive
- Select Formats
- Select the FAT32 file system
- Click the OK button and wait for the formatting process to finish
Another alternative, if you don’t want to format without an additional application, can do it through File Explorer as usual, provided that the flashdisk still appears there.
- Open File Explorer
- Right-click on the Flashdisk
- Select Formats
- In the Volume Label column, name your flashdisk
- Check the Quick Format option
- Click Start
- Wait until the formatting process is complete
3. Try using the Flashdisk on another USB port
Apart from changing the Flashdisk to RAW, another reason why the Flashdisk cannot be read is that the port you are using is damaged.
This often happens on both PCs and laptops, sometimes there is one port whose function is not good enough so that any device that is installed becomes undetectable or often disconnects.
The solution is, if you experience the problem of an unreadable flash drive when plugged into a USB port on a laptop, try using a flash drive on another port. If it turns out that it can be read then the port is the problem.
4. Reinstall the USB Controller Driver
USB functionality in Windows is controlled by drivers called Universal Serial Bus controllers. Errors in this driver can also cause USB devices such as flash drives and others to become unreadable. To overcome this, the easiest way is to reinstall the driver.
Follow these steps:
1. Press the Windows+R key
2. Type: devmgmt.msc
3. The Device Manager program will open
4. Click expand on Universal Serial Bus controllers drivers
5. Right-click on the USB Flashdisk
6. Click Uninstall
7. Restart the computer
After the computer restarts, Windows will automatically reinstall the Universal Serial Bus controllers driver.
5. Turn off the USB Selective Suspend Feature
This is one of the Power Management features in Windows which functions to reduce power consumption to USB when the laptop is running on battery. To make sure the cause of the unreadable Flashdisk is because this feature is active, it’s a good idea to check it first.
Follow these steps:
1. Enter the Windows 10 Control Panel
2. Select View by Category
3. Select the Hardware and Sound menu
4. Select Power Options
5. Click on the Change plan settings menu
6. Click again on Change advanced power settings
7. Click the + sign on the USB settings menu to expand
8. Click again the + sign on USB selective suspend settings
9. In the On battery section, change to Disabled (especially for laptops)
10. In the Plugged-in section, change to Disabled (for laptops and PCs)
11. Click OK
After turning off this feature, try removing the Flashdisk from the laptop, then plug it back in and see if the Flashdisk can be read.
6. Try using the Flashdisk on another computer
Apart from a damaged USB port, system errors or malware infections in Windows 10 can also cause the flash drive to be unreadable. To ensure this, you can try to use Flashdisk on another computer.
If it turns out that on another computer the Flashdisk can be read, it can be concluded that there is something wrong with your computer.
To resolve this, perform the following steps:
1. Try doing a Windows Update
You do this by going to Settings > Update & Security > clicking the Check for updates button > waiting for the update download and install process to complete. After that restart your computer.
2. Uninstall the last program installed
This is also what you need to pay attention to, if the Flashdisk becomes unreadable after installing certain programs, especially pirated programs that use cracks or keygens, then the cause may be that the program has inserted malware so that the USB port becomes problematic.
3. Enter Safe Mode
Safe Mode is one of the troubleshooting steps that you can try on Windows. In this mode Windows will run with minimal services, then you can check whether the problem still appears in Safe Mode.
The goal is to find out if the problem is occurring due to a glitch in the device, or in the system. In the case of an unreadable Flashdisk, try entering Safe Mode and then plugging in the Flashdisk.
If it turns out that in Safe Mode it can be read, then we can be sure that the problem is the system in Windows. However, if it turns out that Safe Mode is unreadable, then the problem is with the flash drive.
4. Reset the PC
This is a continuation of the previous step, namely entering Safe Mode. If it turns out that the Flashdisk can be read in Safe Mode and you can’t find an error in the system that is the cause, then the easiest step to solve it is to reset the PC.
In this way, we can deal with an unreadable flash drive without reinstalling it because resetting is different from reinstalling Windows 10. You can still keep personal data on drive C from being deleted.
7. Replace the new Flashdisk
If none of the steps above have worked, there are very few solutions we can do here. There is a possibility that the physical damage is from the flash drive itself.
Take a look, if the Flashdisk has an indicator light whether it lights up when the Flashdisk is used, if not then it can be suspected that the flashdisk is physically damaged. If this is the case then replacing the Flashdisk with a new one is the last solution you can do.