Is it possible to recover data from a damaged memory card or USB flash drive? + 5 Tips to minimize the risk of losing information

Tarjeta memoria rota

If you work with USB flash drives or have memory cards with all your photos from the last decade, you may wonder if these devices can be broken or damaged.

Or maybe it’s already happened to you and what you’re wondering is:

Is there a solution to this disaster?

llorando porque se ha roto mi tarjeta de memoria

Read on because we will answer these questions and give you some guidelines to keep your memory cards and USB flash drives safe.

Can a USB flash drive or memory card (SD) break?

We are sorry to say yes.

As much as technology advances by leaps and bounds, it is not infallible.

Any electronic device, no matter how good it is and no matter how careful we are, runs the risk of being totally or partially damaged at some point in its useful life.

It is true that with a little care (patience, we will soon tell you how), the risk is greatly reduced, but you will never be completely free. However, damage to the device is not the only risk.

There are many reasons why you may lose data from your USB flash drive or memory card.

We tell you which are the most frequent.

Reasons for loss or deletion of data on USB flash drives or SD memory cards

  • Accidental deletion: “Oops, I deleted the wrong document”.
  • Formatting: “I thought I had a copy of everything and I formatted the memory, but I was wrong”. (Formatting is a total erase of the memory to make it as good as new).
  • The device does not recognize the memory: “My computer does nothing when I insert the USB or the card, it is on strike”.
  • He recognizes her, but she is not available: “Let’s see, she has done the “tinini” when connecting, but she is missing”.

You’re already in the middle of one of these cases, now what?

We are happy to inform you that all is not lost.

perder datos usb

How is the data lost?

Everything will depend on the reason for the deletion or loss of your data and how you have acted once you have seen the problem.

For example, in case you have accidentally deleted information, you will be able to recover the data as long as you have been good as soon as you realized that information was missing.

If you have continued to edit information in memory or add information (or files, photos, etc.) it will be more difficult (sometimes impossible) to recover the lost data.

👀 Eye, this includes if you download a data recovery program and, when it asks you where you want to save the recovered information, you do it on the external memory itself that you want to repair.
It is possible that the program has not managed to rescue 100% of the data and now it will be impossible to do otherwise because you will have overwritten information on top of it.

So, make this a mantra for yourself:

If you want to recover your information,

be quiet and don’t introduce anything new

in damaged or erased memory deleted

But the problem may be different…

If the case is that the USB flash drive or memory card fails and you cannot access your data…

It all depends on the type of failure that is occurring.

The memory may have failed spontaneously (although this is rare) or it may have been damaged by the use itself (we show you how to avoid this below), but it is much more likely that the failure is human.

In other words, the memory has been a bit mistreated when using it (continuous unprotected in-and-out), that you’ve dropped it about a million times (admit it), that you’ve sat on it (“Oh, it was there!”) or that your furry loved one has had a bit of fun and nibbled on it (yes, we’ve seen this a bunch of times).

cara de mi perro después de destrozar mi pendrive

The USB flash drive and SD memory card are full of components (for more information about them, click here 👈🏻) that, although it may not seem like it, need to be treated with care.

💡 We recommend that you store your cards and USB flash drives in their protective case when you are finished using them.

Everything has a limited lifespan (so do we 😆 ) but we can always do little things to make our electronics last as long as possible.

You can prevent it from gradually degrading without realizing it until the time comes when you can no longer access the stored information.

Degraded means that it is not completely broken, it is possible that some areas that can be accessed are still saved while others are partially or completely dead.

Now we tell you how to prevent your USB sticks and memory cards from gradually degrading until they become more useless than hangover Sundays.

The kittens in your saved memes are going to thank you for saving them (we said kittens for not saying kitties 😏).

Tips to extend the life of your USB flash drive or memory card

Mothers often say that… Prevention is better than cure.

And in electronics it is often very useful to keep this saying in mind. A little care and attention when using your devices can save you from more than one breakdown and, above all, from losing valuable data.

So, it’s worth the small effort.

Here are some tips to extend the life of your USB flash drives and SD memory cards:

Avoid working with external memory connected

As long as you have the USB flash drive or memory card connected, its components will be working and your computer will be communicating with it, so it will last much longer if you only connect it for data transfer.

We recommend that (unless it will be a short job) you copy the document you want to use to your PC and once modified copy it back to the external memory.

Yes, it seems heavy to do this every time, but once you get used to it, it costs nothing and helps a lot.

You will avoid that Excel with your family’s accounting (which makes you curse every time you open it and see the numbers) to be lost in the middle of the year.

un pendrive puede contener datos personales sensibles

Performs the extraction safely

If the manufacturer of your operating system has taken the trouble to create a specific way to extract the external memory, it is for a reason.

As mentioned before, while the USB flash drive or memory card is connected to the computer, it is working (even if you don’t notice it) and if you pull it out abruptly it can be damaged and make the data inaccessible.

Nobody likes a coitus interruptus.

Yes, we know you’ve done it many times and nothing happened. Until it happens. He who warns is not a traitor.
Yes, we also know that sometimes safe removal is almost impossible to do because you always get the same response, “Could not eject because there is a process that has access to the device”.

But at least give it a try and have a little patience. Give it time and get it out the right way. Don’t be anxious.

Limits sudden temperature changes

This is something we don’t take into account many times and it is important.

Electronics do not get along well with
temperature changes

Cold, hot, cold, hot.

That drives anyone crazy and, if it is an electronic component, even more so.

Especially microSD memory cards, which are often carried in cell phones and cameras, are quite sensitive to temperature.

We recommend that if you ever notice that your cell phone or camera (or any other device) is very hot, turn it off for about 5 minutes and remove the memory card until the temperature drops gradually.

You know, beware of leaving your phone in the sun while you’re at the pool or on the terrace with vermouth 🍷.

Keep it in a safe place

We think our USB sticks and memory cards are all-rounders, but you’ve seen that nothing could be further from the truth.

Avoid leaving your external memories in places that are dangerous for their physical integrity, such as…

  • Rear trouser pocket: Would you sit on your laptop? Well, neither does external memory (not to mention that it may end up in the toilet).
  • Places accessible to your pet: you know, their fangs also pierce the components of your USB stick. We attest to this.

Do not force when connecting

We have seen many memory cards and, above all, pen drives damaged by trying to force them into our computer by force.

Connecting external flash drives to your device only requires a little tact.

If you see that it doesn’t go in the first time, start again, but, for the love of God, don’t force it.

hombre reparando dispositivo


Now you know more about those little memories that go everywhere with you.

And that they are more delicate than they look.

We have shown you how to extend its life as long as possible, but we still have one more recommendation:

If you notice that your USB stick or memory card is running slower than usual, back up your data as soon as possible. This is the first symptom that something is going to happen and it is not going to be good.

And if the worst is over and you can’t access your data, contact us.

We are a company specialized in data recovery, we have our own laboratory and we are very knowledgeable.

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