How to Fix a USB Mass Storage Device

by Lee Prangnell

A USB mass storage device might in the form of a USB flash drive or a USB external hard disk drive. These drives are devices for storing files of any type, including image, document, video and audio files. One of the most common issues that occurs with mass storage devices is the development of "bad sectors," which can cause the disk drive to malfunction. Microsoft Windows includes the command line utility "Chkdsk" which checks a disk drive for errors and bad sectors and then repairs them.


Connect the USB mass storage device to an available USB port in your computer. Windows should instantly recognize this device when it is connected.


Double-click the "Computer" icon on your Windows Desktop. Find out the drive letter of the USB mass storage device. (For the purpose of this article, "E:" will be assumed to be the drive letter of the device.)


Click the Windows "Start" menu button and type "Command Prompt" into the Search field. Click on "Command Prompt," which will be the first item that appears in the search results. A Command Prompt window will load.


Type the following command: "chkdsk e: /f /r" in the Command Prompt window (without quotation marks) and press "Enter." (Remember to substitute "e:" with the drive letter for your USB device, if it is different. For example if the drive is letter "g", the command will be "chkdsk g: /f /r".) Press the "Y" key on your keyboard to confirm. Wait for the process to complete.


Restart Microsoft Windows.


  • If the drive is not showing in "Computer," click the Windows "Start" button, click "Control Panel," click "System and Security," click "Administrative Tools" and then click "Computer Management." Click "Disk Management" in the left pane. All of the drives installed on your computer should be present, even if the file system is not recognized (which might be because the drive is malfunctioning).

Video of the Day

Brought to you by Techwalla
Brought to you by Techwalla

About the Author

Lee Prangnell is an experienced writer in information technology and computer science. He graduated with a Master of Science (MSc) degree in information technology from the University of Liverpool, UK, where he achieved a first class/distinction grade. He is presently undertaking a Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) degree in computer science at the University of Warwick, UK.

More Articles