System hacks: Troubleshooting non-physically damaged USB devices

After you insert a USB device into your Windows-based computer, what should you do if you receive a prompt that the drive is faulty and asks to be scanned and repaired now? Be aware that you may have to use something other than simply restarting the system and scanning.

If the USB device does not work under the current Windows, but is plugged into another computer’s Windows without problems, this may be caused by a sudden unplugging of the device, or it may be due to a corrupted local file system. Of course, the most optimistic scenario is that this is a temporary “error” that can be lifted by restarting the computer and reconnecting the device. Therefore, when you encounter such problems, you can first try the reboot and reconnect method. If you cannot solve the problem, you can refer to the following methods. 1.

1. Scan and fix disk errors in time

After reinserting the USB device in the Windows environment and showing an error that needs to be scanned and repaired, along with the pop-up window, a Scan and Repair button will usually appear, click it to scan and repair media errors (Figure 1). Wait for the scanning process to finish, then reinsert the USB device, or reboot the system and insert the USB device to check if the problem is solved.


In addition, we can also check USB devices with the built-in command CHKDSK, which needs to be run from a command prompt window with the parameters it can use as shown in the figure (Figure 2).


For example, to scan and automatically repair errors on drive E, we can use the following command (Figure 3).



The /F parameter means that if an error is detected, the error is automatically corrected. The /X parameter means that the volume can be forcibly unmounted and then scanned and repaired if necessary, which is very effective for volumes that are locked and cannot be scanned and repaired.

2. Troubleshooting with hardware devices

If the instant scan does not solve the problem, you can use Hardware Device Troubleshooting to solve it. Click the Start button and select “Settings” and in the Settings window select “Update and Security” (Figure 4).


Select “Troubleshooting” in the left navigation bar of the Update and Security window, select “Hardware and Devices” in the right pane, and click the “Run Troubleshooting” button (Figure 5). The system will then automatically check for problematic devices in wizard mode and guide the solution. After the process is complete, reboot the system to try to see if the problem is solved.


3. Use Microsoft USB Troubleshooter

If the Hardware and Devices Troubleshooting Wizard does not solve the problem with the USB device, try using Microsoft’s USB tool, Windows USB Troubleshooter, to solve it.

Run the tool and it will scan the system for potential problems with USB devices and then give a list of problems to report. After selecting the items that need to be fixed, the software will automatically fix the problems (Figure 6).


4. Reinstall the USB driver

USB device problems can also be caused by errors in the device driver. To do this, simply uninstall the original driver and reinstall the USB device driver. Right-click the Start button and select Device Manager (Figure 7).


In Device Manager, expand “Universal Serial Bus Controller”, right-click on the USB device and select “Uninstall Device” to perform this action for all USB devices (Figure 8). After that, reboot the system, Windows will automatically reinstall the USB driver at boot.


5. Prevention and early detection of problems

In order to avoid serious problems with USB storage devices that cannot be solved by the above methods, we need to prevent them from happening early. To do this, you can use the free software HDD Expert to check the health of your USB storage device and back up your data when you find hidden problems.

Run HDD Expert, select the USB drive that needs to be checked from the list of devices given by the software, and the software will automatically start to check the health of the device and give a report on the health of the device based on the results (see the message window in the upper right corner), which includes the temperature level, fan speed, how healthy it is, suggestions on whether it needs to be backed up, etc. (Figure 9). We can make appropriate decisions about the USB device in advance based on this.


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