We’ve had so many data recovery jobs in Sheffield, many of which as requests about data lost from USB memory sticks. Please read this advice if you use USB sticks (and the same applies to hard drives).
- Use USB sticks for storing and transferring data only…
- Don’t use the drive as live – don’t read and write to it constantly. I.e. don’t open a file from the USB stick and save the file to it > best to make a document and save it to the computer, and when finished copy it to the USB stick (leave the original on the computer too),
- Or if the file is on the USB stick copy it to the computer and work from the file there, and when finished copy it back to the USB stick.
- A good way to do a load of text is to write it using Google docs through a web browser. The file is autosaved extremely often and it is possible to go back to previous versions. I use this method for the initial text writing and then copy it all to a program such as Microsoft Word to finish the document off with better formatting tools.
- USB sticks can often survive a washing machine and drop, but they are not indestructible. They can get corrupted (especially poor-quality drives) and if they aren’t used for long periods they can lose charge and all the data.
- Avoid leaving USB sticks attached to a computer (with important data on) because a crypto virus can encrypt data on the computer as well as on an USB or network drive visible on the computer.
Our general best advice is, backup backup, backup!