FAT32 to NTFS Flash Drive error? Flash Drive is empty after back up

  1. Posts : 1
    Windows 10 home

    FAT32 to NTFS Flash Drive error? Flash Drive is empty after back up

    Hi! I am freaking out a bit.. My laptop took a tumble and the harddrive skipped (or something), leading me to have to back up my files and restart to factory settings. The blue screen lead me to the back up, but my flash drive was required to format to NTFS from FAT32 per the prompts when I attempted my back up.

    I formatted, wiping the flash drive. I then backed up on my computer and was able to complete the action, which lead me to believe the format happened properly because I wasn't able to complete the back up prior to the formatting.

    Side note.. My laptop is Windows 10 Home and the other computers at my house and work are Mac, so my father brought his windows laptop to my work so I could format. Then he left... So I wasn't able to put the flash drive on a windows computer to make sure the transfer happened properly.

    I followed all of the prompts and waited while the back up did it's job. then I ejected my flash drive and reset to factory settings.

    NOWWWW... I put the flash drive into my laptop after all was reset. it's format is back to FAT32 and the drive folder is empty!!! Not sure what could have happened, but I lost everything, right? Can anyone tell me how this happened?

    I downloaded AOEMI to format back to NTFS without losing data, but still nothing.

    Thank you!
      My Computer

  2. Posts : 8,099
    windows 10

    Welcome to the forum. Was the hd damaged as it may be all corrupt?
      My Computer

  3. Posts : 18,430
    Windows 11 Pro

    Unfortunately what went wrong is apparently you trusted built-in Windows backup and restore which is notoriously unreliable. Even Microsoft recommends you use something else instead. Your data is likely lost.
      My Computer

  4. Posts : 4,453
    Win 11 Pro 22000.708

    It's a bit late for this, but Macs can read NTFS. You could have checked the flash drive before doing the restore on the laptop.

    I have never used data recovery software, like this one: Download Recuva | Recover deleted files, free!

    Since a new version of the OS was written to the HDD, I'm pessimistic that much would be recoverable.

    It's odd that the flash drive would appear as FAT32, if you formatted it to NTFS.

    You probably don't need a lecture about backing up data (preferably, imaging the whole drive) at this time. I suppose that you weren't syncing to OneDrive, either.
      My Computers


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