Storage and Function Troubleshooting

DataStick USB Drive or Flash Storage card - Storage and Function Troubleshooting

Problem:The symptoms are numerous, but here is a small sampling: 

  • files stored on device are corrupt or not opening properly
  • unable to store data to the capacity of the drive
  • trouble reading files from drive, and/or saving files to drive
  • Windows was unable to complete the format
  • drive properties show 0 bytes used, 0 bytes free

Solution:You may have file corruption on the volume. Here are possible causes of file corruption:

  • Turning off the computer while it is still saving information
  • Large static charges to the DataStick/SpinDrive USB Drive or Flash storage card
  • Airport x-ray machines (recommended to be carried on your person)
  • Setting the USB Drive or Flash storage card on or near strong magnetic sources
  • Removing the USB Drive or Flash storage card from the computer while you have files open
  • Removing the USB Drive or Flash storage card from the computer while it is still copying files from the device to the computer's hard drive
  • On a Mac, removing the drive or card without first trashing the icon or ejecting
  • On Windows, removing the USB Drive or Flash storage card without first stopping it.


If you are getting the message that "Windows was unable to complete the format", or "0 bytes used, 0 bytes free" you may need to perform a low level format to restore the drive to normal function.  For more information, click here.

Please refer to the following link for information on Safely Removing a USB Drive.
Safely removing a Flash Drive

To resolve this, try the following:

    1. Back up any data stored on the device (see Notes on Backup below)
    2. Format the USB Drive.
      1. Click Start, then click 'My Computer' (WinXP) or 'Computer' (Windows Vista/7/8)
      2. Right-click the icon for the USB drive, then click 'Format'
      3. Leave all format options at their default setting with one exception; uncheck the option for Quick Format (if it is checked)


    1. Check for any errors on the DataStick/SpinDrive USB Drive or Flash storage card


  1. Check for Disk Errors in Windows XP
    1. Double-click My Computer, and then right-click the removable disk drive letter that you want to check.
    2. Click Properties, and then click Tools.
    3. Under Error-checking, click Check Now.
    4. Under Check disk options, select the Scan for and attempt recovery of bad sectors check box.
    5. Click Start.
    Check for Disk Errors in Windows Vista --- Click here.

In some cases, a more effective format method is to use the Windows XP Disk Management Tools

    1. Right-click 'My Computer', then click 'Manage'
    2. In the 'Computer Management' window, click 'Disk Management'
    3. Find the drive for the Centon device, right-click on its drive letter and click 'Format'
    4. Be sure the "Quick Format" option is not checked, and the Volume Label is blank. Leave the 'Allocation unit size' set to 'Default'.
    5. For drives 2GB or smaller, choose FAT as the filesystem. For all drives larger than 2GB, the default (and likely only option) should be FAT32.
    6. Click 'OK' to begin the format.


  1. Windows Vista Disk Management Tools instructions --- Click here. (Click the link for"To format an existing partition (volume)")

WARNING: Drive format will erase all files and information stored on the device. Be sure to backup your files prior to formatting!

Or on a Macintosh OS X system:

  1. From the Dock, open "Disk Utility" (Applications/Utilities)
  2. Click "First Aid". Select the volume you wish to check
  3. Read the information displayed onscreen
  4. Click "Verify Disk"; if needed, click "Repair disk"

For more detailed instructions, please refer to Apple KnowledgeBase Article: TS1417.


  1. Click "Erase" from the top selector (next to "First Aid")
  2. Choose "MS DOS File System (FAT16)"
  3. Click the "Erase" button

Notes on Backup

If possible, simply copy your files using your operating system's file management program. Click here for instructions.

If you cannot use your operating system's file management program to copy your files to another drive, you may be able to use a data recovery utility to attempt to access and back up your data. There are numerous data recovery utilities that you may be able to use to attempt to recover your data. Centon does not provide nor support these software programs. Just search your favorite search engine for "data recovery".