How do I repair FAT32 file system?

The question of how to fix the FAT32 file system usually arises at the moment when you connect a device formatted to the FAT file system to your PC and get a message that the file system is damaged, or that before using the device, you need to format it or other similar messages. Unfortunately, there is no 100% working way to fix FAT32.

There is a checkdisk utility built into the operating system, but, typically, after you launch the tool, the situation either gets worse, or the device starts working, but soon breaks down again. There are also some approaches that can be used to fix corrupted entries in FAT32 file system. You can read about these methods on the page - How to convert RAW to FAT32. However, we do not advise you to do this if you do not have sufficient skills or if the data stored on the device is critical. The safest and most reliable way to fix the FAT32 file system is to first use a special data recovery software and copy the data to a safe location, and then completely format the device using the low level format method.

Below is the procedure for successful data recovery from FAT32 using ReclaiMe File Recovery.

  1. Connect your device to the computer.
  2. Download, install and run ReclaiMe software.
  3. Locate the FAT32 device in the ReclaiMe device list and start scanning.
  4. Wait until you get a message that the Initial scan is completed and start checking the recovery result.
  5. FAT recovery with ReclaiMe
  6. If the files are displayed correctly in the Preview window, buy a Standard license key and copy the data to another device.
  7. Check that the files are opened on the device where you saved it them to.
  8. Format the device with a corrupted FAT32 file system using the built-in tool from Windows or using a special low-level formatting software like Lowvel.
  9. Use the device as before.

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