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#1 Posted by SuperSambo (3099 posts) -

I feel very stupid for asking this question, but my USB device says that it must be formatted before I can use it.
I have looked around on the internet and the answers vary from it whiping the disk to updating the disk 

I have a lot of important work on it so hopefully it isnt the former...

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#2 Posted by thebatmobile (995 posts) -

Formatting any kind of data storage disk means erasing the data that it have.

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#3 Posted by oldschool (7641 posts) -

So you can't access the data you have on it?  If you format the device it will completely erase everything.   
Sometimes, I think, that a USB device isn't compatible with your OS unless you format it, so maybe the device isn't compatible with your PC's OS (until you format it).  If so, you could run it on another computer with a different OS, get the data off and onto another device and then format the card. 
I could be just talking out of my arse though, as I am no expert.

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#4 Posted by NoXious (1365 posts) -
Did you pull out the USB device without safe-removing it first? I've heard tales about this happening in that situation.
I only know of format that'll fix it, I'm no expert on recovering lost data though.
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#5 Posted by JoeyIA (666 posts) -

If you can still access the data on the disk don't worry about it.  My Vista PC always asks me to reformat my iPod when I plug it in, I just ignore it and everything works fine.
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#6 Posted by Tennmuerti (9082 posts) -
@NoXious: Urban Myth.
I've been yanking out USB sticks since they first started appearing. As long as there is no data still being transferred nothing will happen.
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#7 Posted by SJSchmidt93 (5010 posts) -

It just wants you to whipe all the folders and files.