USB data not showing after system file clean up

I may have deleted some necessary system files during recent c: drive clean up. Data content of USB doesn’t show anymore. Same thing happens with my other external HDD, so I assume I deleted a critical system file. What can I do? Do I need to reinstall driver? If so, which one?
Thank you!

Many factors can lead to USB data not showing up on computer, such as virus attack, hidden files, unrecognized/damaged file system.
So, you may try these methods:
#1. Run anti-virus scan to remove viruses and malware.
#2. Show hidden files with File Explorer, Control Panel or Command Prompt.
#3. Check file system of the USB with a disk manager (such as Partition Wizard) to scan and fix file system errors.
#4. If previous ways don’t work, try reformatting the USB drive after backing it up.
Hope these tips can help you out.

Windows sometimes looses drive letter assignments of USB removable drives. With the USB drive plugged in open Windows’ Disk Manager and see if the USB drive shows. If so, assign a drive letter to the drive, something like U for USB drive.

Another possibility is you didn’t Safely Remove the USB drive the last time you used it and the FAT got screwed up. To correct that open a Command Prompt window and run a CHKDSK /F ?: command for the USB drive’s drive letter.

Thank you both for your reply! I was able to solve it by going to disk management and switching the ‘read only’ USB to ‘offline’, then ‘online’ and it worked! So strange. I will run the file system just to be sure. Thanks again!

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