Speaking of USB drive data recovery, I've never been able to retrieve any data from any of my USB sticks that failed to operate, no matter what data recovery software I've tried. While it's true that I didn't need it as badly as to make use of date recovery services from a company in my area, I was still sorry for not being able to use those pen drives anymore, especially that one of them was quite expensive, as I wanted it to have bigger storage capacity.
If you rely on your USB drive to store your files, make sure you keep more copies of those files on your hard disk and on a CD or DVD as well. That's because no storage system is 100% safe. Usually they break when you need them most. I've experienced USB drive reading failures twice: once it was a cheap stick, so I thought that I needed to buy more expensive ones to get better quality. However, the second one was not exactly cheap, but one day the computer refused to recognize it anymore, so I lost all information I had stored on it. Luckily it was nothing very important, just some photos from the Botanical Garden, which I can replace next year, when the same flowers will be blossoming again.
The funny thing was that in one of the cases, my PC was still able to recognize the drive, but instead of its full capacity, it only displayed a very small one. I tried to format it, but it wouldn't let me do that, so I had to kiss it good bye and buy another one. I suppose that's cheaper than attending some data recovery training programs, anyway.
As far as I've understood, in case of physical damage of the USB pen drive, no software can retrieve your data. This is scary, as I used to drop those things on the floor for so many times.
After reading countless blogs and forums on the topic of data recovery, specifically in case of storage devices like USB drives and memory cards, here are my conclusions, to save you some time if it happens to you: