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  1. #1
    lewisipso's Avatar
    lewisipso is offline Injustice/Indifference/In God we trust
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    Jump drive, thumb drive etc

    I have a jump drive/thumb drive, or whatever the current term is, that no computer will recognize. There is information on it that I use and have used often with no trouble. However, and very suddenly, any computer says "please insert a disk into drive E:." when trying to access it. Is it dead or what? Is there a way to recover the info on it?
    Do not war for peace. If you must war, war for justice. For without justice there is no peace. -me

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  2. #2
    Jenna's Avatar
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    Many jump drives have died on me. Occasionally a jump drive will work on a different computer even though it stops working on the computer I usually use. Most often, though, nothing will bring it back to life. I've heard that the info on it is still recoverable through expensive data recovery services, but I never tried those because I never lost data that was worth the cost of those services. I hope you didn't lose any valuable data.

  3. #3
    APB Guest
    Ok, computer-nerd mode on: have you tried cleaning the connection with rubbing alcohol on a q-tip? Best way to do this is to first spin the q-tip between your fingertips to "wind" the cotton more firmly onto the tip (rotating one way loosens the fibers, the other way tightens them down), then soak the tightened q-tip with rubbing alcohol and swipe it back and forth inside the connection. If a q-tip won't fit, use one of those 1" alcohol wipes that EMS carries to clean an IV site.

    If not that, try the following:

    One trick I've used a couple of times on hard drives, don't know if it will work with a flash drive: freeze the drive, literally. Sometimes solder connections develop microfractures in them which result in a loss of conductivity, and therefore communication across the connection.

    Sticking it in the freezer for an hour or so, and then plugging it *immediately* into the computer and trying to access it can work because the cold shrinks the solder connection and temporarily restores the connection by closing the microfractures. Hope this helps.

  4. #4
    lewisipso's Avatar
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    Thank you very much.
    Do not war for peace. If you must war, war for justice. For without justice there is no peace. -me

    We are who we choose to be.

    R.I.P. Arielle. 08/20/2010-09/16/2012


  5. #5
    Jks9199 is offline The Reason People Hate Cops & Causer of War
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    I had one die completely... The manufacturer actually was willing to replace it, if I jumped the hurdles -- but they wouldn't try to recover anything on it, and I was advised based on what it was doing that it probably was unrecoverable. I decided it was just simply and cheaper to buy a new one... And make sure that I have my main files backed up on a computer backed up on a thumbdrive backed up... ad nauseum!
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  6. #6
    IndianaFuzz's Avatar
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    Yeah make sure to back up files often to minimize loss. My problem is that I lost my thumb drive 2 weeks ago. I'm praying I mysteriously find it in my truck one of these days. But all those old reports are gone!
    CHIRP! CHIRP!

  7. #7
    Jenna's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by APB View Post
    Ok, computer-nerd mode on: have you tried cleaning the connection with rubbing alcohol on a q-tip? Best way to do this is to first spin the q-tip between your fingertips to "wind" the cotton more firmly onto the tip (rotating one way loosens the fibers, the other way tightens them down), then soak the tightened q-tip with rubbing alcohol and swipe it back and forth inside the connection. If a q-tip won't fit, use one of those 1" alcohol wipes that EMS carries to clean an IV site.

    If not that, try the following:

    One trick I've used a couple of times on hard drives, don't know if it will work with a flash drive: freeze the drive, literally. Sometimes solder connections develop microfractures in them which result in a loss of conductivity, and therefore communication across the connection.

    Sticking it in the freezer for an hour or so, and then plugging it *immediately* into the computer and trying to access it can work because the cold shrinks the solder connection and temporarily restores the connection by closing the microfractures. Hope this helps.
    Wow, these are great tips I had never thought of before! Thanks, I might try these next time!

  8. #8
    Xiphos's Avatar
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    Have you tried freezing it yet?
    Pleasing nobody, one person at a time.

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  9. #9
    pgg's Avatar
    pgg
    pgg is online now Damnit, I'm hungry again.
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    Kick it!!!
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  10. #10
    Radar's Avatar
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    I lost a Terrabyte drive about a year ago to stupidity. I brought a box of lightbar magnets into my shop to tinker with and set them down about a foot from my computer without thinking about the implications. A couple of days later I went on a three day weekend and when I came back the box was stuck by magnetic pull to the side of the computer.

    I couldn't get the drive to work anymore and thought I had lost it, but then I remembered talking to a cyber crimes secret service agent once about data recovery, and he had bragged about being able to recover almost anything, so I took it to him and sure enough he recovered almost all of it.

    Maybe if it is important enough you might be able to get it repaired through connections?
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  11. #11
    lewisipso's Avatar
    lewisipso is offline Injustice/Indifference/In God we trust
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    Quote Originally Posted by Xiphos View Post
    Have you tried freezing it yet?
    Not yet but I'm considering it.
    Do not war for peace. If you must war, war for justice. For without justice there is no peace. -me

    We are who we choose to be.

    R.I.P. Arielle. 08/20/2010-09/16/2012


  12. #12
    lewisipso's Avatar
    lewisipso is offline Injustice/Indifference/In God we trust
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    Quote Originally Posted by pgg View Post
    Kick it!!!
    I did. It didn't fix it but it sure made me feel better. I'm seriously considering freezing it not because it might fix it but because that would make me feel even better.
    Do not war for peace. If you must war, war for justice. For without justice there is no peace. -me

    We are who we choose to be.

    R.I.P. Arielle. 08/20/2010-09/16/2012


  13. #13
    TXCharlie's Avatar
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    Probably mechanical damage to the contacts or solder joints, static electricity damage, or water damage.

    If freezing doesn't work, inspect the USB contacts on the thumb drive with a well-lighted low-power microscope or jewely loupe (you can get 50-power pocket microscopes pretty cheap).

    Look for missing, misaligned or shorted USB contacts (it is normal for some to be slightly shorter than others) - A lot of the thumb drives use cheap copper-clad PCB board for contacts, and the copper foil may have become unglued from the board and bent or broken. A skilled electronic tech can repair this temporarily with a very small soldering iron, or he might be able to solder a USB cable onto what's left of the contacts.

    You may have to take the thumb drive apart to get a better look at the contacts and solder joints under the metal shield. Trace the contacts all the way back to the circuit board with the microscope. look for cracked or frosty-looking solder joints. Fixing small solder joints like that requires a skilled tech working under a microscope, a very small soldering iron, a static discharge strap, and sometimes very fine silver solder.

    If there's water damage, you have to clean the salts and meneral deposits off of the circuit board inside with alcohol and distilled water. The currents are so small that salts in the water and from the corroded solder and copper can short the signals out. Scrub it very lightly with a very soft brush and alcohol (nothing more stiff than a VERY SOFT tooth brush or cammels hair brush), then rinse it with distilled water and pat it dry with a Q-tip and finish it off with a hair drier set on LOW.

    If that doesn't fix it or no obvious damage is visible, it may be static electricity damage or a burnt-out or corrupted chip. That's usually permanent unless like Jenna said, you take it to a data recovery service. They may try unsoldering the memory chip and soldering it on an identical thumb drive, but the connections are so fine and so many that it's almost impossible to do it yourself without breaking them or shorting them out. They may have to reflow the solder in a vapor machine to avoid bending or breaking the leads of the chip and the tiny copper foil traces on the circuit boards.

    That's why it's so expensive to have it recovered, and the recovery prospects are much more uncertain than a regular hard drive, since the controller and interface circuits that get damaged by static electricity may be on the same chip as the memory.

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