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Saturday, April 19, 2008

How to fix a USB thumb drive

Memory stick, thumb drive, whatever you want to call it. Anyhoo, here's how I recovered the data on one.

The activity light would flash on plug in but was not recognized. I figured there might be a broken solder joint on it or something.

So I took it apart and started plugging it in and out while pressing on the various solder mounted components.

Turns out what I think was the controller chip had some sort of issue. It got hot very quickly. Holding it tightly allowed my thumb to carry the heat away (ouch) which let me copy the 45 megs over. I also used Data Rescue II to recover and accidentally deleted files.

It could have been a poor solder connection as well.

So to sum, try:

Dissassembly followed by pressure to check for bad solder and or cooling the components. You could use some freeze spray for that. TV repair places should have some of that. Freezing the drive might work too.

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Anonymous said...

so what you are saying is that your thumb makes a good heat sink?!?!?


Rob said...

In fact, it does. It's painful but it works.

Anonymous said...

no pain no gain!

p.s. you sister is pregnant!

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