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.

Consider a donation if this tip helped you. Paypal button's on the right over there.

Monday, April 14, 2008

Trivia of the Day

Q: How many slices of cheese on a Big Mac?

A: One! Yup, 3 buns, 2 patties, but only one slice of cheese.

How many Lemony Features to an Apple

More like lemon-y. I say lemon-y because the Mac annoyances are relatively minor, but mounting in my Macbook Core 2 Duo, 1.83Ghz. This is the older model with a GMA950 chipset. It's not quite a lemon but the taste is getting there. 

The list:
1. The Keyboard is having some sort of chemical interaction with the screen. At angle with the screen off, you can see shadowy images of the keyboard on the screen. These aren't scratches, kind of like shadows. My theory is it's like a new plastic dashboard on a new car. The plastic gives off gasses that get on your windshield. But these marks won't wipe off.

Apple is replacing my keyboard for me. (What's that going to help? Not make it worse at best.)

2. Occasionally noisy screen inverter. Bugger.

3. If you pick it up and aren't careful how much pressure you put in while a disc is spinning, you can flex the case so that it impacts the spinning disc or drive spindle. The latest models still do the same thing. Design issue across the board. 

4. There is a noticeably lighter band in the screen I noticed when using the laptop one night. The lighting or LCD panel isn't uniform. Vertical, about 2/3rds of the way across.

So, three 'hard' defects. What's the limit for it to be a lemon? Anyone?

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