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Old 12-16-2009, 10:50 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Unique Flash Drive Issue

I have yet to find a Flash Drive issue similar to mine online. If this is not unique I apologize ahead of time and hope that you will have enough mercy to help me anyway. Also, if a thread named the same thing pops up somewhere from the abyss, it is because my seven month old son hit the keyboard as I was hitting post and I lost my first one. With that said, onto my issue:

I have a 1gb cruiser that I have used for a couple years now. It's small, old, and insignificant and I really could care less about the physical integrity of it. However, I have incredibly important data on the flash drive that I desperately need to retrieve. It's not a case of national defense, but all the same it's important to me.

One morning I went to plug it in, with no known trauma to it, and it would not connect. When I plug it in the light on the back, which lights up when it's plugged in, flashes only for a second before going out. Likewise, nothing on the computer shows that it's connecting. When I do some fancy finagling I can recreate the flash but that's the extent. I have tried this on a handful of computers and USB hubs as well as 1.1 and 2.0 ports, all with the same result. All of these USB ports work perfectly fine with other USB devices.

All of this leads me to believe that I am having connectivity issues. I blew it out with via lung, duster, and a compressor. I also wiped it to the best of my abilities with alcohol and a Q-Tip. None of these have influenced my issue for better or worse.

I've seen on a random forum that there is a way to remove the memory chip from the flash drive itself and implant it into a similar device. However this requires desoldering and soldering which I am not personally capable of. I also do not trust any Joe Blow that claims to be able to for fear that my data will be irreversibly damaged.

I have talked to Best Buy's Geek Squad about my issue. They want to charge me $40 down, ship it to their service center several states away, and then the service center will contact me with the full price, which ranges from $150-$1000. I really can't afford this and even if I could, it just seems a little pricey.

On a side note, I know that I have no excuse for not having another backup, I don't need to be reminded (I am still kicking myself).

So as for the solution, is there anything I can do? Any software that might some how force power to it (I know it seems unlikely)? Is there any hardware for connecting a USB device with this sort of issue? Should I contact a local computer shop that might be able to fix it for cheaper (and trust their expertise)? Should I pay an arm and a leg for a thumb drive of information to Geek Squad? Or am I completely SOL?

I'd like to thank you ahead of time and I'm crossing my fingers for positive feedback.
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Old 12-16-2009, 12:38 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Unique Flash Drive Issue

now the drive doesnt show up file explorer.

does it show up in device manager?

Does it smell like burnt electronics?
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Old 12-16-2009, 01:37 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Unique Flash Drive Issue

If the device isn't in device manager and the computer isn't recognizing it then the device is bad. As Thrill said it probably is burnt or dead.

The only way that i know of to recover that data is what you described, so solder the device into another similar device in hopes that the data is still good on the stick (which it very well may not be).

Either pay the rediculous amount to recover the data through a 3rd party, or deal with the data loss. It is a matter of how much are you willing to spend to get your data off that drive.
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Old 12-17-2009, 05:50 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Unique Flash Drive Issue

Nope, the device doesn't show up anywhere, as I stated, it's as if it's having connectivity issues, where the USB isn't connecting right. And no I never smelt burning. I used it one net, took it out, next morning when I got up it didn't work, so I'm not sure how it would have burnt up, but I do know that things wear out with time and like I mentioned, I got good use out of it.

I suppose I will have to look into having someone else deal with it. Is computer hardware soldering a pretty common trade? Like could I trust a local shop (I know it's subjective) or is the probability of them actually knowing what they're doing slim to none?
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Old 12-17-2009, 10:38 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Unique Flash Drive Issue

It is not a common trade. Things like soldering power connectors on laptop (common) can be done at most shops. SOmething specialized like a small connector on the memory chip itself i don't know if a local shop could do it.

Doesn't hurt to ask, shop around - but remember you get what you pay for and if someone botches up this soldering job your data will be toast.
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