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flash drive repair?

This is a discussion on flash drive repair? within the Removable Media Drives forums, part of the Tech Support Forum category. My flash drive's broken (hardware problem I think because I've dropped it, etc) searching the web for "flash drive repair"


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Old 01-02-2007, 04:32 PM   #1
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My flash drive's broken (hardware problem I think because I've dropped it, etc)
searching the web for "flash drive repair" will return a lot of results, many useless
the drive has top secret info, bank account, etc (in the file names) so I want to be careful not to get scammed, but also don't have a large budget.

I'd appreciate any input/links about finding reasonably priced hardware repair where the flashdrive's content won't be seen

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Old 01-02-2007, 05:50 PM   #2
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I don't have any links I'm afraid, but wherever you take it the info WILL be seen, so your question has to be where can be trusted IMHO.

And unless your drive is something quite special\expensive TBH the cost of repairing would be more than simply replacing the unit, so you will need to seriously balance the cost against the benefits, and I would not rely on a repaired product if I was using it for essential data, so I would suggest simply replacing it with a new one.
Obviously if you go that route make sure you totally destroy that drive so no one else can use it, I would suggest taking it apart and seeing how it goes together and learn without the worry of breaking something, it's not often you'll get such a chance, then in future occasions you may have more insight to what goes on, not sure I've been able to help, but I hope I've given you some insight to help you come to an informed decision.

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Old 01-02-2007, 05:53 PM   #3
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You could try a program like PhotoRec to recover the files- it may or may not work, depending on the shape of the drive, but it's worth a shot. It was designed with photo recovery in mind, but it should work with other file types as well.

You can find it at http://www.cgsecurity.org/wiki/PhotoRec , although the server might be busy right now, because the program was just featured in a Slashdot article.
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Old 01-04-2007, 12:48 AM   #4
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Quote:
I don't have any links I'm afraid, but wherever you take it the info WILL be seen, so your question has to be where can be trusted IMHO.
even if it is a simple hardware problem (ie, the "male piece" a little bent), people fixing it will see all files? even files buried in a firefox user profile?
Is there no privacy contract type deal that can effectively prevent them from viewing the content?

Fox: I'll try that program. thanks for the link
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Old 01-04-2007, 03:59 AM   #5
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Idea

That still comes down to trust, no matter what you set up with them you still have to end up "trusting" they will live up to it, OK don't get me wrong 9 out of 10 will be fine, but the paranoid in me would never trust in that alone if the info was that private, and anyone can stick something on paper, but word of mouth can't be beat IMHO.

But your 1st post suggested it was a totally messed up drive, dead for want of a better description, but if it's only minor damage (bent out of shape ?) then you could maybe try and gently bend it back into shape yourself ?
But if the damage is purely mechanical then you shouldn't need recovery software, if you can manage to plug it in then you can get your data off then format it etc, but if you still go to get it repaired then format it 7 or 8 times for safety first, then you should be as safe as you can be. it's hard to say without knowing what is damaged, but hopefully this has given you some ideas.
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Old 01-04-2007, 01:55 PM   #6
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Hi,

A USB flash drive being very light in weight should not really be damaged by being dropped, unless it has been stood on, crushed or such.

The BBC News 24 Click on Line IT & Computer program did some tests a while back about media and reliability

With a flash drive
They drove over it in a 4*4
Washed it with spin cycle
Fired it out of a canon or mortar
Plus I believe even more abuse

The data was still recoverable

Try squeezing the drive gently

Use a USB extension lead sooner than a port front or back of PC

If need be dismatle the case and use a USB extension lead to ensure a decent connection.

hth

Ceri
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Old 01-04-2007, 06:55 PM   #7
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I'm pursuing this only to get the data, not to keep the device workable.
when the computer(s) first stopped recognizing it (when connected to USB), I examined it, & the "mail piece" looked slightly bent so I bent it back into place, but the computers still wouldn't recognize it. It looks like the metalic male end may not be "snap"ing fully in, so I'll look into how to
Quote:
dismatle the case and use a USB extension lead to ensure a decent connection.
Quote:
Try squeezing the drive gently
do you mean squeeze the container part as I connect the drive?

Quote:
But if the damage is purely mechanical then you shouldn't need recovery software, if you can manage to plug it in then you can get your data off then format it etc
Makes sense... so that PhotoRec software won't be necessary, right?
I am able to plug it in, it just doesn't light up & laod as a drive...

thanks for the suggestions everybody
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Old 01-05-2007, 07:08 AM   #8
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Idea

Quote:
Originally Posted by tristanolas View Post
Makes sense... so that PhotoRec software won't be necessary, right?
I am able to plug it in, it just doesn't light up & laod as a drive...
ONLY if it is mechanical, if the drive has become corrupted in some way then you will need to use it or similar, but until the pc sees it's attached it's a mute point, if your able to plug it in, but nothing is being seen then you need to look at the back (inside) of the plug to see everything is connected, maybe a wire\pin has come adrift ?
Have you tried using the add hardware wizard or scan for changes from the device manager while it's plugged in ?
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Old 01-15-2007, 09:46 PM   #9
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@ brokenjunk, Welcome to the forum.
To save confusion as to which answer belongs to what post please start a new thread and you will get better help there
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Old 01-23-2007, 02:23 PM   #10
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Quote:
a) have a means of reading the physical memory chip itself and;
b) have the ability to peice the data back together..
these are both at a lower level than the information, so they wouldn't be seeing the human-level content, right?
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Old 09-10-2008, 04:59 PM   #11
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Thank you ceri sheeran . I found this thread following a google search after I damaged my flash drive. (I knocked it with my leg as it was sticking out the front of the PC). I tried your suggestion of squeezing it, while slowly sliding it back at forth in the USB port and Viola! there it appeared. I was able to keep squeezing it long enough to download eveything to my PC, and as soon as I stopped squeezing - my computer stopped recognising it. Awesome!
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Old 08-16-2009, 10:34 PM   #12
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Buy a hammer, apply firmly and swiftly to flash drive.

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