USB flash drive stopped working after new RAM was inserted

The following are the steps that would explain my problem:

1. I installed a new 256MB RAM into my system (Pentium 4, 2.4 Ghz, 256MB RAM) and started getting a blue screen sometimes with an IRQL_LESS_OR_EQUAL error. I thought of ignoring it as it would only happen sometimes.

2. Just 2 days after this, I inserted my SANDISK minicruzer flash drive into the back port. The light glowed for sometime and then it went off and the drive was not recognised. I tried using the USB flash in other systems including two laptops but it wouldn't be recognised at all and once or twice it was recognised with a "USB Device not Recognized. One of the USB devices has malfunctioned, etc etc" message coming up.

3. I thought that the USB flash drive had some issues and so forgot about it.

4. After a few days, I borrowed a friend's USB drive since i had some urgent work to do and inserted into the same computer (as in point 1. above) where i was still sometimes getting the "IRQL_LESS_...." error. The same thing happened again and the device stopped responding. I tried it  in all the computers i have access to but it wouldnt be detected at all. As before it was detected once or twice but windows gave an error "One of the USB devices has malfunctioned, etc etc"

5. I then inferred that it had something to do with the system in which I had inserted both the SANDISK flash drives. the same system in which I had inserted the additional RAM and used to get blue screen with "IRQL_LESS_...." error.

6. More than the data within, i have lost 2 flash drives.

7. I have gone through umpteens of sites but have not found a solution to this. I even do not know if the flash drives will be usable again or not. So please if any expert can give some opinions, suggestions, workarounds or solutions it would be great contribution to everyone.

krk41Asked:
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Computer101Connect With a Mentor Commented:
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nobusCommented:
1. test your ram with memtest86+ from www.memtestorg
for the rest, if an usb device does not work on multiple systems, it is bad (or the cable) -> try another cable first
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nobusCommented:
....you can also check on the ram manufacturer site if the ram is compatible with your mobo.
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snerkelCommented:
Right if you have truly damaged two flash drives by connecting to this computer that suggests the computer is damaging them.

You also have a problem with memory which may be related.

The only thing common to these that could damage the flash drive is the wrong voltage, I suggest changing the power supply of the PC, if this doesn't fix it then I would suspect the motherboard has failed.
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nobusCommented:
if you suppose the PC damaged the flash drives, i would look if the earthing is good first
You can also try another power supply
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krk41Author Commented:
Thanks for the thoughts but I am still stuck with the Flash Drive issue...

I would like to share something that happened when I was trying to check the first flash drive again in one of the Laptop's. After I connected it on the Laptop, it remained undetected as usual. About an hour had passed (while i was reading something on the Laptop) and the pen drive was already out of my mind that suddenly the Pen drive came alive and XP opened the window showing the various options that we can choose from ("open the folders", etc) ... I then opened the folders and also copied a couple of files successfuly. When I was just realising that the pen drive was alright now, it suddenly went off again. And since then it has not been detected.

So though I have no knowledge of USB hardware, I presume the drive maybe (just maybe) ok. Is there a way we can test if a pen drive is completely damaged, maybe similar to what "nobus" mentioned for the RAM test.
Also would like to mention that the drives are PnP and do not have a cable attached.
Do let me know your thoughts,  opinions, suggestions, workarounds or solutions...
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nobusCommented:
you can test it like a normal disk, with chkdisk; however, it must be recognised first . . .
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krk41Author Commented:
based on my previous comment can we conclude that Hardware of the drive maybe ok?
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nobusCommented:
>>  that Hardware of the drive   <<  what do you mean? a flsah drive is only a mery chip with an usb interface.
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krk41Author Commented:
Thanks for that "nobus" but your comment does not solve my problem. I have anyway said I am no expert in USB hardware.
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nobusCommented:
i meant that you were referring  all of a sudden to an external disk drive with that comment.
and please read it as : "a flash drive is only a memory chip with an usb interface.
and from my first post :
 if an usb device does not work on multiple systems, it is bad (or the cable) -> try another cable first
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nobusCommented:
>>   When I was just realising that the pen drive was alright now, it suddenly went off again. And since then it has not been detected.   <<   this proves that it is unreliable at best, certainly not OK.
There maybe a bad contact in it, that can be repaired , or not. (difficult to say)
The only thing you can do, imho, is inspecting the connector on the drive, if nothing is bent, or covered with some material.
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krk41Author Commented:
thanks,
as you suggested, I inspected the drive and nothing is bent, also I have also cleaned the drive with highly volatile cleaning liquid. Did not help though :(...

As I had sighted earlier the flash drive stopped being detected after being used on a certain system. The flash drive was working perfectly for more than a year now and I have used it on many systems.
can i still try out something else?
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nobusCommented:
No - it's dead - sorry, don't waste your time on it
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krk41Author Commented:
Thanks nobus but i think your answer does not really solve my issue cause the pen drive can still recovers once in a while
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krk41Author Commented:
Since there are no more helpful Posts coming, I intend to request for closing this question.
This message is posted stating my intention to have the question deleted or closed since none of the answers were actually useful to assist me in solving the problem...
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snerkelCommented:
So you have changed the power supply, that didn't work.

Now you have changed the motherboard, that didn't work.


So you have found the cause, what was it ?
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krk41Author Commented:
Thanks for the comment snerkel...

Yes, changing the power supply did not help detect the USB drive.

Changing the mother board of that system would not help in redetecting the flash drive as I have anyway tried using the USB drive on 10's of other systems and laptops and it is still undetected (excepting few instances which I have sighted).

Any more suggestions are welcome. If they help then certainly I will accept the answers...



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snerkelCommented:
As we have stated, the fault has damaged the USB flash drive beyond repair, however we should have now cured the original problem so that when you get a new flash drive it should work OK, and keep working.

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nobusCommented:
>>   cause the pen drive can still recovers once in a while   <<   up to you to invest your time in it. it will be unreliable at best. Just dump it, and buy a new one.
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krk41Author Commented:
Thanks for the comments...

>>As we have stated, the fault has damaged the USB flash drive beyond repair>>

As i mentioned, it still recovers once in a while, so it cannot be damaged beyond repair.
 
>>up to you to invest your time in it. it will be unreliable at best. Just dump it, and buy a new one>>

Thanks for the suggestion but i will try some more...
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krk41Author Commented:
This message is posted stating my intention to have the question deleted or closed since none of the answers were actually useful in solving the problem...
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nobusCommented:
we did solve your problem : your device is bad. i do not understand why you cannot accept it
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snerkelCommented:
nobus I think we need to buy him a replacement, and even then no one gets the points.

<Walks away shaking head and leaves it to moderators>
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nobusCommented:
sniff-sniff (crying)
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krk41Author Commented:
Really, I appreciate that you people have taken time out and posted a few "comments".

But since they were not useful in solving the problem I cannot accept them as "answers". The
fact that the device is bad was known to me even before I posted the problem. As I have
already mentioned that it recovers once in a while, your "suggestion" of buying a new one
is not a solution.

>>nobus I think we need to buy him a replacement, and even then no one gets the points>>
snerkel, being sarcastic neither helps us nor the community.



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nobusCommented:
no, but neither can we repair a bad flash drive, which is what you've got.
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krk41Author Commented:
As mentioned, the device " recovers once in a while" too... so I would rather try to look for solutions rather than buy a replacement (which is what u suggested & I dont accept it).

If you have answers on how to get it working then you are most welcome to post and if your comment helps me then I would certainly accept.

so


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krk41Author Commented:
Since there are no more helpful Posts coming in, I intend to close the question.
This message is posted stating my intention to have the question deleted or closed since none of the answers were actually useful to assist me in solving the problem...
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nobusCommented:
>>  so I would rather try to look for solutions rather than buy a replacement (which is what u suggested & I dont accept it).   <<  that is your choice, butt if it is bad , thay is the only valif answer - not everything can be repaired !
- without expensive equipment
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krk41Author Commented:
Your answer does not help me, hence i have not accepted it. i am sorry but I cannot give points for answers just because you have posted.

I want to close the question as no more useful replies are coming in.
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snerkelCommented:
I will leave it for admin to decide the conclusion on this.

Out of interest what do you think caused the problem krk41
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krk41Author Commented:
Yes, thats a better- Let the admins decide. I will send a request for closure of the question.
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snerkelCommented:
You are joking, have you read the posts.
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krk41Author Commented:
I think all of us should respect the opinion of the administrators. Their judgement is obvously based on the posts for this question.
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snerkelCommented:
Unfortunately the admins don't always have time to read posts, they wait for posts with opinions before making the final decision. I am happy to accept the final decision as long as it is informed.
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