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Attempting to retrieve data from a 4GB Sandisk Thumbdrive - Next steps

Posted on 2009-04-09
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Last Modified: 2013-11-14
A client gave me the a 4GB Sandsik thumbdrive that was damaged while inserted.

I've disassembled it and photgraphed the Printed Circuit Board (PCB)

I've seen the earlier comment on a related post from Nobus..

1. What is the most secure method for straightening the 4 strips that get inserted as far into the connector as possible?

2. Is there any other troubleshooting that can be done with a multimeter?

3. Finally, if you see anything out of place in the photograph, please address it in your reply.

USB-Drive-1.png
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Question by:tom12ga
9 Comments
 
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Expert Comment

by:Dhiraj Mutha
ID: 24113822
If its lose.... its gone.. i dont think so there a way to do it... it should not happen that you go to do something and mess up everthing. There is not way to tighten it up except soldering.
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Expert Comment

by:Dhiraj Mutha
ID: 24113824
Also, if its under warranty, you can get it replaced.
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Author Comment

by:tom12ga
ID: 24113861
Just in case it helps the more astute observer/technician, here is the opposite side of the PCB.

Currently, there is no power making it to the thumb drive when plugging it into a working USB.
USB-Drive-2.png
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Accepted Solution

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JohnnyCanuck earned 250 total points
ID: 24113935
I would resolder the loose connection first.  Then I'd sacrifice a USB extender cable (the female end) to expose the connectors there as well. Then solder short wires between the respective connectors.  
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Assisted Solution

by:☠ MASQ ☠
☠ MASQ ☠ earned 100 total points
ID: 24114088
Agreed, if you can point resolder that connector and then fix it to an extender cable you will get your best shot at recovery.  As nobus points out in the linked thread effectively it's a dead drive otherwise. You have nothing to lose and everything to gain!
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Assisted Solution

by:nobus
nobus earned 150 total points
ID: 24114553
and when soldering, be sure the iron is earthed well; i always clip  on an extra wire for earthing
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Expert Comment

by:RecoveryMan
ID: 24118099
I have attempted in vain to try and repair these devices but with little success. I believe the outer 2 solder points get attached to the metal shroud that goes around the USB connector when plugged in and helps ground the connection. Not sure whther it will work fine without this but as mentioned what have you got to lose.
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Author Closing Comment

by:tom12ga
ID: 31568833
Nobus paved the way to make this story have a happy ending. JohnnyCanuck had the excellent idea of sacrificing a USB cable and soldering the leads which made everything much more manageable. Masqueraid co-signed on both of your previous suggestions and also left me willing to take the final chance...since I was pretty disheartened once the pad came off the circuit board while attempting to add the red (VCC) wire onto the weakened clip.

I'll also add the final pictures to the write-up to close this out.  Thanks for all of your help.
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Author Comment

by:tom12ga
ID: 24120015
Thanks to everyone who weighed in.  I needed to share some of the points, but I salvaged all of the data.  

The unexpected and almost disastrous event that could have derailed the mission was when the pad for the VCC (+5v power - USB pin 1) separated from the PCB.  You can see my final workaround, but it was probably better luck than good judgment.
USB-Drive-3.png
USB-Drive-4.png
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