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USB flash Drive does not appear and gets HOT

Posted on 2009-05-05
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Last Modified: 2013-11-14
Hi, I have a Kingston DataTraveler 1GB USB flash drive, and suddenly when i connect it to a PC, it does not appear on My Computer, nor in any of my other 4 computers...

In other few occasions, and with other usb flash drives drives i have got a message that the "dirve is not recognized", or something like that, but in this case, that message does not even appear... Is like nothing happens at all...

IMPORTANT Note: I connect it for about 1 minute, and it got incredibly HOT!! And this happens in all the computers that i connect it to....

Does anyone know what happened? can this be fixed? how? I am up to any suggestion.
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Question by:unrinoceronte
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12 Comments
 
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Expert Comment

by:skywalker39
ID: 24310316
Hi unrinoceronte,

If you tried connecting your flash drive to other computers with no good result, it sounds like your flash drive is faulty, is it under warranty? I would get a replacement.
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Expert Comment

by:innovatorengineer
ID: 24310351
I hate to say this, but it sounds like your usb device has become a heater.  More specifically it probably has a short in either a chip or a transistor.    If it is getting extremely hot, it is probably gone.  Having checked it in multiple computers, you have probably came to the same conclusion.  Very little chance of data recovery, but if the data was vital, you may be able to find a data recovery expert that can attempt.  :(
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Expert Comment

by:warturtle
ID: 24310410
Have you tried different USB ports to check??
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Author Comment

by:unrinoceronte
ID: 24311224
I live in Costa Rica, so i dont know how can i do the Warranty stuff from here, besides is not an expensive thing.  The important thing is the data...

Is there a way i can open it and perhaps see if some cable or something is disconnected or loose? (i know there are no cables, but something like that... do you know what i mean....??)  

I dont think i can pay a Data Recovery expert, i have hear that is way too expensive...

(and yes, i have tried it in multiple ports, in multiple computers.)

Finally... WHAT CAN CAUSE these Short in the chip or the transistor?

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Assisted Solution

by:warturtle
warturtle earned 800 total points
ID: 24312423
Have you tried other drives and do they work on your PC?? If other drives work, then its this specific flash drive. Try using Recuva (http://www.recuva.com/) to recover data from it or there is another software called Photorec (http://www.cgsecurity.org/wiki/PhotoRec).
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Author Comment

by:unrinoceronte
ID: 24313999
@ Warturtle:   Yes i have tried other drives and they all work in my PC and in my other PCs... Is definetely only this Drive...

Wit that application that you mention RECUVA, or PHOTOTREC, will they work even if the Falsh drive does not appear as a drive on "MY PC" ??  what about the heating problem and using this software?  i am guessing that if i leave this key connected for more than 1 minute it vcan cause a serious problem even to my computer... Or am i wrong?
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Accepted Solution

by:
nobus earned 1200 total points
ID: 24314269
if a drive does not show in device manager, most software will not work.
you can try opening it, i have repaired one with a broken connection; but if it HEATS like you posted, i think it's simply fried, and even specialists will not be able to recover the data.
That said, remember not to use it to store the ONLY copy of valuable data !  they go bad easily..( as you know)

>>  WHAT CAN CAUSE these Short   <<   any failing electronic part can cause it...
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LVL 16

Assisted Solution

by:warturtle
warturtle earned 800 total points
ID: 24316537
Yes, that it true. The software might or might not work, but it would surely need more time than 1 minute to copy things across. If its get too hot it could catch fire or something and I don't suggest that you go down that route.

You can try the above software anyways to try and read from the USB partition.
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Expert Comment

by:innovatorengineer
ID: 24319927
One common failure mode in USB drives is removing prior to it being safe to do so.  This will typically corrupt files, but not damage the drive physically.  Static electricity will cause failure of the hardware and can cause shorts in these devices.  This is fairly easy to overcome without any special wrist straps or anything.  Just touch the metal part of the computer or another well grounded object just prior to inserting the usb device.  

Water or moisture can also cause issues, carrying in pocket while sweating, or the obvious swimming will hurt them.   I see probably one drive a week that has failed.  This is from  a college campus so no telling what they have been exposed to.  
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Author Closing Comment

by:unrinoceronte
ID: 31578287
thanks for your comments.
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Author Comment

by:unrinoceronte
ID: 24344248
So, i am going to bury it.. and buy another...

Thanks warturtkle for the recommende software, it will com e in handy for other usb flash drive that was dead for a long time, i just have to find it tough....

thanks everyone.
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Expert Comment

by:warturtle
ID: 24344662
Glad to be of assistance :-)
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