Damaged usb pen drive

Hi Folks,

I have a usb pen drive that seems to be stone dead, in the sense that nothing happens when i plug it in to the usb port (it doesnt make the usb detection noise)

Does anyone have any ideas on how to get the data off it?


Who is Participating?
I wear a lot of hats...

"The solutions and answers provided on Experts Exchange have been extremely helpful to me over the last few years. I wear a lot of hats - Developer, Database Administrator, Help Desk, etc., so I know a lot of things but not a lot about one thing. Experts Exchange gives me answers from people who do know a lot about one thing, in a easy to use platform." -Todd S.

First check to make sure there isn't debris or pocket lint on the connectors. Also, try connecting to a different usb port on the computer, or a different computer completely.

Finally, you can go into device manager, and choose Action>Scan for hardware changes, to force the computer to try to pick up the device.

Experts Exchange Solution brought to you by

Your issues matter to us.

Facing a tech roadblock? Get the help and guidance you need from experienced professionals who care. Ask your question anytime, anywhere, with no hassle.

Start your 7-day free trial
IrishKenAuthor Commented:
Hi Bamasea,

Tried your suggestions but no joy


It is becoming very uncommon, but some data stick devices have drivers.  You can check the manufacturer site for them.

Other than that, you can open the device and look for broken pins. It takes a steady hand and a good soldering iron to fix them though.
If you would like to try a small and easy (yes easy) adventure into Linux I have a suggestion for you.

Download the Ubuntu ISO image from here:
Burn it to a CD with whatever CD burning software you have, it should recognize the .ISO file.

You now have an Ubuntu Live-CD, a very useful tool for many things.

Ok how to see if you can get the data off your PenDrive:
* Boot your PC using the Live-CD
* Choose boot without making changes to my system.
* Once booted, allow the auto login, and wait for the desktop to load - it shouldn't take too long (though it is a bit slow from the CD)
* Now plug in your USB PenDrive - hopefully a file browser window will automatically open in front of you.
* If not : click on Places up near the top right. And select Desktop - this will open the file browser. On the left you will see a list of shortcuts and possibly your pen drive.
* If you can see your pen drive simply plug in another good one and copy your data across.

If this does not work, from the Applications menu (top right) select Accessories -> Terminal and then type this and then press ENTER:
This will show you a list of the actual USB hardware devices on your system (some are internal), running the above command several times (you can press the up arrow to save you from typing the command again) with your PenDrive plugged-in and un-plugged you should be able to see a difference.

If you can not see a difference in the list then the computer hardware is not seeing the physical USB hardware device. This is bad. Try using different USB ports on your computer and also persuade a friend to try on their computer too.

If you can't see the device listed with the "lsusb" command then your USB PenDrive is damaged beyond repair.

If you can see the device with "lsusb" but you couldn't find it in the file browser then there is a chance that you can still save both the data. However that requires very specialized skills and it is best to find some one to do this for you. At this point you need to consider exactly how valuable the lost data was and how easily you can recreate it. Data recovery is expensive and it is best to format the PenDrive and remember to make backups in future.
If you cannot be detected following the suggestions above you may have damaged your USB connector. You may send out for data recovery if necessary or if your handy and want a last ditch effort you can remove the cover and check the connections.  If handy with a soldering iron you can try to reconnect the detached USB connector.
It's more than this solution.Get answers and train to solve all your tech problems - anytime, anywhere.Try it for free Edge Out The Competitionfor your dream job with proven skills and certifications.Get started today Stand Outas the employee with proven skills.Start learning today for free Move Your Career Forwardwith certification training in the latest technologies.Start your trial today

From novice to tech pro — start learning today.