Solved

USB Flash Drive Suddenly not working

Posted on 2010-08-13
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Last Modified: 2013-11-14
I have a Corsair USB flash drive that contains quite a bit of important data. All of the sudden last night it decided to malfunction. When I plug it into any XP machine the install hardware wizard runs and the message that "Your new hardware is installed and ready to use" pops up. It is also given a drive letter but instead of being called Corsair as it was previously is is now considered a "Removable Disk." If I try to open it I am asked to insert a disk. If I check the properties it shows that if has a capacity of 0 and free space of 0. I really would like to at least retrieve my data. Any suggestions?

Thank you!!

Robert
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Question by:RobertEhinger
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21 Comments
 
LVL 1

Expert Comment

by:judas2158
ID: 33430493
I would suggest running a file recovery tool like GetDataBack for FAT (or NTFS).  By default, USB flash drives use FAT partitions.  You can use GetDataBack to scan for the files that you know are there, and then copy them off to a safe location.  It's not the most user friendly program, but don't let that stop you.
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LVL 9

Expert Comment

by:Darksquire
ID: 33430496
After you plug it in, are you able to do a virus scan on it?
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LVL 6

Expert Comment

by:c661jmb
ID: 33430497
Other than the obvious, in that the drive may actually be faulty, have you tried any of the free file recovery programs?

http://www.download3000.com/download_12375.html

Was the drive unplugged without doing an eject?
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LVL 3

Expert Comment

by:Viperhawke
ID: 33430733
Also try, if you can, plugging it into a W7 or Vista machine to see if they can fix the errors automatically.
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Author Comment

by:RobertEhinger
ID: 33430826
I did run a virus scan and found nothing. When trying to run GetDataBack it asked me to insert a disk when I tried to include the USB drive letter.
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Author Comment

by:RobertEhinger
ID: 33430862
Smart Flash Recovery didn't work either.
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LVL 9

Expert Comment

by:Darksquire
ID: 33430899
Try booting the computer with a UBCD or Hiren cd or another file utility program and see if the repair/management tools offer any assistance.

http://www.ultimatebootcd.com/
[Admin Edit]
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LVL 3

Expert Comment

by:Viperhawke
ID: 33430949
I'm curious how you ran a virus scan on a device that can't be accessed?
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Author Comment

by:RobertEhinger
ID: 33432728
I simply selected the drive letter and it ran.
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LVL 3

Expert Comment

by:Viperhawke
ID: 33432745
hmm, I don't see how it would run if it can't be accessed...
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Author Comment

by:RobertEhinger
ID: 33433081
I wondered about that, too, and I was hoping when the scan finished it would have found something and the problem resolved. Unfortunately......
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LVL 1

Expert Comment

by:odd lie
ID: 33433107
You can try to delete the USB driver used in the control panel and restart the PC for then to connect the USBkey again.
You can then look for HW changes on the USB,
I have seen this work before.

Oldelhi
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LVL 3

Expert Comment

by:Viperhawke
ID: 33433224
try the vista or win7 machine?
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LVL 92

Accepted Solution

by:
nobus earned 167 total points
ID: 33435593
how does it show in disk management?  can you apply a change there ?
and did you test it on another PC?

here some repair/recovery links :  
http://www.handyrecovery.com/                                                            handy recovery
http://drivers.softpedia.com/get/Other-DRIVERS-TOOLS/Others/Sony-EzRecover.shtml                EZrecover
http://www.snapfiles.com/download/dlsmartrecovery.html                  usb key recovery FREE
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Author Comment

by:RobertEhinger
ID: 33436568
I have tested it in several pcs including one Windows 7 machine. The same thing happens in all of them. It installs and I get the message that it has been installed and ready to use. It shows up as a removable drive with its own drive letter. Prior to this it would show up as Corsair with a drive letter.
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LVL 92

Expert Comment

by:nobus
ID: 33436765
did you try the software?  once you've got the data, you can format it
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Author Comment

by:RobertEhinger
ID: 33446120
I tried the software but none of it worked because the system seems to think I need to insert a disk. Previously when I would insert this drive it would be listed as Corsair with a drive letter. It is now a Removable drive with a drive letter. If I click on the "Safely Remove Hardware" icon and then click properties it is listed as a USB Mass Storage device but it is no longer called Corsair.
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Author Comment

by:RobertEhinger
ID: 33446222
It is actually showing up as a USBest USB2FlashStorage USB Device.
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LVL 92

Expert Comment

by:nobus
ID: 33446260
are you sure it's not counterfeit?
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LVL 5

Assisted Solution

by:truromeo4juliet
truromeo4juliet earned 167 total points
ID: 33446349
Your thumb drive appears to have come it's end of life... try this free program (Recuva), from the same maker's of CCleaner:

http://www.piriform.com/recuva

I've had good luck with it. Or, if you need even more advanced recovery, I've recovered data from thumb drives I've microwaved for a few seconds using this program: http://www.r-studio.com/

I microwaved the drive for security purposes... After 3 seconds, could still recover the data... After 10 seconds, could recover SOME data, after 45 seconds, couldn't recover jack! Sandisk type, in case anybody is wondering :)
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LVL 3

Assisted Solution

by:Viperhawke
Viperhawke earned 166 total points
ID: 33446377
According to this forum (http://www.techsupportforum.com/hardware-support/removable-media-drives/221911-usbest-usb2flashstorage-usb-device-site.html)  a solution was found but does nothing to save any data currently on the drive. It just makes it functional again. (thanks user sullydog)

The link they had on the last post didn't seem to link to the file that exe that is supposedly a fix. So I searched for it. http://www.general-search.net/fileinfo/12755952

The file is called Super Stick Recovery Tool V1.0.2.19.exe

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