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USB Pen (Thumb) drive inaccessible

Dear Experts,

I have a 16GB PNY USB Pen drive that suddenly became inaccessible from my Windows 7 and XP systems. Previous to the failure  I was using an early version of the freeware USBSafeguard running from the Pen drive to browse the internet safely. I don't remember if i shutdown everything correctly before I removed the Pen. I do know that I didn't do a safely remove hardware and exject media command before removal.

The next time I plugged the Pen into my system I got the message new Memory Bar hardware found and new drivers were installed. This happened on both systems when I plugged in the Pen.

Problem: The Pen drive does not appear on my systems. There is no drive letter assigned and if I manually assign a drive letter the device is not available. The strange thing is that on my Windows 7 system if I have the My Computer window opened showing the devices on my system the Pen is displayed as a removable drive with a drive letter for less than a second. It's just a brief flash on the screen.

At this point I'm just guessing what might be wrong. I was wondering if the USBSafeguard software could have failed and made the drive inaccessible. I sent an email to USBSafeguard a few days ago and haven't heard back from them yet.

additional note: I did not have the device password protected or locked at anytime.

If possible I would like to recover my files from the device. Any advice you can give me would be greatly appreciated.

Regards



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Gavhrel
Asked:
Gavhrel
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2 Solutions
 
dbruntonCommented:
Try TestDisk http://www.cgsecurity.org/wiki/TestDisk

Tutorial http://www.cgsecurity.org/wiki/TestDisk_Step_By_Step

Just use TestDisk to see if it can access the drive and what it makes of your partition table.  As long as you don't save in TestDisk you'll be OK.

If that fails boot from a Live LInux CD such as Ubuntu http://www.ubuntu.com/ and see if that can access the drive.
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GavhrelAuthor Commented:
Hi dbrunton,

I tried what you suggested and still can not detect the device...I would guess at this point the OS detects the plug in of the device but later decides it can't access it. Spells hw failure to me.

I'm still opened to suggestions

Regards and thanks for the help.

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dbruntonCommented:
You tried the Linux CD?
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GavhrelAuthor Commented:
yes the ubuntu-10.10-desktop-i386... nice software detected everything else on my system except device in subject.

If i missed something please let me know.

Regards
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nobusCommented:
>>   became inaccessible from my Windows 7 and XP systems  <<   if these are different pc's, i suppose your flash drive is bad, since it does not work on different PC's, and OS'es

do you get a notification sound?  then sometimes, this can help :
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

if no notification sound, maybe the connections are broken  - so try to resolder them : http://www.instructables.com/id/How-to-Fix-a-USB-Flash-Drive/step4/Soldering/
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GavhrelAuthor Commented:
I was hoping different but it appears to be a hw failure of the device. I don't think I'm going to try and fix it myself. Maybe, if it's not too expensive I'll have a professional data recovery compamy recover my files.

Thanks for the help and suggestions.
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nobusCommented:
in that case - try these guys : http://www.gillware.com/
cheaper than most !
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GavhrelAuthor Commented:
I just got an online estimate from  http://www.gillware.com/

Approx. $200 to fix a broken electical connection.

Approx. $2000 if a controller failure requiring raw data read and data reassembly. I would guess the real cost is somewhere between the two.

I suspect a failure other than a broken electical connection. I do get a notification sound when i plug in the device. My system seems to know something is there a "Memory Bar" but can not access it. No recovery software can see it either.

The thing gnawing away in the back of my mind is whether a piece of software on the device could disable the device and keep it from being seem.

Any ideas?

Regards

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dbruntonCommented:
>>  The thing gnawing away in the back of my mind is whether a piece of software on the device could disable the device and keep it from being seem.

No.

You've tried both Linux and Windows and it isn't showing in either.  The USB Safeguard software seems to be just an encryption application from reading their web page.
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