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When i plug my usb drive into any computer, it doesnt not load

Posted on 2012-03-30
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Last Modified: 2012-04-04
This started happening after I plugged into machine whose user said that any usb device plugged in this machine "gets burned out" and stops working.  

The only noticeable thing that happens is that the if I plug in the affected usb drive and remove it after 2-3 min, its extremely hot, enough to slightly burn if held on to the metal part for too long.

How could this have happened?  What causes something like this?  And how can one repair it?
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Question by:cllocc
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by:
BobRalph earned 100 total points
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It sounds like there is a short in the computer's USB port. Does this happen on all USB ports? If the USB ports are on the front of the machine then they can be replaced but the ports on the back are built into the motherboard itself. The motherboard may need to be replaced.

What brand and model of computer is it?
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by:jamietoner
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Sounds like that system has a shorted usb port which can damage usb drives. To repair the system it depends on where the usb port is located, the usb drive itself is not repairable.
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by:IT-Monkey-Dave
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The USB drive itself is probably unrepairable.  There may or may not still be data on it.  If it contains sensitive data, even if the drive is still under warranty, think carefully about sending it in for replacement.  In cases like that I physically destroy the drive.  Have had to do that more than once.
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by:dbrunton
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If this is any USB port on the machine that does this then the circuit and chips on the motherboard has failed.  In this case look at a new motherboard or disabling the USB in the BIOS.  I'd recommend the former rather than the latter.
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by:pjam
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Since it does this on "Any computer" I wold agree with IT-Monkey-Dave, destroy the drive and get a new one.
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Author Comment

by:cllocc
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well I guess the user's usb ports have been shorted.  I plugged in the usb flash drive that I used on his machine on my machine and it would not load.  Then i plugged in a usb external hard drive (which was never connected to his machine) and that loaded on my machine.
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by:BobRalph
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Yeah unfortunately your USB drive is dead. It can't be repaired, but like the others mentioned, sensitive data can still be retrieved. The flash memory chip on board can be removed and the data can be read by someone with the knowledge and motivation to do it. Best to break out the hammer and permanently retire the flash drive.
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by:qualityeye
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I've had this problem with a USB adapter.  Basically it just doesn't work.  The solution was to throw it in the trash.  The USB adapter wouldn't work on any computer properly.  Even on computers that would read it, it still wouldn't work properly.
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by:masnrock
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What type of computer is it? Possibility of something being wired backwards to the USB port as well.
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by:nobus
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tell the user to have the usb port inspected and repaired -  or block it with some glue in it
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Author Comment

by:cllocc
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tell the user to have the usb port inspected and repaired -  or block it with some glue in it

Very good suggestion, ill pass that along to the user.
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by:nobus
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and if it is a desktop, he can use a PCI to USB card if he needs more ports
there are even USB 3 cards :  http://www.everythingusb.com/usb-cards.html
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Author Closing Comment

by:cllocc
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Thanks for the feedback and suggestions.  I've already ordered a new usb hard drive and will be "retiring" the old ones soon
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