Memory Stick faulty. How to repair?

Michael Murphy
Michael Murphy used Ask the Experts™
on
Dell Inspiron 15, 3000 series: Windows 10.
I have a memory stick which is not working . I would like to save the files on it to my desktop.
When i insert the memory stick into USB socket it shows up (in This PC window) after a good deal longer than usual. I right click on memory stick  icon and it tries to open. Sometimes it succeeds, but more often I get an error message and it disappears from the screen.
 On the odd occasion it does open and the files are displayed but when i try the transfer them to the desktop the memory stick disappears and I get an error message. I have tried it in different ports and on different machines, but same result. '

The error message: 'E:/ is not accessible, A device which does not exist is specified'.

When I check 'properties: I am told,  zero bytes. And when I click on  'tools'  and run 'check for errors', I am told that Windows cannot access the device
Comment
Watch Question

Do more with

Expert Office
EXPERT OFFICE® is a registered trademark of EXPERTS EXCHANGE®
JohnBusiness Consultant (Owner)
Most Valuable Expert 2012
Expert of the Year 2018

Commented:
I hope you have a backup of the files because it appears the USB stick is finished. You cannot (so far as I know) repair them. You have tried it in a different machine and that did not work. So not much more you can do with it.

Follow up - maybe try yet a different machine just to be sure
David FavorFractional CTO
Distinguished Expert 2018

Commented:
Redneck Tip: Likely your USB stick is dead + there's one trick my brother shared with me recently, he does for data recovery.

Normally with crashed mechanical drives + occasionally he says this works for USB sticks.

1) Connect a long USB cable to the USB stick.

2) Place the USB stick in large ziplock bag + seal it well, with cable coming out the top.

3) Place the device in the freezer overnight.

4) Place the bottom of the plastic bag in an ice chest full of water + ice, then plug the device into a computer.

5) If the device works, likely it will die soon, so pull your files immediately, then recycle the USB stick (destroy it).

This works with devices where the electronics are on the edge of dying + have become heat sensitive.

Likely this won't work + it might.

If you do this + it works, be sure to update this question with a note about your experience.

Might help out someone down the road.

Author

Commented:
Thanks for this. I will definitely try it. However it  be a few days as I need to be home to do this and am currently away. But will try it and will notify result.
OWASP: Threats Fundamentals

Learn the top ten threats that are present in modern web-application development and how to protect your business from them.

David FavorFractional CTO
Distinguished Expert 2018

Commented:
Tip: Till you can try the redneck cold trick, best not to run this device at all.

The more times you try accessing this device, the more likely it will die forever.
If the data is valuable and you have no backups, then you can probably get it recovered by a company that specialises in that sort of work.  It is not cheap, probably a few hundred to a few thousand.

Freezing is a long shot, and may just make things worse, but as a last ditch effort it is worth a shot. I have seen this work for rust spinner hard drives.

Here in Australia I would use this mob but I have no recommendations for Ireland.

https://www.payam.com.au/usb-flash-drive-data-recovery/
Top Expert 2013

Commented:
i would test it on another PC
also - what model stick is it, and is it usb 2 or 3 ?
you can try testing it on usb 2 and 3 ports !
Pete LongTechnical Consultant

Commented:
Good luck - you know the importance of good backups now, start putting your files in cloud storage like Dropbox or OneDrive
David FavorFractional CTO
Distinguished Expert 2018

Commented:
nobus brings up a good point.

First test this device on another machine, preferably a Linux machine.

This can sometimes work around problems also.
Don’t forget untested backups are referred to as schrodingers backups ie you don’t know if they are good or not

Author

Commented:
It is a Kingston memory stick (DataTraveller. 8GB G3)
Top Expert 2013

Commented:
that's an usb 3 drive - test in on other pc's and ports plse (even usb 2)
I said I would get back with result of the freezing experiment. I tried it, without success. Clearly the item is caput. I have been able to retrieve material from copies and what I cant retrieve is not worth paying a lot of money. So I'm happy. I want to close this question now. How do I assign marks? There was no happy solution, but the experts greatly increased my knowledge about USB memory sticks and I would like to reward them. I will click the 'no but it is helpful' button?
Top Expert 2013

Commented:
the only repair of sticks i know is when the USB connection in the stick come loose
n older ones - they could be rsoldered

Do more with

Expert Office
Submit tech questions to Ask the Experts™ at any time to receive solutions, advice, and new ideas from leading industry professionals.

Start 7-Day Free Trial