USB Flash drive Resurrection

People are using removable media storage for different tasks. Step by step they are becoming a very important part of our daily life as the amount of storage capacity, and the critical nature of the data they contain increases.

Sometimes USB drives do not allow us to add or remove files, or it just may not be recognized by the operating system. So what do you do if your flash drive has stopped working properly or is having a technical problem?

Do not discard it because you can recover the data it contains using some special tools.

Many people – including myself – find themselves in a hurry and forget about the safely remove hardware icon in operating system, and they pull out the USB drive without properly disengaging the unit. This is very harmful to the life of the USB drive, and may be one of the main causes for USB damage.

Internal USB drive looks as follows:

1 USB connector, 2 USB mass storage controller device, 3 Test points, 4 Flash memory chip ,5 Crystal oscillator ,6 LED ,7 Write-protect switch (Optional) ,8 Space for second flash memory chip

Usually the problem is in the USB controller device which transmits the data between the computer and the flash memory chip. The most common reason for a controller problem is firmware failure, and the controller does not respond to the operating system request.

If you have not made file backups and you have important files on this USB, then you need to recover the files immediately, because most utilities that will start to repair the USB controller firmware by performing a low level format, and this will cause you to lose your data.

To recover the file you can use PhotoRec , an open source multi-platform application that can recover lost files including video, documents and archives… or use R-Studio which is another powerful data recovery software.

Start by searching for the USB Controller Vendor and Product ID. This can be done by simply opening the USB flash drive, and you find it written on the controller or by using a utility, such as usbview ,a free usb device viewer that lists all usb devices connected to the computer, or CheckUDisk – USB Flashdrive Information Tool and ChipGinus. If the utility finds the USB drive, this mean that you have a chance to repair it.

Now the question what to do with this ID? First we check http://www.flashboot.ru/iflash.html to have the details about how to fix the controller, for each manufacture there you find its own utility to fix controller.  So you need to follow the indicated instructions (downloading the utility and follow required actions to get it back working.

That’s it wish you a good chance in recovering and repairing your USB devices!

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Interesting article re. how to resurrect USB drives that have stopped working. http://ow.ly/5lgmF

Sean Yocum

how to fix a broken off usb mass storage controller device