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Thread: Dead thumb drive revival?

  1. #1
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    Default Dead thumb drive revival?

    Can't believe it finally happened. Went to grab some goodies off of one of my USB thumb drives and all it would do is flash once and nothing. Won't even register as a drive. Tried it over and over but nothing. Completely flat-lined. ugh

    Dead. Or is there some magic wand that will fix it?
    Toujours Prêt!

  2. #2
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    You can try this here:

    https://www.minitool.com/data-recovery-software/

    I'm not sure if it'll work or not.

    Good luck with this and let us know if you're successful.

    I've used their partition software and it works well.
    John
    Trainz User Since: 12-2003
    Trainz User ID: 124863
    T:ANE Build: 94829
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  3. #3
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    I've had good results several times in the past with the Easeus data recovery tool when camera SD cards and TV recording thumbsticks have played up on me.

    https://www.easeus.com/data-recovery-software/

    The usual reasons I've discovered are either low battery power in the camera or momentary power interruption to a PC or TV-recorder while the card is in place, I've always managed to get the files back.
    Last edited by IlfaGoods; July 30th, 2019 at 03:26 AM. Reason: add URL

  4. #4
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    Tried all USB ports? or you have another PC or laptop try it in that first, may be an issue with your USB ports. May sound daft but tried waggling it around in the socket?

    Suggest running USBDEview from Nirsoft https://www.nirsoft.net/utils/usb_devices_view.html that if that can see the thumbdrive then it may be fixable if not, it's more than likely deceased.
    Malc


  5. #5
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    Flash type memory recovery is by 99% impossible.

  6. #6
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    I just had one of my External Drives show and error on me and I can't access any files on it. I've heard of these data recovery businesses on the web but they cost a bundle. Too bad because a lot of my Trainz original files were on there.

  7. #7
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    Tried everything, but looks like it's toast.

    It was quite old. Can't even remember when and where it came from. Almost all of the trainz stuff on it was transferred to another newer drive about a year ago, so in that way it wasn't a total loss. It contained all kinds of other things I had meant to transfer knowing it probably wouldn't last long. A lot of it will take going to look for something and realizing it was probably on that drive. Procrastination got the better of me this time. Live and learn.

    Thanks for the suggestions everyone.
    Toujours Prêt!

  8. #8
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    One last thing worth trying. Instead of plugging it into the computer ports plug it into a external-powered USB2.0 hub attached to the PC , in case it's drawing so much current the PC is shutting it down. The hub might just allow it to grab enough current to initialise.

  9. #9
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    I also have the EaseUS tools and they work well too, and I too have used the Nir-soft utility. (Malc and I think alike a lot of time it seems).

    I have had some bad USB ports, which wreaked havoc with a lot of peripherals. My old Intel motherboard took a hit through a USB port due to a bad external drive. The hit destroyed the Northbridge chip, which controls all USB ports, SATA, and memory causing the mother board to lose half the memory installed, and everything else to die.

    USB thumb drives, by their very nature, only handle just so many writes. Unlike a hard disk, these are only EEROMs except they are faster, which work by writing data at a higher voltage and reading back at a lower. Eventually the bits inside will die and is more of an issue if the same spot has been written to more than others due to the size of the files.
    John
    Trainz User Since: 12-2003
    Trainz User ID: 124863
    T:ANE Build: 94829
    TRS2019: 98592

  10. #10
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    I tend to use Linux to recover Windows media but by chance do you have access to a Chrome or Android device, a smart TV/home cinema system or car with a USB media connection. You are unlikely to be able to read Trainz files but may give you a more informed idea if the drive has died or just play hard to read under Windows. Peter

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by wilts747 View Post
    I tend to use Linux to recover Windows media but by chance do you have access to a Chrome or Android device, a smart TV/home cinema system or car with a USB media connection. You are unlikely to be able to read Trainz files but may give you a more informed idea if the drive has died or just play hard to read under Windows. Peter
    Many of the drive repair utilities run a 'nix based shell or boot into a flavor of Linux to do their repair work. This works fine for file structure that can't be read, but if the device has died physically, then this won't work either. Reading the data doesn't matter, but accessing the folder structure is important. If an asset is in a folder and there's a readme, the readme file can be opened and checked, verifying that the drive is okay and only the MFT is corrupt and there are ways to repair that using the provided utilities.

    There are also other programs that read the disk at a bit level rather than the file structure level. I have used such a utility to recover erased folders and they work quite well. One such utility is ISO Buster, which works quite nicely and another whose name escapes me also works for hard disks.

    Part of the problem we run into with USB thumb drives and SSDs is there is no magnetic surface and the data is saved to memory structures instead. Eventually these bits wear through and even with the algorithms to move data blocks when things get sketchy, this isn't always successful with these devices due to chaining of bad data blocks. Some data blocks will affect those next to them and eventually a big hunk of the device fails.

    As Dave Snow mentioned, hard disk recovery is expensive! I had a company look at doing this for someone and at the time, over 20 years ago now, it cost $600 just to look at the disk. As it turned out the disk was fried and nothing could be recovered. More recently, well about 8 years ago, I had to get a drive repaired for a manager I worked with. The data was quite critical, and I had to get sign-offs up the ying-yang to get permission to have the drive looked at. The cost for this recovery was well over $1500 and it was quite successful. While these drive recovery processes are out of the budget of most Trainzers, I would still look at various utilities such as those mentioned here.
    John
    Trainz User Since: 12-2003
    Trainz User ID: 124863
    T:ANE Build: 94829
    TRS2019: 98592

  12. #12
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    I have managed to get a reluctant hard drive working long enough to extract files from it before it crashed again by putting it in a plastic baggie and letting it sit in a freezer overnight. The cold-soaked ships seem to work. I've recovered 4 out of 7 drives that way. I don't know if it would work with a thumb drive, though. EEPROMs are a different beast.

    Bill
    Name: Bill (CTR1, USN, Retired 1961--1980)
    User ID: 202442
    Trainzer since: 2004
    Currently using: T:ANE (build 94808)

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by HiBaller View Post
    I have managed to get a reluctant hard drive working long enough to extract files from it before it crashed again by putting it in a plastic baggie and letting it sit in a freezer overnight. The cold-soaked ships seem to work. I've recovered 4 out of 7 drives that way. I don't know if it would work with a thumb drive, though. EEPROMs are a different beast.

    Bill
    I've done that too. It's the same as hitting the drive with freeze spray probably, but better for the environment. I don't think this will work with the thumb drives though, although it might be worth the try. The issue I see is moisture build up on the connector, which will then be wet when plugged into the USB port and that isn't such a good idea.
    John
    Trainz User Since: 12-2003
    Trainz User ID: 124863
    T:ANE Build: 94829
    TRS2019: 98592

  14. #14
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    What I do before the freezer is put it in a plastic baggie and suck the air out with a straw as I close it. If in doubt, hit it with a shot of compressed air to make sure the connector is dry. I don't see this working with a thumb drive now that I think about it. No moving parts to shrink/expand (unless it's a cold-solder joint somewhere).

    Bill
    Name: Bill (CTR1, USN, Retired 1961--1980)
    User ID: 202442
    Trainzer since: 2004
    Currently using: T:ANE (build 94808)

  15. #15
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    I've actually done recovery a few times, mostly for other people.

    Drive in freezer or fridge overnight, both have worked.
    If it's a chip issue it will probably be painfully hot to touch, find a suitable heatsink and clamp it with an insulated clamp of some kind to the drive / pcb on top of the defective chip, insulating tape works as a clamp, works for a bit longer than just freezing ;o)
    Borrow the PCB from an identical drive if you have one.

    Linux will often read a "dead" drive in that it's not dependant on the bios to find it so worth a try.
    Malc


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