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Thread: Dead thumb drive revival?

  1. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by clam1952 View Post
    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.
    I've done a PCB transplant, but that worked only once due to BIOS differences between the boards on other drives even though they were identical otherwise. The heatsink trick does work as well. I forgot about that one. I used that sticky tape to old the heat sink on the drive. When the data was retrieved, I yanked the heat sink off and disassembled the drive for bearings and magnets anyway so I didn't care if the board ripped where the sticky tape was attached to the chip.

    I will say though I'm very familiar with hot chips! Way back in my tech days, I used to fix RAM cards that had huge, not kidding size wise, RAM chips. 90% of the failures were caused by cooking RAM chips that were found unexpectedly while brushing against them while checking other things on the circuit boards. Oh these chips were nominal at 8k by 1 bit and about the length of a matchbox car.

    Linux does work for drives that haven't had their own Bios fry, but once that goes, well the drive is toast.
    John
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  2. #17
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    @ Dave, as a thought may be worth removing that external from it's casing and connecting direct to a motherboard SATA port, often its the enclosures circuitry that's died rather than the actual drive, I did that not so long ago with a 4TB drive in a defective Seagate NAS, stuck it in a USB3 enclosure and it's fine.
    Malc


  3. #18
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    Threw it into the freezer overnight and it actually showed up, only as a cd rom. Soon as I tried to right click on it...poof. Nothing.

    Guess I'll keep it, toss it outside this winter when it's below zero and see if it finally remembers what it really is.
    Toujours Prêt!

  4. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by crazytrain View Post
    Threw it into the freezer overnight and it actually showed up, only as a cd rom. Soon as I tried to right click on it...poof. Nothing.

    Guess I'll keep it, toss it outside this winter when it's below zero and see if it finally remembers what it really is.
    Well, that's progress of a sort. Maybe it would stay around longer if you strapped a couple of freeze packs around it when you took it out of the freezer. I can see it now, stuffed in a cooler with ice packs around it and a USB cord dongle plugged into it as you frantically extract data before it dies again. That appeals to my author side. A book called "The Zombie Drive."

    Bill
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  5. #20

    Default Dead Thumb Drive Revival

    To be sure, if the drive is not even recognized by your computer, then recovery software is probably not going to work. Software such as that depends on being able to read the device to look for the recoverable files. It the drive cannot be "seen" by the computer, then the software can't scan the drive.
    That being said, you could try seeing if the drive is readable by another computer. If so, then run a recovery software on it from that computer. SanDisk RescuePRO is a good one to use.
    If, though, the drive cannot be read by another computer, then consider sending it off for professional recovery. Sounds like "surgery" may need to be done on it to get the memory chips off it, and extract your data.

  6. #21
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    Sometimes, not always though, you can try booting into LINUX (of some flavor - I use Ubuntu) and see if it will recognize the drive. You can run any distro of LINUX from an ISO version on a DVD. It give you full functionality without causing ANY harm to your current Windows machine. It runs from a RAMDisk, but it appears as a full version of LINUX. Before I moved most of my computing to Ubuntu (now version 18.04LTS) I had several DVDs to use.

    Bill
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  7. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by crazytrain View Post
    Threw it into the freezer overnight and it actually showed up, only as a cd rom. Soon as I tried to right click on it...poof. Nothing.

    Guess I'll keep it, toss it outside this winter when it's below zero and see if it finally remembers what it really is.
    They heat up really quick when used. If you can find dry ice, you can put it in a baggie and use an USB extension cable to lay the drive on the dry ice. I doubt you will be able to get any data though but I've used that trick to recover pictures from hard drives and memory cards. On memory cards, I use RescuePRO Deluxe to read the cards. It might work with flash drives.

    William

  8. #23
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    Moral here is always have a backup of the backup, saved me more than once.
    Malc


  9. #24
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    Yeah, flash drives are good for moving files from one computer to another. (sneakernet). You can get a 1 terabyte portable hard drive for around $40. Much better for making backups.

    William

  10. #25
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    Disc recovery software:

    https://www.easeus.com/

    I've used their partition move and resize tools, but have heard their recovery tools are good too. It might be worth a try, but if the thumb drive died completely it'll be impossible to recover anything because they work like EEROMs which eventually kills the memory cells in the ROM.
    John
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