The flash drive is such a handy thing as it is virtually a portable mini hard drive to carry around your important files. But it could turn into your worst nightmare if, by some freak accident, it gets broken.
Deciding whether to try and fix it yourself or send it to a professional company depends on the extent of the damage as well as the importance its contents.
There are no working parts in a flash drive, making it more durable and data transfer a lot faster. Flash drives consist of a small PCB (Printed Circuit Board), which is protected inside a metal, plastic or rubberized case, powerful enough to carry data without any additional protection.
However, a lot can go wrong. For example, the male USB connector is extremely fragile and the slightest bump can sever the connector from the PCB. Alternatively, if any one of the hundreds of components (ICs, resistors, capacitors, oscillators, etc.) burn out, the device will probably fail. What’s more, NAND memory, the technology upon which flash drives are based, can only withstand so many read/write cycles before it wears out. So flash drives only have a limited life span!
If there are no critical files in the flash drive, count yourself lucky. Break out the soldering iron and have some fun trying to put it back together. Here are some tips…
1. Sometimes all you need to do hold the pins back in place while the device is plugged into a USB port.
2. But usually the pins will need to be soldered. First, make sure the solder pads were not lifted when the connector broke away. If this is the case, you could get some conductive ink from Radio Shack or on eBay to retrace the solder runs. But if the solder pads are still intact, just either solder the old connector back onto the PCB or take apart an old USB cable and solder the wires to the PCB. Just make sure you get the order right: From left to right. Black, Green, White, Red. Don’t mess this up or your flash drives is toast.
Be warned, if the data on the flash drive is at all important, you will definitely want to bring it to a professional rather than attempt to do it yourself.
When the data in your flash drive is critical or, as in the DIY case above, unrecoverable, consider a professional data recovery company like FlashDrivePros.com.
The great thing about Flash Drive Pros is that it is online. You need not physically drive over to a shop to bring your broken flash drive. Here are the easy steps:
1. The “Order” button allows you to select the type of service you want (either Next Day or 5-7 Day Service). It asks for some information on your flash drive and allows payment via PayPal or credit card. The great thing about this is that they do not charge you until your files are recovered.
2. Ship all the broken parts of your flash drive to them in a padded envelope.
3. Once they have recovered your data files, they digitally encrypt and back these up into a secure, file-share server without opening the files. They email you the link and password so that you can then download your recovered files into your computer. Quick and painless! And your data stays confidential.
FlashDrivePros.com has recovered data from all kinds of flash drive damage: flash drives snapped in two, run over by a vehicle, dunk in a washing machine and more. They have recovered files that encountered physical damage or logical crash. They are quite confident about recovering your data that they guarantee that in the event they really cannot recover the data, they will find someone who can or return your flash drive free of charge. And they won’t charge you if they are unable to recover your files.
Put your damaged flash drive and its data contents in the right hands and get peace of mind. With FlashDrivePros.com, what you thought may have been lost could very well just be a click away.