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Can't access USB drive


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#1
Dilbert75

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Nasty problem: Using USB drive to transfer files from lab PC to laptop. Saved all files onto USB, ejected it properly and stuck it in my pocket. Had done all this before with the same stick - only about 2 months old and not used that much.

Got home, put it into laptop and nothing. Windows cannot see it - have tried 2 computers (Win7 and WinXP). Was getting nothing, now getting the appropriate red light but Windows still can't see it. Don't care about the stick - it can go in the bin - but I need the data off it.

My instinct is that its a driver problem but it could also be a mechanical failure. Any hints?

Oh yeah - its experimental results for my thesis which is due to be submitted in 3 weeks and 6 days. No pressure.
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#2
Legend Gaming

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Are you sure you ejected properly? Did you Remove Hardware Safely, or just unplug it?
If you simply unplugged it the files could have corrupted.
Go back to the original machine where you put the files on the USB, and check if it's there.

Also, make sure the files aren't hidden by accident.
Right click the file, click properties, and under attributes make sure Hidden isn't checked off.
That is, if you can get to the computer with the files on it.

You also said you don't care about the USB, that you just need the files so here's a simpler way to get them.
Go to a filesharing website such as www.mediafire.com , upload the files, click the option to copy the link.
Then paste it somewhere so you can write it down.
Again, that is if you can get to the computer with the files on it.
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#3
Dilbert75

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Thanks for the reply.

Definitely waited till it was ejected before removing - it took several attempts before it allowed me to. Have already tried the "hidden files" option but it wasn't that - the pc can't even see the drive, never mind tell me what space is on it. Unfortunately the PC that I was working on isn't networked so I can't connect to any filesharing sites from it.

Think I'm in trouble.
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#4
Legend Gaming

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"the pc can't even see the drive, never mind tell me what space is on it."

So your computer doesn't know it's there?
But you're going through all the options?
Please be more specific.

You also said it took several attempts before allowing.
That means that there may be something physically wrong with the USB.

For example, I bought a USB a while ago for Xbox360 modding. Being as the ports on the system are such awkwardly shaped I resorted to using clamps to grab the USB and remove it from the system. I ended up damaging the USB, and I've been having problems ever since.

Has ANYTHING similar happened while using the USB?

Also, since you never said there were problems reading the USB on the other computer, format the USB and then try again to put the files on.
Start, My Computer, [Right click] which ever drive the USB is, Format.
Then simply go through the whole formatting process, put the files on again, remove safely, then try it again on your computer and post here the updates of what has happened.

Edited by Legend Gaming, 03 September 2011 - 06:04 AM.

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#5
Dilbert75

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I'm now back in college (4 hour drive!), re-running my experiments, cos I'm so stuck for time that I just can't afford to get to the point in a week where I have no data.

I checked it on 4x computers before I left home and none of them could see it (1x of them definitely could the week before). I checked the folder options on 3 of them and set the options so that hidden files would be shown. None of them even found the drive. When I got back to college I put it into the pc it came out of on Thursday night and it couldn't see it either. No red light, no recognition, not listed in USB devices. I'm concluding its dead - or dead to the point that I won't get my data back from it.

And seeing that I can't see it in any computers, I'm guessing that I won't be able to format it and, even if I could, I'd never trust it. So its heading for the bin.

As for the damage, the thing is only about a month old. I took it out of one pc at the end of each of 2 days testing on my first set, put it into my laptop and ejected it to backup the data and I inserted & removed it from the other pc at the end of each of 2 days testing on my second set and put it into my laptop last night and found it was dead. So its had little enough use and its been looked after. There are no visible mechanical breaks in connections so something is obviously nerfed inside.

Anyway, thanks for replying. Not a satisfactory ending but a lesson learned: I should leave college to young people who know how to deal with technology. ;o)
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#6
phillpower2

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Hi Dilbert75 :) Sorry to hear that you are having this unfortunate memory stick issue.
If you can get the thumb drive detected by any computer at the moment see if you can retrieve the data using recovery software, plenty of free versions are available @ http://www.snapfiles...tarecovery.HTML try Recuva first as it has a good success rate, good luck and let us know how it goes.
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#7
Dilbert75

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Thanks PhillPower and all - it seems that my first request was going to be near-impossible to solve. It has been suggested that I pass the key to the Comp Soc in my university and see if they can access it, but its confidential information so I might have to pass on that. I do appreciate the suggestions though and they are the reason that G2G was recommended to me by a colleague who had success with one of her PC problems. If I do get access to the drive (when all the thesis is finished), I'll come back and post to let you know what worked and didn't. Might help someone in the future.
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#8
phillpower2

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You are welcome Dilbert75 I hope everything goes well for you, good luck.
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