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[Solved]My 32Gb Transcend USB flash drive goes worrisome!

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The thumb drive used to work just fine for over three years of moderate use and now it has started to show these worrying symptoms as follows:

Following is the pic of the transcend flash drive I'm referring to in case anyone wonders which model, I hope it's not beyond recognition yet:


It takes forever for every system to detect the flash drive(H:) while slowing the system down at the same time :(





whenever it seems like it has settled down and stable, it would go back through the long detection process all over again when I try to open the flash drive (drive (H:)) to access the files stored in it.



Eventually it would just lead to some minor to major system lock-ups/freezes that could either require you to force-pull the flash drive off your system or press the physical reset button.

What concerns me most here is the fact that there are some very important family photos stored in it and I really can't afford to lose them just like that and since I've been out of stable work for to long already, paying for Data Recovery Services isn't really an option for me right now, yes it's that sad :(

I hope somebody would help me out with this, thank you so much in advance!
 

Jatheon

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Did you try to go to Device Manager, right-click the USB drive in the Disk drives category, then select Properties, switch to Policies tab, and choose "Optimize for performance". Click OK to keep it.
 

silentbogo

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There could be few reasons why it freezes:
1) Flash memory failure
2) Controller failure

You can check the first one by running a complete test with something like a Flash Drive Tester
http://www.vconsole.com/client/?page=page&id=13

Just remember that it will destroy all data during the testing process

The second one is much harder to diagnose, but it is the main reason of flash drive premature deaths.
I have a couple of Kingston DataTraveler sticks that no longer work due to USB controller malfunction (don't even register with a PC anymore)

You can also try and boot under Linux, or find a tool to make a raw file system dump, then recover your data from the image.


P.S. Did you try to connect this flash drive to another PC/Laptop? Did it show the same symptoms?
 

SuperSoph_WD

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Hey, @vziera!

@silentbogo mentioned some pretty awesome suggestions you can tackle to resolve the issue, or at least to recover your family photos.
You can try using some other third-party data recovery software as well, but that'd be at your own risk. Unfortunately, if the flash drive's storage chips are corrupted , you'd need to turn to a professional data recovery company for help whether you like it or not. :(
Either way, you shouldn't have saved any important files there. Flash drives are best regarded as a short-term storage solution, they are handy but it's never safe to store essential docs or any other files for that matter, without having a copy of them elsewhere.
Although, I guess you could also attempt retrieving the files using a Ubuntu CD, since the USB drive is recognized but not accessed through Windows.

Hope this helps. Best of luck!
SuperSoph_WD
 
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@Jatheon No luck bro, not responding here and there still :(

@silentbogo @SuperSoph_WD I've tried to connect this flash drive to several other healthy computers at home and at a neighbor's, they all showed the same exact symptoms :(

About the Ubuntu cd procedure, could you guys be more specific about how to do it? I mean could you please explain me in steps with which tools to use? Thank you so much again, your replies mean the world to me!
 

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Well, ubuntu would be your best bet at this point, because in Windows you'll need some trickery and additional software, while almost any Linux distro provides everything you need out of the box.

1) Create a bootable CD or USB stick with Ubuntu or any other distro of your choice
2) boot from your media and start a terminal session (start > applications > utils > terminal or simply hit CTRL+ALT+T)
3) insert your crippled USB stick and enter these commands in terminal:

Code:
sudo su
umount /dev/sdx
apt-get update
apt-get install gddrescue
ddrescue /dev/sdx ~/backup.img ~/backup.log
sync
/dev/sdx should be your USB drive device (e.g. /dev/sdb, /dev/sdc etc.)
~/ is your home directory short path (full path is usually /home/username/)

This sequence will elevate your privileges to superuser, unmount the flash drive(if it was previously mounted), install a gddrescue package and finally create an exact image of your flash drive and ignore all read errors.

as a result you'll have 2 files in your home directory: backup.img - the flash drive image, and backup.log - a log file, containing the info about backup process.

You can later mount the image just as any other storage device, or write it to another flash drive.
 
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Does this flash drive have a lock switch on it? I used to have a drive in high school that would act like this until I noticed there was I guess a write protect switch. It did this kind of stuff with the switch on. Might be a long shot.
 
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It is probably dying (or dead).

I know it is not the answer you would like to hear but you cannot simply trust flash drives so much. When they die they simply "puff".

If you think it is a problem caused by Windows... Try to plug it on a different operating system, or even a different computer. If the problem persists it is probably a problem with flash drive itself.

What concerns me most here is the fact that there are some very important family photos stored in it and I really can't afford to lose them
Backup. Sad you are learning it the hard way. :(
 
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@silentbogo The Ubuntu procedure unbelievably worked like a charm, I've got the photos back!!! Thank you ever so much, God bless you sir bro!!!

@zithe @Blue-Knight @SuperSoph_WD @Jatheon @silentbogo Thanks a lot for visiting this thread, God bless you all!!! Let me know if you guys have any problems and I'll do what I can to help! :'D

Take care and have a nice day!
 

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You're welcome!
 
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Many usb thumb drives are unbelievably cheap, and ticking time bombs.

I've bought new thumb drives that when written with random data, return the same data with a few bits flipped. Brand new!
 
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SuperSoph_WD

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I'm glad to see you so happy with your family photos back!
Make sure you have such files backed up on at least two different locations in the future. This way you'd save yourself the devastating headaches of data loss!

Take care & best of luck, @vziera! :)
 
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