flash drive

i was using my 512mb Kingston DataTraveller usb flash drive today at school with robot code on it. the period was running short so i waited until the code was compiled then i unplugged it. then i shut down the computer (well, more unplugged it). i went to my last class of the day, science. i came home and plugged in my flash drive, and it’s recognized as a drive that isn’t there. it shows up under a different name, and when i click on it, it says “please insert a drive”. i’m so confused…it had our robot code as well as my programming summative (with the robot) on it!!! any advice?

back up your data!

(sorry I don’t have any helpful advice to get you out of this jam, but maybe you’ll learn about backing up data and being extra careful with flash drives as a result?)

Sorry, you cant do anything, always eject properly and save your data in various locations

CNET article: Surprise! You killed your USB drive

Our team made the same mistake with our only copy of the code two years ago. We had to rewrite it from a very old version with less than a week to go before ship.

You have my deepest sympathy. :frowning:

I hadn’t really thought about the idea that a flash drive could die. I would be devastated if the files on my flash drive were lost. I think I’ll back it up tonight!

I never use a flash drive as the only storage place for any files. I save files to the hard drive, and copy to the flash drive when needed.

Maybe I do that because I’m old enough to remember floppy disks :slight_smile:

Agreed. I save to my hard drive, but take my 1 gig flash drive with me if i happen to need a file some place other than my pc.

well, a cancellation prize might be other people learning from my mistake. HEAR THAT EVERYONE?!?!?!?


I highly highly doubt that the drive itself is “dead”. Especially if windows is still recognizing it. Instead, you probably interrupted a cached write to the drive or some such, and the file system is now corrupted. It might still be possible to save some of the data on the drive if you’re determined and want to muck around with it. This has some info:
and this might help:

You could also try downloading Knoppix or the Ultimate Boot CD and booting into Linux and seeing if you can read or format the drive from there.

EDIT: Heck, if it’s not supremely urgent or highly personal, you could mail it down here to Texas and I’d muck with it for ya.

Try connecting it to a Windows Vista computer.

I had a drive I borrowed to a classmate to get a file off of, and they pulled it out without doing a Safely Remove. Surprise, it wouldn’t mount in WinXP. I plugged it into my Vista laptop, and it automatically detected the error(s) and recovered all the data, except the file that was being accessed. (too bad, at least I got most of it back)

Remember- Flash drives are not intended for the primary storage site. Only use your flash drive to transfer data between computers. Keep it all on your hard drive.

i think it’s pooched. i tried to re-format it (i can always re write the code on it) and it didn’t wirk. i simply got an error that said “this volume cannot be formatted” (or something alont those lines.). i think i’m just going to have to buy a new one sigh

Floppy disks are still great, my computer back up includes them, i use floppies for a DOS boot then recover with a cd. OLD TECHNOLOGY WORKS BEST!!!

Even Good Old Hard and Floppy Drives fail. I just recently lost all my pics on my HDD. Boy was I upset. Luckily I backed up half of those pics 4 years ago too a CD. The best way too back up anything is to back it up in as many places as possible and have a program to update the backed up files if you add more too the folder.

I pull my flash out “improperly” and have been using various flash drives on dozens of computers. I have NEVER had a problem. Knocks on wood I always make sure that my drive is not running while I pull it. The only time something goes wrong is when somebody pulls it during an application (that is running on the drive) like saving a document or something. That “Safely Remove Your Hardware” mumbo jumbo is exactly that, mumbo jumbo. If you use your brain and wait until the drive is stopped and than remove it you will be safe.


It’s not mumbo-jumbo. If you know what’s going on under the hood you’d understand why. It’s difficult for you, as a user, to understand when the OS is finished writing to the drive. If your flash drive has a light on it that turns on during writes, that helps, but it’s no guarantee.

With Windows XP, write caching has been disabled on removable drives, so the likelihood of corruption is low, but not zero. Basically, each time you yank it out without safely removing it you take the risk of corrupting either the file you were working on or the whole disk (if the FAT is corrupted). If you’re using Windows 2000, I believe it still caches writes to removable drives so I highly recommend removing the drives safely only on that OS.

Now, that being said, I myself yank drives out w/o proper shutdown all the time. However, I only keep data on my flash drive that is also copied somewhere else so if I manage to corrupt it it’s really only an annoyance. Worst case I corrupt the file or need to reformat the drive, but both of those are acceptable risks to me. It’s very, very unlikely that you could actually damage a disk to the point of not being able to reformat it by unsafely removing it.

ya…except my flash drive is now dead. i cant even re-format it, and i’ve tried on about 3 different computers. now i’m mad cuz i have to buy a new one.

I guess I kind of agree with you. I do not know exactly what is under the hood (although the ‘hood’ is clear) I do agree that there is some risk involved. I use it at work and I always make sure that the file I’m working on is closed, and usually when I pull my pin out, it has been inactive for at least half a minute of not more than 10 or 15. I still stand by my statement that if you make sure that your drive is not ‘running’ and wait a few seconds it will be okay. That said, time to see what is under the hood…after I back everything up of course! :smiley:


Try formating it from a non-Microsoft formating app, or even better a Linux Live CD. Those can be willing to try to do something Windows would never try.

Buying a new one isn’t that bad, you can get a 2gb for $25.

I lost mine awhile ago and just bought one this weekend. Check the ads in the newspaper for places like Office Depot, Best Buy, and Staples. There were 512mb ones for $9 and 1gb for $12 this weekend which really isnt that much money and I rarely spend money.