dead thumb drive

Thread Starter

electronis whiz

Joined Jul 29, 2010
i recently had a u3 sandisk drive start giving me al kinds of problems. i backedup what i could then low level formated it hen formated it using NTFS. i think it should be safe to use now however i'm not sure. i got a new pny now that i use now. i'd just like to use this when i work on my colection of 7 computers. is there3 any problem using ntfs instead of fat 16 other than win 98ish won't access it? should i be able to somwhat trust this drive again?


Joined Feb 5, 2010
Flash memory does eventually "wear out". as cheap as these types of drives have become, why risk it? I've seen 4GB ones for less than $10.


Joined Jul 17, 2007
I would use it for things that don't really matter if they get corrupted.

For example, you could use it as a bootable Hirens' Boot Disk; they are very handy to have around in case you have a no-boot situation. If it's not readable, you can just load another one. Just don't depend on it for anything critical.

It could also be that it has built up some conductive crud inside. You might try cleaning it with some isopropyl alcohol as best as you can, and let it dry out thoroughly.

On a related note, I washed a pair of pants with a forgotten flash drive in one of the pockets. It went through the washer but was found before it went through the dryer. The shell had separated and the board and shell halves were beating around inside the washer. I let it dry out for a month - and it started working again. I've been using it ever since with no problems.

Thread Starter

electronis whiz

Joined Jul 29, 2010
i have been using it to transfer files, programs betwween systems. my main system has a master copy usily so i think thats safe. if it gives me any more problems i will probly do this again then just stick it the back of my system then dedicate it to ready boost.


Joined Apr 26, 2005
There was a story reported about a camera being fished out of the Med ... they let the SD Drive dry out and then through the pictures, the drive was returned to the original owners.

The Med is very salty so I was suprised when I read that.


Joined Sep 7, 2009
If you search for flash drive tester, you should find some freeware worth a try.
They recently tested about 20 flash drives on "The Gadget Show". About half of them survived being run over by a car, all of the remaining ones survived a wash and tumble dry, and one showed some signs of life after being blown up with some explosives.


Joined Nov 16, 2007
formatting to NTFS will not be a problem, but I'd either toss it or use it only for files you can verify are uncorrupted after you transfer. Don't rely on it for permanent un-backed-up
data. I have a 12GB PNY that has messed up on me twice and was really hardly used, but I ought to be tossing it myself. It's also now formatted for NTFS.