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Thread: USB Thumb Drive Stopped Working

  1. #1
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    Default USB Thumb Drive Stopped Working

    My USB Flash drive died on me... its an old Kingston 256. Anyways, when I plug it in, it says it needs to be formatted, so I tell it to format it. It tries to format it, but fails. Says this device cannot be formatted. Whats my next step? I've tried all the formatting options, FAT, NTS....

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    Prolly not worth the time, sounds like something is seriously messed physically. Get like an 8 gig for 20 bucks or whatever it is and be done with it

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    Last edited by 01RedDX; 10-17-2020 at 03:22 PM.

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    Originally posted by 01RedDX
    On a related note, my USB drive just died also. I reformatted my friend's badly infected computer and backed up some of her stuff on the drive. It became infected and now my AV says threat detected every time I plug it in, no matter how many times I reformat it. Weird! At least those things are cheap these days.
    The MBR is infected with the virus. This does not get erased with a normal format or repartition. You can fix this by formatting the USB stick with a utility that makes bootable USB file systems. Or by using fdisk /mbr x: where X is the usb drive.

    Be forewarned, improper use of fdisk can cause permanent data loss on your local hard drive, usb stick or any other drive connected to the computer.

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    Default Re: USB Thumb Drive Stopped Working

    Originally posted by natejj
    My USB Flash drive died on me... its an old Kingston 256. Anyways, when I plug it in, it says it needs to be formatted, so I tell it to format it. It tries to format it, but fails. Says this device cannot be formatted. Whats my next step? I've tried all the formatting options, FAT, NTS....
    Most likely the USB drive is toast. Either as the result of physical damage, or from too many read/write cycles. Flash memory has a finite number of write-erase cycles before it fails. Older flash drives use a linear sector map of the flash, so certain areas of the flash drive are constantly rewritten and fail before other parts of the drive. This was a particular problem for parts of the drive that store the master file table (MFT). As files are modified, removed and deleted this MFT is constantly updated, causing that part of the drive to fail before the rest.

    Modern USB drives utilize wear-leveling. The USB drive maps logical sectors to physical sectors, transparent to the OS, and spreads the writes evenly over the file system. This way even modifications to the same logical chunks are spread out, and one area of the drive will not fail prematurely.

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    Last edited by 01RedDX; 10-17-2020 at 03:21 PM.

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