May 16, 2008
Dear CNET members,
Happy Friday! I don't know about you folks, but in the past few days the San Francisco Bay Area has received a good dose of hot weather, and it has been beautiful! So I'm hoping to spread some of the sun your way in case your area's weather isn't so fair. But enough of my weather report--let's move on to Paul's dilemma with his three wonky flash drives that aren't exactly cooperating.
After going through all of our members' answers to Paul's question, I noticed that the majority of them pointed out a common mistake that people make that can cause flash drives to fail - not disengaging the flash drives properly, by using the Windows "Safely remove hardware" process in the Windows task bar. Removing flash drives or other storage devices without using this feature can very possibly cause drives to fail, especially if something in the background is writing to it. I hope this isn't the case for you, but it's definitely worth bringing up.
While this week there were a lot incredibly helpful suggestions from our members, including personal experiences of having a faulty drive and suggestions on troubleshooting the issue, one particular post by member herman56z got me really thinking about your issue. What if your problem stems from a physical fault rather than a software-related issue? Hear me out. What if one of your six PCs has a physically damaged USB port, so whenever you plug one of your flash drives into this particular port, it causes physical damage to the flash drive connector--misaligning your flash drive connector pins or even possibly breaking the metal connection completely off? And in this case, you've used that particular damaged port with all three of your flash drives, physically damaging all the connectors on those drives and causing all three drives to be unrecognized in three different computers. I know this is a shot in dark, as it is with all troubleshooting suggestions, but it may be worth investigating.
I'm going to stop here, as there is plenty of great advice from our members, and with so many possible scenarios that can cause flash drive issues, I'm hoping the advice here will help you get a good start toward solving yours. To start you off, here are a few great thoughts from our members. But, there are plenty more, so please read them all. And Paul, if you get a chance, please swing by the discussion thread and tell us what worked for you. Good luck, and please continue the discussion! Thank you, everyone, for your contribution to this community topic!
(Note: From my personal experience, flash drives are usually very reliable for me, I have at least a half dozen of them that I use to transfer files around. However, as reliable as they are, I never depend solely on them to be my means of backing up data. Even if I did, I would always have additional media to back that data up--because anything can go wrong, and everything will fail eventually. So please, if you do back up your important data on your flash drives, make sure you have an additional source to back up that data, just in case that drive fails on you.)
Member Question of the Week
Three times--once each with three different flash drives, and
on six different PCs--I've had the experience of finding that
the computer won't recognize the drive, and the data on the
drive has become inaccessible. I see this is a common
problem. Other users ask for advice on the Web, and nobody
seems able to offer any solid information on this occurrence.
In none of my incidents has the flash drive been dropped,
heated, frozen, or dropped into a liquid or run through a
strong magnetic field. One day they work; next day they
don't. Anybody know why or what could be causing this issue?
And whether my data is permanently lost in such cases? Three
times, three different flash drives can't be a coincidence!
Please help! Thank you.
Here are some great answers from our members to get you started
Read all member contributions
Thanks to all who participated!
Previous week's Q&A
I'd like the straight scoop on what happens to TV reception
next year. Specifically, will my several analog TVs that are
connected directly to cable still function? Or will I need a
converter box on each of them? TV store salesmen say I will
need a box on each. But I understood that the cable
companies would continue to send both analog and digital
signals over the cable. Only the 'over-the-airwaves
broadcasting' would be free of analog signals so those
receiving TV via antenna will need a box on each analog TV.
Is that correct? Simple question, but I had to get the simple
answer. Either I'm OK as is, or I need a bunch of boxes. If
you can give me clear and definitive answer, that would be
much appreciated! Thank you very much.
Thanks to all who contributed!
Each week we take a look at topics discussed in the forums.
Have fun and enjoy!
More from the forums
Check out next week's question:
I am the father of two sons, ages 9 and 11, in search of advice in regards
to the "right sizing" of laptops for them.
I have tried getting advice from the forums, but the feedback I have
received has been questions on why I want to purchase laptops, mostly
from nonparents. Sure, it might sound like a large investment for their
age, but mobility is the driver behind the decision as we travel a lot.
Given their age, you would think that the requirements would be easy to
spec, the primary applications being Internet research, e-mail, light doc
processing, and of course gaming both online (Runescape) and off. I'm
looking for something that can survive the treatment from their age,
have enough horsepower for gaming, and yet still be "reasonable" price-
wise. (Maybe I am being delusional.) Any advice you could offer would defiantly be appreciated. Thanks!
Bob (Christopher & Willam's Dad)
If you have the answer for our member, click on the link below. Please be as detailed as possible when providing an answer. Thanks!
Have a question?
Home Audio & Video
It went for a swim (toilet, washer, drink...).
What's the worst thing your flash drive has gone through?
(Please click on button to vote)
It had a great fall (off desk, off building...).
It was crushed (car, rock, shoe, elephant...).
It got baked (hot car, dryer, left on the beach...).
It got chewed (machine, animal, child...).
Nothing, I?????????m that careful.
Simple question, simple answer
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