Dead Flash Drive?

My Kingston DataTraveler DT108 shows a capacity of 0 bytes in the properties window and when I attempt to format it, I get a message saying “There is no disk in drive G. Insert a disk, and then try again”. Is there a way to fix this, or is it just a lost cause now?

I think your Flash drive had gave up the ghost.

Depends if it’s the flash memory or the memory controller that’s dead. You could try running “chkdsk /r” on it from the command line to scan for bad sectors and whatnot, which might restore casual use (but never trust it again). You also might have more luck on a different OS (XP usually works well for this kind of mess). If it’s about recovering the data though, you’re probably out of luck unless you buy a new identical unit and swap the chips. It’s not that hard if you can solder, but if the memory itself has failed you’d be out the files and the replacement if you can’t put it back togther.

Tried “chkdsk /r” on Windows XP but I get the message “Cannot open volume for direct access”. Any suggestions?

Never heard of a flash drive dying but I suppose it happens.
The most likely way I’d think it’d die is if you didn’t properly eject the drive before you remove it from a computer. That’s a step a lot of people never bother to learn or overlook

You have to shut off the electrical flow to the USB port that a flash drive is plugged into… Don’t do it, then suffer the consequences…
That sudden change in voltage/current when you remove a flash drive without powering down the USB port can not only wipe your data but also damage the drive permanently.

I’ve only been using these drives for 5-6 years but I’ve never noticed anything unusual, and I’ve transported them between Macs and PCs. I’ve had to kill viruses but that’s about the worst that’s happened.

Check if you can delete the existing partition and create a new one. If you can’t, it’s dead.


Depending on where you live, you can probably get a new 2GB Flash drive for under $12. If you get a generic Flash drive (re: cheap, not major brand), you can get at least 8GB for around $16. The 1- and 2-GB Flash drives are practically given away now.
(Some schools do give Flash drives to students to save files for classwork. It’s always the 1- or 2-GB versions in spite of the thousands of dollars you pay for college!)
Online – if you can do it – will give you the best buck for the Gig. Failing that, see if they have a Micro Center or Fry’s in your area. You have to have access to some cheaper computer parts store whether it’s online or brick-and-mortar.

If you live long enough and use enough different computers, you will eventually see everything under the sun break… and it won’t necessarily be your fault. Plastic, metal, silicon – it all breaks after so many cycles of powering up and down, switching on/off.

I had an RGB CRT monitor go bad this weekend after just over 14 years faithful service. (I got warning signs about this starting 6-8 months ago when colored bands started appearing when I powered the monitor up… They disappeared after the OS booted up.) The “Red” part of the monitor burned out because all you get on it colorwise are dark shades of greens and blues… It’s hard to see anything on it now.
After lugging the thing to the garage – it’ll be spring before I can take it to the local electronic recycler drop-off --, I’m not going to miss having to deal with its bulk. It was at least 35-40 pounds! (And it was only a 15.9" monitor!) Yee-haw for newer, lighter, bigger, and cheaper flatscreen monitors! Even if they maybe won’t last as long as CRT did.
(CRT was better for weightlifting, for sure.)

Weird thing about my flash drive breaking was that I never really removed it. Perhaps it broke from my netbook running out of batteries without me noticing? I’ll try following Toodles advice and if it doesn’t work, hope that I can get warranty off it without the original packaging (who would have thought that a flash drive would break on you?).

I know I can get flash drives relatively cheap these days, but I would rather use the money spent on a new drive towards another game or something. :smiley:

The only purpose of the “eject” or “safely remove hardware” commands is to inform your OS that it should unmount the file system - it has nothing to do with power. The process flushes any data to the disk that was waiting to be written, and makes a note in the file system that it was shutdown cleanly. Not doing this CAN lead to corrupt data, but corrupt is not the same as unreadable.

As proof, check your device manager. Find the USB hub controlling your flash disk, and observe the amount of power being provided. Now “eject” the disk, and see if that number changes. Looking at it another way, if power was removed, there would be no electrical connection to the disk (same as being unplugged), and the device would no longer be shown in the device manager. What does happen, is the disk remains in the list with a (!) icon and a message stating it can not be used until reconnected. It only disappears from the list when you physically unplug it. By your logic, the “sudden change in voltage/current” from plugging the device in would be an equally elevated cause of failure. :wink: