This is a topic that comes up every so often when someone comes to me saying that their USB memory stick has stopped working or that they broke it. I usually reply with “ah well you’ll have to get a new one” to which I get “but my files…”. Do we all see the problem here? People are using their memory sticks as their main storage device, which is not their intended function.
A memory stick is a backup and file transfer device. It should be used to save copies of files on your computer or transfer files from one computer to another. The files on a memory stick should never be the only ones because guess what? these things die, get lost/stolen or get broken.
Why I’m writing this post today is that I was given one such memory stick yesterday. The stick was in 2 pieces, the USB connection had been broken away from the body of the stick. I figured this was a lost cause but I enjoy a challenge so I set about seeing what I could do. I removed the inner workings from the memory stick body to see that the USB connection had broken cleanly away and caused no damage to the circuitry. Now I thought there might be a chance of getting something off the stick if I could somehow connect the two parts together again. To do this I got a short strip of CAT5 cable and soldered it to each part to once again connect them. Plugging the new device in my PC I got nothing and thought that was that but just on the off chance I thought I’d try it in my MacBook. Plugging it into the MacBook suddenly it lit up and appeared on the desktop. I quickly copied everything I could from the drive in case it decided to disappear but no the device stayed and actually seems to be preforming normally.
Now ok I managed to save the data on this USB memory stick but please people only use these devices to backup or transfer your files, always have a copy of any work on a computer somewhere to avoid any future panic when something happens to your memory stick.