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Duff memory stick

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duncan webster17/04/2021 15:45:29
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I've just tried to read a very old memory stick, one computer says it can't read it, the other just ignores it and the little red light on the memory stick flashes at < 1 hz. It was originally used on W95, but has worked on W7 in the past

Anyone got any good ideas

Russell Eberhardt17/04/2021 16:09:48
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Does it contain any information you need to keep? If not you could try formatting it on the computer that says it can't read it. Format it as NTFS if that option is available.

If it does contain important information you are probably stuffed anyway.

Russell

HOWARDT17/04/2021 16:12:39
723 forum posts
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You could try recovery software. Lexar used to supply it free on their cards and you could download it from their site. I think Lexar is now owned by someone else, not checked recently. Recovery software works well and I have used it in the past for other people.

Frances IoM17/04/2021 16:15:30
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if w95 then probably 20yrs old if not older - data probably totally lost - would be formatted FAT which has a critical failure if an index block is corrupt.
Nick Clarke 317/04/2021 16:46:23
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It is may well be now unreadable without data recovery software.

However USB support of any kind did not arrive until late in the W95 lifecycle (OSR 2.1) but before this happened various non standard utilities allowed USB 1 & 1.1 to be used. USB 1.1 devices have been known to not work correctly on Win 7 (Microsoft say 'USB interfaces are almost always backwards compatible so a USB 3 port supports 2 and 1.1' )  but note the almost.

There are several queries on the Internet where USB 1.1 devices have not behaved under Win 10 - including one example of a MP3 player that behaves like your thumb drive. Microsoft's answer was to reinstall the device drivers - but when the enquirer said it was plug and play and there were no drivers, the Microsoft answer was to try and find some and get back if the OP couldn't get it to work. The thread stopped there.

So my personal advice is to decide if the data is really irreplaceable - and if so I would try an older machine, W95 or 98 and if it reads on there try to transfer to another device - failing that look to data recovery, but professional help here can be very expensive.

Edited By Nick Clarke 3 on 17/04/2021 16:47:31

SillyOldDuffer17/04/2021 17:09:03
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Try testdisk. (Aka photorec)

I'd run testdisk on Linux (because it's easier to find system log messages), and it's in the Ubuntu repository (therefore Mint should have it too), but it's downloadable for Windows and Apple.

If all else fails, a friend recovered a memory stick after carefully taking it apart revealed a dry joint. I think he got lucky!

Dave

Nick Clarke 317/04/2021 19:05:01
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Posted by SillyOldDuffer on 17/04/2021 17:09:03:

Try testdisk. (Aka photorec)

I'd run testdisk on Linux (because it's easier to find system log messages), and it's in the Ubuntu repository (therefore Mint should have it too), but it's downloadable for Windows and Apple.

If all else fails, a friend recovered a memory stick after carefully taking it apart revealed a dry joint. I think he got lucky!

Dave

Until I had decided whether failure was an option, I would not use any software tools that altered the data on the stick - they can both work well and conversely make data harder for a specialist to recover - but worth a go if you can live with the risk.

Regarding Dave's comment about a dry joint - chatting to the manager of an IBM repair facility several years ago he stated that while many solder joints can last for decades, professionally he would not be prepared to give an absolute guarantee on any one joint beyond 7 years!

Bernard Wright17/04/2021 19:26:32
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If there is something very special to you on that stick, why not try using a Virtual Machine application to install W95 virtually, can't hurt and it's about the only way forward without losing your data.

I believe there are free softwares availlable for this purpose, and maybe purchase a cheap USB (whatever your machine supports) to a USB 1.0 stick socket/reader.

Edited By Bernard Wright on 17/04/2021 19:27:09

V8Eng17/04/2021 19:30:15
1574 forum posts
32 photos

I have used a recovery program from easeUS with success on cards.

Various options are available here:-

EaseUS

Oldiron17/04/2021 20:20:34
771 forum posts
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Posted by V8Eng on 17/04/2021 19:30:15:

I have used a recovery program from easeUS with success on cards.

Various options are available here:-

EaseUS

+1 for Easeus. Excellent software. I have used many of their offerings with great success. I really like their partioning software.

regards

Michael Gilligan17/04/2021 20:35:41
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17833 forum posts
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Posted by SillyOldDuffer on 17/04/2021 17:09:03:

[…]

If all else fails, a friend recovered a memory stick after carefully taking it apart revealed a dry joint. I think he got lucky!

.

When I was working at Magnox, a fellow Contractor presented me with a USB stick and its connector, as two separate items ... He was suitably impressed when I returned it in working condition after the weekend.

... I got lucky too !

MichaelG.

Steve Tyson17/04/2021 21:58:02
11 forum posts

I have used IsoBuster previously to recover data from a memory stick that contained data from a wildlife camera.

The camera and or/the card reader managed to corrupt the indexes, so the files were unrecoverable by normal means.

IsoBuster recovered all of them except the one being written at the time.

I believe there is a free version, the program is meant for 'iso' format files but it works lust as well on memory sticks.

I have no connection, just a satisfied user.

SteveT

duncan webster17/04/2021 23:46:11
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3179 forum posts
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Ah well I've tried testdisk under Windows, it doesn't detect the E drive, and so doesn't offer to do anything to it. I can't remember what is on the stick so I'll just keep it but forget about it until my niece moves down here, her husband to be is a computer whizz, he can have a go.

I've given over using Linux, which is a bit of a shame, but the laptop kept losing the sound driver, since the last but one W10 update it's been fine. I haven't used Linux since, so might be nothing to do with it, but not worth risking. I was actually liking Linux, but not worth the risk. W10 updates are a right royal pain. Both my machines within the last few days have taken an absolute age to start up (once), no messages, nothing, but are now both running fine again. I have a feeling that the duff stick has worked on W10 before these upgrades.

Nicholas Farr18/04/2021 09:39:53
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Hi, my oldest USB memory is a MyFlash 256M, it was first used on Win 98 second edition and worked on Win 2000 and XP. When I first used it on my Win Vista, it had to have the driver updated and from there on worked OK on Win 8.1 and Win 10 update and I've just tried it in my new Win 10 for the first time and it works without any hesitation, the oldest data on it was modified in May 2001, which was probably saved to it from a Win XP desk top. The driver date for this USB memory is 21/06/2006. There doesn't seem to be anything saved to it that won't open and I was able to save a new file to it on my new Win 10 without any issue and it can be viewed on my Win Vista OK. I don't used this memory very much now and the data on it may or may not ever be used again, some of which are small programs/apps. Maybe Tim's memory stick just needs a driver update if such a thing exists for it, otherwise try it on a Win 95/98 computer and save to a newer USB memory.

Regards Nick.

Nick Clarke 318/04/2021 10:14:57
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Posted by duncan webster on 17/04/2021 23:46:11:

I have a feeling that the duff stick has worked on W10 before these upgrades.

Here is the issue with automatic upgrades - If indeed the stick has worked under W10 before then looking for an updated driver may not help as it appears that an updated driver is part of the issue.

If the drive is not recognised data recovery software won't help either as it cannot see the drive as the operating system USB port driver is not recognising it (if the drive is not faulty in itself).

An older, or non updated machine may be the only way forwards.

Howard Lewis18/04/2021 12:51:02
4738 forum posts
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One of my memory sticks that had worked perfectly, suddenly did not.

NOTHING!

Much as it pained my tight nature, it was binned.

Fortunately, it was empty. (rarely keep any data on a memory stick, so just was well in this case ).

Howard

SillyOldDuffer18/04/2021 13:53:29
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7131 forum posts
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Posted by Nick Clarke 3 on 18/04/2021 10:14:57:
Posted by duncan webster on 17/04/2021 23:46:11:

I have a feeling that the duff stick has worked on W10 before these upgrades.

If the drive is not recognised data recovery software won't help either as it cannot see the drive as the operating system USB port driver is not recognising it (if the drive is not faulty in itself).

...

This may not be a problem for Linux because device recognition is done in two or three fairly obvious stages allowing the operator more opportunity to apply basic tools if anything goes wrong. Windows does similar, but tends to be all or nothing, offering less opportunity for debugging other than writing a program to handle internal failures. Plenty of them about, and worth trying on a dead stick.

Crudely, USB does something like this:

Step 1: O/S recognises a USB device of some sort has been plugged in, not necessarily identifying exactly what it is, and attaches it as hardware only. (Windows tends to bail out if anything is wrong, whereas Linux often stops with the device attached.)

Step 2: From the hardware detect, what's attached is identified (mouse, keyboard, wifi, memory stick, camera, IP phone, whatever), and registered by the operating system as a usable device. This is were a memory stick appears as new drive such as Windows E: or mounts on a UNIX directory. Depending on what's wrong Windows might bail out, or it might leave the drive available but unusable. Ditto Linux, except a successful mount allows basic system calls to access the disc even if the file system is trashed. It's a little less likely to eject the disc. Replies to these system calls may not make any sense, but mangled answers help identify the problem.

Step 3. Operating system has, or loads, a kernel module (Windows Device Driver) to connect applications to the device. Memory stick drivers are a fairly simple interface to a file system, but complicated devices like combination printer/scanners call for complicated drivers. Driver and file-system versions must match.

Anyway, a Windows disc recovery application will more-or-less detect and attempt to fix whatever the problem is at all levels, whereas Linux also allows basic system tools to be used to the same end. Linux has a better chance of getting a result because the interface exposes more. As it's not necessary to mount a file-system to copy or do remedial work on it, Linux may be able to recover FAT even if Windows refuses to attach because the stick or device driver is seriously wonky. The downside of Linux is the need to understand details and the risk of doing serious damage by mistake. With great power comes great responsibility!

Dave

V8Eng18/04/2021 21:05:42
1574 forum posts
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Not one these by any chance?

59b2bef2-4040-47d5-be73-618fb5bd8685.jpeg

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