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Old 10-31-2008, 09:13 PM   #1
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Unhappy USB stick help please!!!

my USB just died - light doesn't come on and laptop says doesn't recognise the USB. I am desperate to get the USB operating again.
Please help!
Is there anyway of taking it apart and put the data strip into a new case?
Thank you so much!

PS google "DSE USB" to see a photo
Old 11-01-2008, 08:05 AM   #2
Registered: Jun 2008
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Hi There.

First of all welcome in Linux Questions. Make yourself at home.

1. Could you try to tell us more about your OS? What distro are you using?
2. What kernel is it running on
3. Can you tel us when the pendrive stopped working? What have changed?
4. Are othere USB device like mouse or keyboard working properly?
4. Could you paste here the output of the ´lsusb´ command?
5. Do you have live cd distro that you could boot up from and see if the pendrive is detected then?

You can try mounting the pendrive manually. Try this

A) Open konsole window
B) Type in ´mkdir /mnt/pendrive´ [ENTER]
C) Type in ´mount /dev/sd[TAB] /mnt/pen[TAB]´ [ENTER]

here after hitting tab you can get the list of sdax or sdbx devices. x will be an integer like 1 2 or 3 most of the time pendrives are named sda1 or sdb1. Type in the rest of the pendrive name. At the end comand should look something like this

mount /dev/sda1 /mnt/pendrive [ENTER]
mount /dev/sdb1 /mnt/pendrive [ENTER]

D) Type in ´cd /mnt/pendrive/´
E) Type in ´ls´

You should see the files list from your pendrive

Now if you want you can open konqueror and in address box type in

/mnt/pendrive/ and hit enter. This should give you the gui access to your pendrive.

You might need to have root privilages to do this. So if this will not work type in ´su´ and press enter. Then type in root password. This will give you access to root konsole.

When typing in those commands skip ´´ theay are only here to show you where command starts and when finishs, words in [] mean keyboard buttons. If you will hit tab button when typing a command konsole will finish the command for you or give you a list of possible options you can use. For example typing in letters ls and hitting tab will give you output of something similiar to this

[madman@WISHTHINKPAD ~]# ls
ls lshal lsmod lspci lspgpot
lsattr lskat lsnetdrake lspcidrake lss16toppm
lsd lskatproc lsof lspcmcia lsusb
[madman@WISHTHINKPAD ~]# ls

if you will type another letter for example u and press tab command line will understand you want all commands starting with lsu and give you more options or if lsusb is the only one it will finish the command for you and output will be

[madman@WISHTHINKPAD ~]# lsusb

this is the faster way of typing in the commands and a good way to learn how to use them. If you will type ´man lsusb´ and press enter this will show you the explanation and options + examples what this command is doing and how to use it. Something similiar will give you ´lsusb --help´

Btw lsusb lists usb devices mount mounts su logs you in as root mkdir creates directory/s.

Do not hesitate to ask more questions.

Good Luck


P.S. There is a sticky in newbies section on how to ask the questions better. Try reading it.

Last edited by AndrzejL; 11-01-2008 at 08:11 AM.
Old 11-01-2008, 11:36 PM   #3
Registered: Aug 2006
Location: Vancouver, BC, Canada
Distribution: Slackware, Mint, Debian
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Are you talking about a USB flash drive?
Flash drives have a finite life in terms of number of writes.
Also the contacts can get worn out from inserting and removing the drive from the USB port!
You can also get corrosion/dirt on the contacts on both the drive and the port.
Try cleaning the contacts.
Better yet try plugging it into another USB port (another computer would be ideal) to see if it works!
Then test your USB ports!
Old 11-02-2008, 05:30 AM   #4
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It is probably either the electronics or the connector that has died, so
Originally Posted by zelma View Post
Is there anyway of taking it apart and put the data strip into a new case?
will just put the dead part in a new case (if you can find one exactly the same - otherwise it probably won't fit).

If it is the connector that is physically damaged you may just be able to get it working again long enough to copy the data off to your computer and on to a new USB drive.


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