Salvaging Old Memory Sticks

  jimforrest 15:38 14 Dec 2014

Over the years I have collected a lot of memory sticks - some with presentations on, some with technical manuals, and some with technical drawings. I had a sort through the other day and whilst a few are recognized by Win7, there are quite a few that either aren't recognized, or simply have no effect when plugged into a USB socket.

Can these 'dud' ones be recovered in some way, or should I bin them?

  robintheumpteenth 17:28 14 Dec 2014

They may be recognised if you push up or down in the USB port, or try another port or the ports on other computers (try Windows and Apple machines).

If all attempts fail, mix them all back in with your working sticks or keep them loose and unlabelled in a drawer and repeat the exercise at regular yearly intervals until you or your other half throws them out.

Slapping forehead for not keeping backups, muttering "I knew I should have done that", is optional :-)

  jimforrest 17:28 14 Dec 2014

I should point out that the present content on the sticks is unimportant - they are just very useful for transferring files and keeping little used 'stuff' on.

  Ian in Northampton 17:31 14 Dec 2014

Interesting... I go to a number of trade shows as a journalist and, for several years now, the practice has been to give out press kits on USB drives. I decided it was time I went through them - 100 or more - and retain the decent (8GB and 16GB ones) and perhaps put the rest on eBay. As I'd used some for personal stuff but didn't know which ones, I had to go through them all. It was some process, not least because sometimes, I'd eject a drive and plug another one in - and nothing would happen. In other cases, the new drive would be automatically recognised. However, if I then unplugged a drive that hadn't been recognised and re-plugged it in, it would invariably (with only one exception) be recognised the second time. I ended up concluding that there was some kind of driver issue (I was amazed at how many of them had to load their own drivers) with the PC trying to open the new drive using the previous one's driver. Re-plugging the USB drive in seemed to 'force' the PC to load a new driver.

I don't know if this has anything to do with your problem, though.

I guess what I'm asking is: did you give up after the first time when the drive didn't seem to be recognised, or did you try a second (Or third) time?

  Fruit Bat /\0/\ 18:31 14 Dec 2014

Driver conflicts in device manager are usually the problem. Although sticks will fail after several thousand rewrites.

You need to clear all the USB driver info from the registry

Refresh USB Ports Use Drive clean up to remove USB device drive info from the registry click here device manager Uninstall EVERYTHING under the heading USB, reboot the PC let windows find and install new hardware. Your equipment should now be recognised.

another tool

Remove all USB devices

Download and run USB device View

Uninstall ALL devices that are shown as not connected.

Reboot the machine.

Plug in your USB device and windows should then find new hardware and reinstall the drivers for the device.

or In

  jimforrest 18:44 14 Dec 2014

Do you know I can't remember! So I dug them out and gave it a try. Just like your sticks most of mine were recognized on the 2nd or 3rd insertion - good tip!

There are 3 though that either aren't seen at all (light flashes on and off on the stick but no response from the computer), or 'device malfunctioned', and one which I can read but appears to be protected by encryption (I think it's a stick from my old company and they insisted on all sticks being encrypted). The encrypted stick is a decent size but shows as 100% full. Unfortunately no option is given to format it so it's unusable.

  Fruit Bat /\0/\ 19:29 14 Dec 2014

Can you see it in disk management?

you may be able to format it from there.

  jimforrest 19:47 14 Dec 2014

Fruit Bat - I'm not sure how to get to Disk Management. I have looked at the drive via Explorer and in Devices etc, but non allow formatting.

The drive is showing as CD Drive (E:) EnCrypt Plus with CDFS.

  Fruit Bat /\0/\ 23:48 14 Dec 2014

search type diskmgmt.msc

how to remove the CDFS partition & reformat it.

Download progs from click here

do a virus scan then run umptool2090.exe, click "settings", tick "need format"

then click the button 2nd from the right at the bottom of the form (the form isn't sized properly as I could only see the top few pixels of the buttons so just tab until you get the correct button).

The settings form will close and the scan mode will show as "high level scan format".

Click the button that displays the drive letter & you should now have a clean drive with 1 partition.

  BT 08:14 15 Dec 2014

When a stick works after inserting and removing several times it could just be something simple like oxidation on the contacts. Takes me back to the ZX81/Spectrum days when plugging something into the expansion port and it wouldn't work due to a build up of oxidation on the contacts. Spent many an hour cleaning them with a typists eraser 'pencil' which usually cured the problem.

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