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how to repair a flash drive

Flash drives has become an indispensible aspect of our computer activity. USB sticks are easily transportable, solving many issues, such as copying-over files too large for conventional emails. They can cope with a huge amount of storage and are great for backing-up important files. But when something does wrong, you'll need to know how to repair a flash drive.

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Steps to repairing a flash drive

Before you even get to the question of how to repair a flash drive, you'll need to access the extent of the damage, and how important the files contained in your hard drive are.

1. Do-it-yourself

Provided you know what you're doing, you can try and repair a flash drive yourself. Using a magnifying-glass, a small flathead screwdriver will remove the outer case. Inspect the circuit-board, and the bits of solder connecting the USB connecting-head to the copper wire inside the board.

If these are damaged you'll need professional assistance. If not, you could try rewiring the drive by utilising a USB connection that works, exposing the four wires from the latter and connecting to the drive (left to right) black, green, white and red.

2. Professional assistance

If the files are of critical significance, it might be better to take your hardware to a dedicated computer-repair shop, or seek the services of a flash drive recovery company. These professionals will use special tools that are designed to repair circuit boards, including equipment to remove the NAND flash drive memory chip (in order to unscramble the raw data stored).

The drawbacks are that employing professional hardware technicians can be costly. Depending on the severity of the issue, they can charge from £20 to several hundreds.

Repair a flash drive with software

There are programs you can download from sites such as Hard Drive Data Recovery. Alternatively, plug the damaged drive into your PC/Mac and run a diagnostics program (in Windows, select My Computer, right-clicking on Removable Disk Icon before selecting Properties and Tools).

If you want to know how to repair a flash drive, another method is to re-format the drive (refer to online tutorials for this process).

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