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Broken Flash Drive Help

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Newbie level 1
Jun 1, 2011
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I dropped it and now there is no LED indicator light lighting up. And it will not show up in My Computer.
I managed to strip it down to this.

So the first thing I notice is that this chip is loose.

And on the underside, it has 4 metal contacts, so we know that it goes there in that missing spot.

However, it could orient either way, and I've tried holding it there myself and plugging it in, but to no avail. :(

So, now I'm stuck here. I really need to recover this.


(**broken link removed**)

That doesn't look like an ordinary IC.

You say no LED lights up now. Is that an LED that broke off?

Because if the led is intact on the board, then perhaps your USB connector has a cracked solder joint? Or there's a broken trace that carries power?

So maybe the part that broke off carries power. But then it ought to have more durable pins connecting it.

Can you make a sharper closeup photo? There may be indentations in the solder pads that match something on the broken off piece.

Also a closeup of the other side of the board.

I've never opened a pen drive so this is all conjecture by me.

---------- Post added at 18:08 ---------- Previous post was at 17:34 ----------

And it's true the broken-off part doesn't look like an ordinary LED. It appears to have 4 pins.

But it does look like a translucent white piece that might cover one or two LED's shining through to the outside. One Led showing power, another showing activity. Needing 4 pins?

What windows (translucent or otherwise) are on the housing pieces?

And can you measure a 5V power reading on the board?


As mentioned above, could you plug the drive in.

i) Then can you use a voltmeter and measure the if the supply is reaching the chip..essentially you want to check on last pin i.e. the pin on the side opposite the notch (the side towards the end of the board should be VCC) and the bottom most pin on the side of the notch (should be GND). If there is no supply.
a) then The chip you put needs a much better picture or closeup. I can't see the solder..and no blotching with red ink please. Can you also check the voltage drop across the LED?
b) if it just the LED then the computer should detect unless for some weird reason the manufacturer had the supply line directed through the LED

No the case where supply to the chip is ok: Then you need to look at the peripheral circuitry which is not too clear from your photo and verify with the data sheet so that nothing else has fallen off.

I have had HDD crashes..learnt by mistake..and back up all my important data these days.
Good luck

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