Broken USB drive sadface.jpg

usb thumb drive Nov 15, 2016

This USB thumb drive was bent, and stopped working :-(

I'd previously fixed a couple of these by finding the broken traces or connectors and sloppily using a soldering iron. I'm not the greatest at soldering, but sometimes it doesn't take much to make these things work temporarily ... long enough to copy off the files.

The first step was to take it apart and see if I could figure out what was broken.

The case came off easily enough with a spudger and a mini screwdriver.

Hmmm... the chips looked intact, and the components all seemed fine.

Ah there's the problem. Can you see it?

One of the USB connections is stretched and broken.

Here's a microscopic view of the connection. You can see it's just come off the solder on the board.

It would be easy enough to solder it back on, but like I said, I suck with a soldering iron. I tend to burn and melt things unnecessarily (including my hands).

Besides, I just needed this to work long enough to copy the files off there.

So here's my solution:

I basically pushed down on that connector with one hand, and used my other hand to copy the files :-)

Animated gif:

And it lasted just long enough to recover all the files!


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