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Re: USB sticks unreliable

larry moe 'n curly
Posts: n/a
      22nd May 2008

11 Claude Hopper 5. ? wrote:

> This is my second USB stick failure. I have stuff on it and no computer
> can access it anymore. These are seeming not to be reliable to me.

You may want to ask in the forums at www.USBman.com and www.EverythingUSB.com.
And some data recovery companies, like OnTrack, can retrieve files
from flash drives, for lots of $$$.

USB ports are supposed to be rated to withstand at least 12,000 volts
of static, but it turns out it's not hard to exceed that in regular
use, so just before I plug in a USB device, I touch the outer metal
body of its plug to some bare metal on the computer case (doesn't have
to be direct -- you can put a finger on the metal body of the USB plug
while touching the case with your other hand).

USB stuff can also be damaged by the surge of current that occurs when
a device is plugged in. It's supposed to be protected for that, too,
but the protection relies in part on a capacitor between +5V and
ground, and apparently many companies cut corners by using an
undersized or cheap capacitor. I learned this when my NEC-based I/O
Gear card blew the very LM3526 chip that was supposed to protect it
against such damage. I don't know know of any practical ways to get
around current surges.

I've had USB ports blow, but so far all my USB sticks have been OK --
PNY, Emprex (both with NEC-based bridges), Lexar, MicroAdvantage, and
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