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SanDisk Cruzer 4 GB flash drive: Files gone, unable to format, no space


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#1 DTownDave22

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Posted 08 November 2013 - 04:54 PM

Flash drive seems to have been compromised, not really sure how.  I didn't do anything out of the ordinary with it.  I've removed it numerous times in the fashion I last did so, which is with nothing else but Winamp running at night.

 

Here is in order, where I find myself:

 

The Flash Drive

 

1.)  Putting the Flash Drive in USB:  I receive the message "There might be a problem with some files on this device or disc.  This can happen if you remove the device or disc before all files have been written to it."  

I click on "Scan and Fix" within that same message box and get the message of "The disc check could not be performed because Windows cannot access the disk" in a new box.

 

2.) Attempting to Format Flash Drive:  I tried formatting the flash drive"The System cannot find the specified File"

 

Other notes:  I also noticed there is neither any capacity nor any memory taken up:  FlashDriveProperties1.jpg

 

One other note, any suggestions made regarding the command prompt, I am curious:  Is it normal to not be able to backspace the initial command prompt, for example, I see "C\User\David>"  However, I am unable to backspace this, though I'm unfamiliar with the command prompt, so maybe that's unnecessary (and I'm logged in as an Administrator).


Edited by DTownDave22, 08 November 2013 - 04:57 PM.


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#2 wolfeking

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Posted 08 November 2013 - 05:22 PM

as for the command prompt question, you have to use

cd \path
where path is the location you want to go to, like if I wanted to go to my games folder, I would type
cd \Games\Steam\
and then perform any action necessary there. The path you have is close enough to root that you should not need to change it.

 

As for what to try on your flashkey, are you formatting from the my computer app or from the command prompt? It looks similar to a ext4 partition from your screen shot. Have you formatted it under Linux/Unix? If not, go to the command prompt and look for disk management, then delete all the partitions on the key and format it from there. If it throws an error message, then post the message. If it formats then it is good, and you can use it.

 

Another option is to just buy a new flash key to replace it. Chances are you are going to spend quite a while trying to fix it, when $10 will replace it (or less, depending on where you go to get it).


If you're in a war, instead of throwing a hand grenade at the enemy, throw one of those small pumpkins. Maybe it'll make everyone think how stupid war is, and while they are thinking, you can throw a real grenade at them.

 

I personally do not trust new products or webcams. This is why my desktop is 3 years old, and my laptops older than that. 


#3 DTownDave22

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Posted 08 November 2013 - 06:17 PM

as for the command prompt question, you have to use

cd \path
where path is the location you want to go to, like if I wanted to go to my games folder, I would type
cd \Games\Steam\
and then perform any action necessary there. The path you have is close enough to root that you should not need to change it.

 

As for what to try on your flashkey, are you formatting from the my computer app or from the command prompt? It looks similar to a ext4 partition from your screen shot. Have you formatted it under Linux/Unix? If not, go to the command prompt and look for disk management, then delete all the partitions on the key and format it from there. If it throws an error message, then post the message. If it formats then it is good, and you can use it.

 

Another option is to just buy a new flash key to replace it. Chances are you are going to spend quite a while trying to fix it, when $10 will replace it (or less, depending on where you go to get it).

 

I'm on WIndows Vista.  

 

I tried formatting from both the Disk Management, accessed via Computer Management>Disk Management as well as right clicking on the flash drive icon through "My Computer" and clicking "Format" (perhaps is basically the same).

 

I have not formatted it under Linux/Unix, and I'm not sure if you are asking what OS I'm running (Vista).

 

I am OK op to when you say to go to command prompt and disk management and delete all the partitions.  I can access the command prompt; I can access Disk Management as noted above.  I'm not sure about deletiong partitions on the key and format it from there.



#4 wolfeking

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Posted 08 November 2013 - 06:32 PM

I am sorry on the last part there. I was reffering to control panel, not command prompt (my mistake, I know).

 

The main difference between control panel and the my computer is in control panel, you can see all partitions on the device while my computer only allows you to format the active partition. Like if I went to my computer and choose to format D:, F:, and G:, I would be formatting one drive. But if I went to control panel and formatted Disk 2, it would delete D, F, and G and end up with a 931 GB empty space.

 

And no, I am not asking what OS you are running, I knew that based on the screen shot attached. I was more asking if you had used it on another system and formatted it there. You would get a similar output if you formatted it on say OSX (maybe), Unix (BSD) or Linux and inserted it to a windows system. Would you mind posting a screenshot of what you see in disk management? That may help us more than talking about what you are seing. You may simply need to replace the drive.

 

Also, have you tried the key on another computer? That would help determine if the problem is in your computer or the flashkey.


Edited by wolfeking, 08 November 2013 - 06:33 PM.

If you're in a war, instead of throwing a hand grenade at the enemy, throw one of those small pumpkins. Maybe it'll make everyone think how stupid war is, and while they are thinking, you can throw a real grenade at them.

 

I personally do not trust new products or webcams. This is why my desktop is 3 years old, and my laptops older than that. 


#5 DTownDave22

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Posted 08 November 2013 - 07:47 PM



I am sorry on the last part there. I was reffering to control panel, not command prompt (my mistake, I know).

 

The main difference between control panel and the my computer is in control panel, you can see all partitions on the device while my computer only allows you to format the active partition. Like if I went to my computer and choose to format D:, F:, and G:, I would be formatting one drive. But if I went to control panel and formatted Disk 2, it would delete D, F, and G and end up with a 931 GB empty space.

 

And no, I am not asking what OS you are running, I knew that based on the screen shot attached. I was more asking if you had used it on another system and formatted it there. You would get a similar output if you formatted it on say OSX (maybe), Unix (BSD) or Linux and inserted it to a windows system. Would you mind posting a screenshot of what you see in disk management? That may help us more than talking about what you are seing. You may simply need to replace the drive.

 

Also, have you tried the key on another computer? That would help determine if the problem is in your computer or the flashkey.

 

So, I am not certain if I addressed your initial question regarding formatting.  I mentioned the two ways I have tried formatting the flash drive, so I think I may have.

 

Here is the window where I tried formatting the flash drive via “Disk Management”.

 

 

FlashDriveDiskManagement.jpg

 

 

I was going to add a screen shot of when I right click on the (F:) Drive in Disk Management, but for the purposes of this issue, I see:

 

-“Mark Partition As Active” grayed out and unable to click on it.

-Format is able to be clicked on (does not work)

-Extend/Shrink/Delete Volume are all grayed out

 

I have only performed actions on this flash drive on this computer, prior to trying to format it on another computer, and I have tried nearly everything on another computer with the flash drive (scanning and fixing, formatting, checking bytes taken/available) and it's the same.


Edited by DTownDave22, 08 November 2013 - 07:50 PM.


#6 wolfeking

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Posted 08 November 2013 - 08:11 PM

Okay, what I am seeing in the disk management screenshot is that the key is working, as disk management shows a 4GB key, with 142MB free. only 2 actions I would try at this point would be to test the drive (We can point you to the program to do that if you let us know the brand of the flashkey) or try changing the drive letter in disk management (left click on the drive, then right click and select change drive letters and paths). Otherwise, it may be better to buy a new key while we figure out how to salvage the data on that one (Still researching that). 


If you're in a war, instead of throwing a hand grenade at the enemy, throw one of those small pumpkins. Maybe it'll make everyone think how stupid war is, and while they are thinking, you can throw a real grenade at them.

 

I personally do not trust new products or webcams. This is why my desktop is 3 years old, and my laptops older than that. 


#7 DTownDave22

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Posted 08 November 2013 - 09:00 PM

Okay, what I am seeing in the disk management screenshot is that the key is working, as disk management shows a 4GB key, with 142MB free. only 2 actions I would try at this point would be to test the drive (We can point you to the program to do that if you let us know the brand of the flashkey) or try changing the drive letter in disk management (left click on the drive, then right click and select change drive letters and paths). Otherwise, it may be better to buy a new key while we figure out how to salvage the data on that one (Still researching that). 

 

FlashDisk Brand and model:  It's a Sandisk Cruzer 4GB; probably should have noted it in the initial post as well.  

 

Changing drive letter in disk management:  I tried and get the same result:  "The parameter is incorrect."



#8 wolfeking

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Posted 08 November 2013 - 09:19 PM

Okay, I am not seeing anything from Sandisk as far as a diagnostic program. I did find a multidrive freeware program (http://www.easis.com/download.html), but I have no idea how accurate it is. I am running it on my Cruzer Facet currently to try it out, and I will check it with a known bad drive after that to make sure it is good enough (assuming I can find the bad drive). 

Actually, you can try this if you want to. When it is finished, report the number beside sector read errors. 

 

hmm.., I am not sure what is going on there. Might be worth a try, but do you have a blank CD-r/rw and a optical drive or another 2GB+ flashkey that you can use to test the drive outside of windows? A live boot of a linux will not affect any data, but will show us if it is an operating system error. You may be able to access the drive outside of windows, and salvage the data and then reformat it, restore the data to the key and then test it in windows if you want to try. 


If you're in a war, instead of throwing a hand grenade at the enemy, throw one of those small pumpkins. Maybe it'll make everyone think how stupid war is, and while they are thinking, you can throw a real grenade at them.

 

I personally do not trust new products or webcams. This is why my desktop is 3 years old, and my laptops older than that. 


#9 DTownDave22

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Posted 11 November 2013 - 12:30 PM



Okay, I am not seeing anything from Sandisk as far as a diagnostic program. I did find a multidrive freeware program (http://www.easis.com/download.html), but I have no idea how accurate it is. I am running it on my Cruzer Facet currently to try it out, and I will check it with a known bad drive after that to make sure it is good enough (assuming I can find the bad drive). 

Actually, you can try this if you want to. When it is finished, report the number beside sector read errors. 

 

hmm.., I am not sure what is going on there. Might be worth a try, but do you have a blank CD-r/rw and a optical drive or another 2GB+ flashkey that you can use to test the drive outside of windows? A live boot of a linux will not affect any data, but will show us if it is an operating system error. You may be able to access the drive outside of windows, and salvage the data and then reformat it, restore the data to the key and then test it in windows if you want to try. 

 

EASIS Download:  I’m not sure which program you are referring to..there are multiple programs on that page.  I did download the Data Recovery program and nowhere am I able to access the Flash Drive.  It’s not on the first page. 

EASISDataRecovery.jpg

 

 

 

Blank CD-R/W and an optical drive:  I  believe I have an optical drive and I have a blank DVD r/w.

I have no idea how to boot via Linux and it’s something I have no experience with.



#10 wolfeking

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Posted 11 November 2013 - 03:14 PM

I was referring to their drive check program, though if the data recovery is not seeing it, I doubt that the drive check will see it either. 

 

What brand of computer (or motherboard if you built it yourself) are you running? This info will allow us to guide you on how to change the boot device to the DVD drive and boot from a linux CD to test the drive that way. (Generally pressing the Delete or F2 key on bootup will get you into the BIOS to change the boot device. F12, F8, and F11 are boot devices for Acer/Dell, Asus, and ASRock respectively, so you can try these too if you want to.) 


If you're in a war, instead of throwing a hand grenade at the enemy, throw one of those small pumpkins. Maybe it'll make everyone think how stupid war is, and while they are thinking, you can throw a real grenade at them.

 

I personally do not trust new products or webcams. This is why my desktop is 3 years old, and my laptops older than that. 


#11 DTownDave22

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Posted 11 November 2013 - 08:05 PM

I was referring to their drive check program, though if the data recovery is not seeing it, I doubt that the drive check will see it either. 

 

What brand of computer (or motherboard if you built it yourself) are you running? This info will allow us to guide you on how to change the boot device to the DVD drive and boot from a linux CD to test the drive that way. (Generally pressing the Delete or F2 key on bootup will get you into the BIOS to change the boot device. F12, F8, and F11 are boot devices for Acer/Dell, Asus, and ASRock respectively, so you can try these too if you want to.) 

 

It is an Acer 6930 laptop.



#12 wolfeking

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Posted 11 November 2013 - 09:53 PM

okay, then F12 should net you the boot menu. 

 

But first up, you are going to need a blank DVD-r/rw disk or a 2GB+ flashkey (one that you know is working) and an .iso file of Ubuntu. To get the .iso file, go here (http://www.ubuntu.com/download/desktop) and grab either (32 or 64 bit does not matter, neither does the version. You can really grab 10.04 (http://old-releases.ubuntu.com/releases/10.04.4/ubuntu-10.04.4-desktop-amd64.iso) if you want it to fit on a CD-r/rw instead). 

Once you have that, then you will need a .iso burner (here is a freeware version http://www.freeisoburner.com) or a USB installer (YUMI here http://www.pendrivelinux.com/yumi-multiboot-usb-creator/). Insert the disk and burn the image to it. 

Next you will leave the disk in the drive and restart the machine. Start pressing F12 repeatedly until you see a screen come up with the boot device selection menu. From there select the DVD drive or the USB (whichever you used) and wait for it to boot. Once it gets to the ubuntu screen, you will select live boot and wait for it to load up. Make sure your suspect flashkey is in the computer, and look over on the side of the screen (on the sidebar) for a picture of a USB key. If you don't see it then go to firefox and enter https://apps.ubuntu.com/cat/applications/sysinfo/ and download and install the app. Then open it and click on storage and check for the flashkey there. Report if it is there. (But to be honest, this is a long shot and probably is not going to work. It will still be worth your time to get a new flashkey just in case.)  


If you're in a war, instead of throwing a hand grenade at the enemy, throw one of those small pumpkins. Maybe it'll make everyone think how stupid war is, and while they are thinking, you can throw a real grenade at them.

 

I personally do not trust new products or webcams. This is why my desktop is 3 years old, and my laptops older than that. 


#13 DTownDave22

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Posted 13 November 2013 - 10:08 AM

I think I'll just do without a flash drive for now, as I am not entirely confident the potential costs (messing up my computer without backing up, which I don't feel crazy about doing just for a flash drive) outweigh the benefits (saving money on a new flash drive, which I know you suggested I would want to consider).

 

 At this point, the only thing I really use it for is to have added memory via Readyboost.  

 

I have a few questions, perhaps you could make a suggestion as to how to find these answers:

 

 

1.) Durability of USB flash drives:  I'm curious, is it rather common for flash drives to go bad in less than 5 years?  I had another flash drive (I believe it was 1 GB/ Sony).  It went bad as well.  I know we're in a different era with products compared to several decades ago, with creating products with the intent of them having a much shorter lifespan than was the case for products many years ago.

 

2.)  Readyboost:  How can I tell if a flash drive has Readboost or not?  I know relatively little about flash drives.  I suppose I'd have to just contact the company to make sure, if I were purchasing online with no clear indication.



#14 wolfeking

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Posted 13 November 2013 - 12:23 PM

Yea, the linux thing was a last ditch chance, and I understand if you don't want to try. Replacing the key is always a good idea, and will cost you a lot less than taking a chance to retrieve the last one. 

 

Durability: 

This I can not really attest to, as I am not the average user with flashkeys.  I would not try to depend on any single key for any data you can not loose. I have never had a key last more than 1 year myself, but that is not to say that none do. 

Best option is to mirror your data on flashkeys. Like use 2 4GB keys and copy all data to both of them. Better safe than sorry. 

 

I can not answer the readyboost question. I have never used it, but you can read some on it here: http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/magazine/ff356869.aspx 
 


If you're in a war, instead of throwing a hand grenade at the enemy, throw one of those small pumpkins. Maybe it'll make everyone think how stupid war is, and while they are thinking, you can throw a real grenade at them.

 

I personally do not trust new products or webcams. This is why my desktop is 3 years old, and my laptops older than that. 


#15 rotor123

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Posted 14 November 2013 - 03:14 PM

Hi

Most of the flash drives I have seen go bad are from mechanical defects. Or from the users not stopping the drive before unplugging it.

 

The most common is that where the USB plug is soldered to the circuit board inside the flash drive. The Solder breaks and interrupts the circuit.

I have also see a couple where they were plugged in and got hit on the end and the plug gets pushed into the drive.

 

A distant third would be damage caused by static electricity.

 

I have in the past repaired several flash drives for people by opening them and re-soldering or actually attaching 1/2 a USB cable to allow it to plug in. That was for data recovery only and they were warned to replace them after the repair. They were also happy to pay the $49 + tax I charged them to get their data back.

 

Hence I suggest You follow wolfekings advice and have any important data on two drives.

Also Look into encryption for the drives. If they get lost would there be anything you or Your company would not want to be seen?

Read this article for more information

 

Sophos studied 50 USB keys bought at a major transit authority's Lost Property auction.

The study revealed that two-thirds were infected with malware, and quickly uncovered information about many of the former owners of the devices, their family, friends and colleagues.

Disturbingly, none of the owners had used any sort of encryption to secure their files against unauthorised snoopers.

Good Luck

Roger

 


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