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I've had two cheapie flash drive from Microcenter, and they booth out-of-the-blue became unformatted. When you insert then in the USB drive, windows says "The drive is not formatted. Do you want to format it now?" And then it can't actually format it.

Nothing happened to them physically. For one, it 'died' during a reset, and the other, it was normal and then it was dead once when I inserted it, IIRC.

What's the deal? Are these just cheap, crappy drives, or what?

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have you tried them on another computer? if you're getting this error when they are inserted in the computer's front USB ports, have you tried the rear USB ports? – quack quixote Apr 16 '10 at 4:43
What happens if you say "don't format" and then try to use normally? Could be that there's something that the OS is not registering, but it will be fine after normal use..? – outsideblasts Apr 16 '10 at 5:32
I haven't tried them on other computers. I will try that. When you say "don't format" there never opens a folder for the drive showing its contents. When you go back to My Computer to access the drive, it gives the same message "The drive is not formatted. Do you want to format now?" – user13743 Apr 19 '10 at 13:27
up vote 1 down vote accepted

I've had the same experience with some cheap flash drives in the past. I could never find a way to recover them, finally they went to dump. If you have the invoice and certificate of warranty, I think you can return it. The other and quickest way is to curse the manufacturer, and chuck the crappy drive out.

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