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I have a memory stick that isn't being recognized by multiple computers and the light which usually comes on doesn't anymore so I assume it is broken.

The problem is that there is some important data on it which I don't want to be lost. I have read that depending on what the problem is, it may be recoverable, but I would have to take it into a shop and that could be quite expensive, even to take a look at it. So I was wondering if someone could help diagnose what is wrong.

I have taken the casing off the memory stick to see if I could find anything wrong with it but I cannot seem to. Here are images:

usb-front-small (full size image)

usb-back-small (full size image)

Can anyone see what is wrong with this? If so, would it be possible to recover data and what would I need to do so?

I'd appreciate any help, thanks.

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up vote 26 down vote accepted

Look at the USB connector in your first picture. To the left of it, there are four solder joints fixing it to the printed circuit board. The topmost one (in the image) appears to be cracked, and to have been soldered poorly in the first place.

This is a common problem with USB memory sticks. Usually the USB connector is mounted without any kind of strain relief, so any forces applied to the USB connector (plugging/unplugging, twisting, bending) are taken out directly on the solder joints.

Prodding it a bit with a soldering iron should sort it out. Be very careful so as to not dislodge other solder joints or circuit traces, or to overheat anything by soldering too long or at too high a temperature.

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Thank you very much, managed to get it working and I copied all of my data over. – Daniel B Dec 29 '12 at 13:32

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