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I have tried to apply ISO image of Windows 7 to my Silicon Power 8Gb USB flash drive. Process failed, drive got unusable. UltraISO cannot resume process. HP USB Disk Storage Format Tool and SP flash recovery software didn't help. Neither I can format or open the drive from Windows Explorer, it asks me to "insert the disk".

Is there any way to recover this device (not the data)?

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You can try this: rmprepusb.com/tutorials/repair-your-usb-flash-drive and see if it helps –  Ashtray Sep 3 '13 at 5:15
    
@Alex, write it as an answer, so I can choose it as best, ok? :) –  polkovnikov.ph Sep 3 '13 at 7:01
    
Glad it helped :) But I won't post it as an answer as it involves a lot of typing and don't really want it to be a plain copy-paste, neither I want it as a partial answer with a link, that can expire at some point. –  Ashtray Sep 3 '13 at 7:07

2 Answers 2

up vote 1 down vote accepted

As Alex said, the main tutorial is here.

  1. Download ChipGenius. It's all in Chinese, so you'll have to use Google Translate. Direct link (may expire). (Antivirus may torture you with false virus detection now.)
  2. Select your drive in the list. Look at VID/PID pair and enter it on this russian resource (no Google Translate this time needed, though). It's most likely you'll get a lot of results. "Controller ID" from ChipGenius info may be helpful. Mine was SM3257ENAA.
  3. Last column contains the name of the utility to set up factory settings on flash drive. Find it. Mine was named SMI_SM3257ENAA_MPTool_V2.03.58_v8_K1129.
  4. Such utilities all have different interfaces, so google it more. In my case tutorial was here. It says you should:
  5. Press "Scan USB"
  6. Select drive (if found)
  7. Press "Start"
  8. Wait and pray for success. I had to extract and insert my flash to make it work, otherwise it complained with some strange error after "Initial" phase.

By the way, password for "Debug" window and for "Enable all function" button is 1111, not 320 as it's said in archive.

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You'll need to reformat it and possibly restore the MBR, depending on the method you used to make the bootable drive. I forget exactly how in Windows but the reformatting bit can probably be done by right clicking on the drive in your file manager, or possibly even accepting an automated dialog from Windows on plugging it in if I recall correctly.

Restoring the MBR is a bit more complicated and something you may well not have to do. Reformat first and do this only if that doesn't work. I actually had to do this manually from the command line once, but now it seems there's a graphical version of TestDisk for Windows to deal with it. Here's a guide on how to use it (also quoted below in case it should ever disappear) and a link to the program itself (you want the one just labelled "Windows" probably).

1) Download the Test Disk utility

2) Connected the USB Drive to my laptop. (windows kindly offered to reformat the drive as the previous operation had failed... I obviously decilned :-)

3) Ran the TestDisk program and select Analyse disk... takes about 15minutes

4) The analysis results indicated the data was intact but the MBR (aka Master Boot Record) had been deleted.

The TestDisk message went something like "the extrapolated boot record does not match the current boot record"

5) Selected "Rebuild MBR"

6) Selected "Write Boot"

7) Selected "list" (which lists files and folders)

8) Hey Presto!! Files and folders were listed!

EDIT: Couple extra comments here. First, if you can't reformat the drive you may have to restore the MBR first. I know Linux generally won't even show the drive in the GUI if the MBR is messed up. I've...done this a few times before. Second, if you want to create a Windows 7 boot disc Microsoft offers its own tool. I don't know UltraISO - maybe it works just as well for making bootable flash drives as bootable DVDs. Not all programs do though. I also have used Unetbootin to make Windows flash drives with great success in the past.

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As I previously mentioned, Explorer's "Format" option thinks it's something like USB CD-ROM, which have no disk inserted in it. TestDisk obviously didn't even list the drive, so I couldn't run through the guide. It looks like the thing to be repaired is not an MBR, but some more sophisticated settings (controller's one, maybe). –  polkovnikov.ph Sep 3 '13 at 6:48

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