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Question

Multiple USB Drives crashing on multiple computers?

by elroy427 / February 9, 2012 5:10 AM PST

I am a network administrator for an organization and over the last two days I have had had six different staff members bring their corrupted/crashed USB devices in for repair.

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All Answers

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Answer
Same here.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / February 9, 2012 5:40 AM PST

Many folk thought it was optional to eject the drives. I think I found a good explanation for that when one replied with the following.

"Oh, I thought they fixed that since I yank the drive all the time."
Bob

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Just too coincidental
by elroy427 / February 9, 2012 9:39 PM PST
In reply to: Same here.

I can't buy that. Six drives, six different computers, 3 different buildings, 6 different staff members in 36 hours. I just can't buy that. I haven't seen a bad drive in 6 months. There has to be some type of virus or malware out there that isn't being detected by antivirus software yet. Either that or some strange magnetic field hanging over our area (joke).

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It never did that before...
by Willy / February 9, 2012 10:20 PM PST
In reply to: Just too coincidental

Don't ever exclude "natural forces" as it can happen. Don't ask, but i know that stuff happens. What, i always say, in some posts, "is don't take anything for granted". -----Willy Cool

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Answer
WAG here...observational point
by Willy / February 9, 2012 10:18 PM PST

Proper handling is still a requirement of using a flash drive. Too often users take them for granted and "poof" stuff happens. Also, I find users telling of removing a drive after the PC has shutdown. Normally, I wouldn't think that a problem, but since more than one user offred this and the problem appears on next use. It seems that the "5V readiness voltage" for a quick power-ON maybe at fault, IMO. That there is a slight voltage at USB ports and removal of a drive isn't good at that time. Plus, sooner or later as mentioned, it bites the user that a drive is bad because of improper dismounts. There are already problems with a normal operating drive that may cause issues, bad handling just adds to it.

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I agree, but..
by elroy427 / February 12, 2012 11:01 PM PST

Guys, I totally agree with you that users often yank out the USB sticks without turning them off through windows. But, this is not due to that. This is a virus or malware and I can't find a virus program that can detect it.

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I've done this
by Willy / February 13, 2012 12:25 AM PST
In reply to: I agree, but..

It may come that no malware is at work here or a users allows it. If you access to various AV pgm.s or network based ones, then direct them at such. Why, because I've yet to find any malware that attacks flash drives alone, not they're not present, but find it the odd one that does. I have used flash drive(USB) protection using the overall protection that the PC uses. But direct flash drive protection can be had, provided the user doesn't defeat it.

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Thank you.
by elroy427 / February 17, 2012 4:30 AM PST
In reply to: I've done this

I will certainly try this. We are up to 9 flash drives, from 9 users and 9 different computers. I hope to test these programs out in the coming week.

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At our small office with just 20 programmers
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / February 17, 2012 4:38 AM PST
In reply to: Thank you.

I think we have about 50 dead USB sticks over the past few years.

Just checking. Did you expect these to last more than 2 years?
Bob

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usb drives
by elroy427 / February 21, 2012 9:48 PM PST

these drives are about a year old. i have found some virus activity on one of the file servers which most of the users connected to. i haven't had a bad drive since clearing the virus, crossing my fingers. Thanks for your help all.

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I wonder if the drives are simply corrupt. Did you?
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / February 22, 2012 1:50 AM PST
In reply to: usb drives

Look for that HP USB FORMAT UTILITY to bring the old drives back?

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EASEUS software
by elroy427 / February 22, 2012 3:25 AM PST
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Woah. Recovery?
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / February 22, 2012 3:36 AM PST
In reply to: EASEUS software

Is this a lesson about backup?

There is some concern that using USB Memory sticks for storage, editing files on such will result in pain for all users one day.
Bob

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Answer
My USB Drives Crashing also
by junkman599 / February 18, 2012 4:33 PM PST

I've used my six USB drives very infrequently (maybe once/month) since purchase. Some 3-4 yrs old others less than a year. Always remove properly & used between systems with XP. Never any problems UNTIL this year: Generally plugging them into Vista machines would usually give a "corrupted" warning with option to fix: always declined: moving back to the XP machine would always work fine. In January plugged one into a Windows 7 machine (USB 2.0) showed unformatted & never worked again anywhere. A few days later another one showed "Unformatted" on a Vista machine. No problems with the others used only on XP machines.

Technically: Flash drives are designed around "Flash" memories. The chips are generally guaranteed to work at a MINIMUM of at least 10,000 writes before any signs of failure. Usage plays a larger role than age. If you "work" from your USB drive you will wear it out much sooner than if you just copy files to it. Saving your working document every 5 minutes takes a toll on the device. Better to "work" off the hard drive & copy it to the thumb drive when your done: faster that way also!

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