Storage forum

General discussion

Poll: What?s the worst thing your flash drive has gone through?

What?s the worst thing your flash drive has gone through?

-- It went for a swim (toilet, washer, drink...). (Did it survive?)
-- It had a great fall (off desk, off building...). (Did it survive?)
-- It was crushed (car, rock, shoe, elephant...). (Did it survive?)
-- It got baked (hot car, dryer, left on the beach...). (Did it survive?)
-- It got chewed (machine, animal, child...). (Did it survive?)
-- Nothing, I?m that careful.
-- Other (What was it?)

Share your stories and have fun!

Discussion is locked
You are posting a reply to: Poll: What?s the worst thing your flash drive has gone through?
The posting of advertisements, profanity, or personal attacks is prohibited. Please refer to our CNET Forums policies for details. All submitted content is subject to our Terms of Use.
Track this discussion and email me when there are updates

If you're asking for technical help, please be sure to include all your system info, including operating system, model number, and any other specifics related to the problem. Also please exercise your best judgment when posting in the forums--revealing personal information such as your e-mail address, telephone number, and address is not recommended.

You are reporting the following post: Poll: What?s the worst thing your flash drive has gone through?
This post has been flagged and will be reviewed by our staff. Thank you for helping us maintain CNET's great community.
Sorry, there was a problem flagging this post. Please try again now or at a later time.
If you believe this post is offensive or violates the CNET Forums' Usage policies, you can report it below (this will not automatically remove the post). Once reported, our moderators will be notified and the post will be reviewed.
Collapse -
Magnetic fields

I've run mine through magnetic fields and airport security many times and have had no problems. This includes memory cards for cameras as well. Airport scanners HAVE fowled up a watch of mine and it's computer functions for some reason, but not it's compass. Now I ask them to pass it around and they don't object.

I also always have properly disengaged the flash drives from the systems I had them on to avoid the early issues with possible static causing damage on the cards if they are simply pulled out.

Collapse -
RE: Poll: What?s the worst thing your flash drive has gone t

I have (accidentally!) put my 4GB Sandisk Cruzer Micro through the washer and dryer... twice! BUT, it still works! Yay Sandisk!!

Collapse -

It has experienced some freefall. Survived and still going strong!

Collapse -
Somewhat Chewed...

My first flash drive literally came apart in my pocket. The 2 halfs of the plastic shell separated from each other and the circuit...I was still able to use it for a while, but eventually it died...I guess I would call that chewed.

Collapse -
lawnmower man

I ran it over while mowing the lawn, crunch!

It was kinda cool to see the inside bits mingled with my mulch.

Not that I recommend it.

Collapse -

In reply to: lawnmower man

Did the stuff inside get broken? If so, could you get the data off?

Collapse -
Just no workee

In reply to: Poll: What?s the worst thing your flash drive has gone through?

Mine simply wouldn't work after being used as a keychain item. It was great to have if I ever needed some quick storage or sneaker net. But, one day it just didn't work, no clue, nada. I finally, took it apart and inspected it for any static damage, but my eyesight even with help couldn't see any damage. Every other one works to this day, even an old 32mb drive. I got some from users that explain it won't work and they don't, but sometimes when I open them up find the crystal broken or poor solder joint if I see anything at all. Also, those users explain too their flash drives fail for no apparent reason. -----Willy

Collapse -
flash drives

In reply to: Just no workee

My first flash drive sticking out of the front of my computer got its neck bent when a book fell of the desk on to it.After that I followed a good piece of advise and got some small cables to connect the drives it pays off,keeps damage away from the usb port and the flash drives.

Collapse -
USB durability

Here's what I've learned about USB drives:

They'll go through the washer and dryer once - but not twice... and they don't stand a chance against a lawnmower. Also, the probability that you'll loose one of these is inversely proportional to the actual storage size of the gizmo.


Collapse -

Well, that's what i'd list it as. The flash drive and the vacuum didn't get along too well. Taped it back together and it worked like a charm. That same Cruzer Micro went through the wash a few times too, and it kept on kicking. Used that thing for my homework all junior and senior year. When it finally died, my friends and i cremated it. And by that, i of course mean we got rid of it the coolest way possible: with fire.

Collapse -
Extruded alloy casing is good

In reply to: Poll: What?s the worst thing your flash drive has gone through?

I lost my old usb key at work. I found it the following day in the rain after I had run over it with the forklift. It still worked fine with only a deep scratched scuff on one side... Shame I lost it for good shortly after...

Collapse -

In reply to: Extruded alloy casing is good

I left my thumbdrive in the USB port at the side of my casing and accidentally kicked it. I pulled in out in panic, straightened it (the head bent at a 45 degree angle) and tightened the coverings together. Tried plugging it in and fortunately, it still works till today. XD

Collapse -
Tuff ole' Memory stick

In reply to: Poll: What?s the worst thing your flash drive has gone through?

One of my 1Gb sticks has been through the washing machine, twice!! Still working.

Collapse -

In reply to: Poll: What?s the worst thing your flash drive has gone through?

My 4Gb drive went through a wash/spin and dry cycle... It wasn't until I went to iron the trousers that it was in that I realised where I'd left it! Thankfully it didn't get ironed...

However, it's a rubberised case and the lid was firmly on, after a quick blow under the hair dryer to remove the excess water, I plugged it back in, and hay-presto, it was fine!! Thankfully!

Collapse -
My PNY went through the wash, and took a licking, but tickin

Yup it went for a clean up and works just like new, however I have several SD cards that don't. I do release the drive from windows prior to pulling it out of the USB port.

Collapse -
Follow the directions, People!

In reply to: Poll: What?s the worst thing your flash drive has gone through?

Since I have obtained a pc since 1994, and have went through four, I have come to the conclusion that people DO NOT READ DIRECTIONS of the software or the gadgets that they buy.

One must read, and re-read the directions as many times as it takes to make sure understanding is golden.

Collapse -
Jump Drive

In reply to: Poll: What?s the worst thing your flash drive has gone through?

It jumped to my friend when I left at their house and I never recovered it.

Collapse -
My 2 GB was in my gym bag for a few weeks.

In reply to: Poll: What?s the worst thing your flash drive has gone through?

UGH, the horror...I feel sorry for it. I'm taking much better care of it now.

Collapse -
I like to keep my flash drive clean

I have accidently washed my 8GB flash drive 2 times in the washing machine. One time i found it in the machine afterwards and it was sitting in a puddle of water. However after letting it dry out completely it i still working fine and i have never lost any data on it.

Collapse -
Washing machine

i had a hp 512mb memory stick that i lost for about 3 weeks.
i finally found it in the rubber lip of the washing machine, when i was putting on a wash, so it had been through at least 10+ washes before i found it.

i took it out, shook it relatively dry, then left in standing straight up on the window sill. i gave it about 2 weeks drying there.

plugged it in to the pc, and it worked first time! Happy

I then had a 16gb memory stick which i lost......and it hasn?t shown up since Sad

Collapse -
Lexar Jump Drive Holding up Well

I drove over my 2GB Lexar Flash Drive a with a Ford Windstar, and it survived. This even happened on concrete! I was impressed and more than a little relieved.

Collapse -
Lots of abuse, 6 years old and still working.

Mine has been dropped from two floor up onto concrete, used as a teething ring, berried in dirt and dug up a month later, baked in a hot car and ripped out of USB ports without using the safely remove device (hint it is wise to use it if you want to plug it back in).
These things are unbelievable in the amount of abuse you can give them.
I have even loaded a program on it and was able to run it from the stick itself, bit slow on the write cycle but it is still quicker than the hard drive.
I am tempted to get a mother board with boot from USB feature and a 16 MB stick, load Windows XP into it and see how it runs.

Collapse -
lost on a beach

lost my 2g flash on a beach. went back that night couldn't find it. went back next day and still no flash drive. on the way back to car, saw some garbage left under a cedar tree, 50 some feet from my initial foot steps. there it was in a pack rat nest, a little crewed up but still working great.

Collapse -
Problem with flash drives

A few days back, I inserted the flash drive unknowingly into a computer which was infected with Trojan. I realized my mistake when I put it into my home PC having a better AV, which instantly quarantined the mal-wares. It's another matter that I lost all the data I had in the flash drive. But the problem was that my OS (XP-SP2) does not recognize the flash drive itself. I formatted it. Now it is clear. But still, if I insert the drive into my computer and double-click, it says "access denied". But going thru right-click and explore, it opens. Why ?


Collapse -
This sounds familiar try Zero File Format

In reply to: Problem with flash drives

This problem sounds familiar, but I have only seen it on hard drives.
From what I have been told about Trojans and viruses is that they can create invisible partitions on the drive and usually in the boot sections, these files are commonly 1 to 2 KB in size, which then grow or rather self replicate taking up more space.
Even if you were to reformat the the the virus can and usually does reappear. The only way I have found to get rid of this problem is to do a Zero File Format (ZFF), then reformat to NTFS or FAT32 the typical software I use for hard disks is MaxBlast3 which is supplied with any MAXTOR hard disk or you could get it from the program appears very Linux based. But this is for hard drives and work very well, I do not know if there is anything available for flash drives.
However there may be some tricks to try for example if your PC can boot from USB then maybe you can set you BIOS to do the following:

1. BOOT from CD
2. Secondary BOOT from USB
3. Tertiary BOOT from HDD

ESC key to exit, Y key to save BIOS settings

Insert USB drive, then MAXTOR CD then boot from CD
The menu is self explaining, once in go to disk utilities and in the next menu should be a list of drives connected, if the USB drive is shown then select drive and proceed, however if it is not shown then exit, as going any further will erase your hard drive chosen and Zero File Format is irreversible.(I have tried recovery programs after a ZFF and they don't work as there is total data loss).
Please take the above as a suggestion. If any one else has a better (non destructive) suggestion about how to Zero File Format a flash drive, it would be nice to know.

However if anyone else is suffering from reoccurring viruses even after reformat and total reload of OS, then try Zero File Format, I have even found that after this procedure I have recovered twice my original Hard Drive space and on other drives gained an extra 5 GB. It is even a good band aid fix for drives with missing or bad sectors.

Collapse -
Flashdrive failed

Hi all.

I have seen this poll, and liked it. My flashdrive failed after I inserted into a computer USB port. I did not notice the lab assistant's label of NO FLASH DRIVES! pasted above the port.I sniffed the flash drive after removing from the port. It smelled like a burnt plastic.

Collapse -
this sounds like a fuse problem or psu problem with the pc

In reply to: Flashdrive failed

this happens mainly on pcs with old power supply units or a wrong fuse the fuse inserted is above 5.0v which means if a psu has a power management problem some devices get burnt

Collapse -
Hurricane Katrina

In reply to: Poll: What?s the worst thing your flash drive has gone through?

My 512 MB PNY drive sat in a rotting flooded house for over 6 weeks, then a plastic bag on a porch for a few more weeks. Washed it off and dried it out, still works. CD's had the silver lining eaten off, hard drives don't even pretend to work, but somehow that little flash drive survived.

Collapse -
A 2 Gig flash drive was left in my pants pocket...

And the pants were put into the washing machine with the flash drive still inside!

I plugged in the flash drive into my computer and it came up just fine like nothing happened! Happy
I of course was very happy and have vowed to never do that again.

Collapse -
Washed 4 times

My son keeps his in his pockets. I have washed it at least 4 times and it still works. Imagine that. I went and bought me one hopefully mine is as strong as his.

Popular Forums

Computer Newbies 10,686 discussions
Computer Help 54,365 discussions
Laptops 21,181 discussions
Networking & Wireless 16,313 discussions
Phones 17,137 discussions
Security 31,287 discussions
TVs & Home Theaters 22,101 discussions
Windows 7 8,164 discussions
Windows 10 2,657 discussions


This one tip will help you sleep better tonight

A few seconds are all you need to get a better night's rest.