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USB Flash Drive Tester

I am looking for a tester to use to test USB Flash Drives.  I found a cool USB port tester on instructables, but I need something that would test the hardware functionality of a USB Flash Drive not the USB port.  I am not sure if I am saying this correctly, but reading about the functionality of USB Flash Drives, it appears to be a fuse on the circuit board.  I don't know if all drives have one.  Many of the videos I watched on YouTube require taking apart the drive and jumping the fuse to see if this is the problem.  I thought if there was a way to test to see if the circuit (I am not sure if I am describing this correctly.)  was completing then it would not initially require someone to take it apart.  

Looking into this a little further, I see there are four leads on a USB.  It looks like from what I read that lead 1 [+5 VDC] and lead 4 [ground]. Are these the two leads which should show a completed circuit via a tester?  You probably have already figured out by now that I have no knowledge of electronics.

Thanks for your help.

caitlinsdad4 years ago
Just plugging the flash drive into another USB port or another computer would confirm if the USB flash drive is not able to connect. Usually there is an LED onboard the drive to indicate something is happening but if it lacks that, a continuity test won't really be any indicator of the logic circuits working. I would imagine you need to know what you are doing with an oscilloscope and datasheets to see if anything is wrong by just probing the internals.
epodowski (author)  caitlinsdad4 years ago
Thanks for taking the time to reply. Plugging into a USB port does not work for this particular drive that I just received. It is a very small flash drive PNY [about 1/2" by 1"] which I disassembled as far as i could, but it is literally encased in [black] plastic. There is no LED lights on this one. I didn't want to crack the final covering which is necessary to get to the circuit board and jump the fuse as indicated in the different YouTube videos. I thought if there was some simple way to test it the power circuit, then I would know how to proceed.

Oscilloscope and datasheets are beyond my pay grade. I am fairly mechanically inclined and I have good deductive reasoning skills and I have considerable computer skills, but I really don't have an good understanding of how electronic components work together. If I can see it, then I am somewhat lost.

We are getting more and more flash drives in our computer repair stores. We are fairly successful in fixing issues relating to software [or formatting], but we are finding the hardware is failing more and more. It may be just an increasing number of these coming into our store. If I could find a simple tester, that would be great.

If anyone has any suggestions, please let me know.

Happy New Year!
Hmm, it's one of those things where usb flash drives are a disposable commodity. No sense in trying to fix them considering the time spent to diagnose and advanced electronics tools needed to fix them. But we will still trust them with important data not backed up elsewhere and have to attempt to recover the data. Those drives do get abused by being thrown in your pocket or bag, exposed to dust, unplugged without being unmounted, etc. I have had RAM, memory cards and usb flash drives go bad for no apparent reason. Nothing a normal person could do to fix them.