How to Fix a USB Flash Drive

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Introduction: How to Fix a USB Flash Drive

This will show you how to fix the pins on the USB port of a flash drive.

Step 1: Disassemble the Drive

You'll want to disassemble the flash drive with a small precision screwdriver. Gently prying at the seams of the casing until the circuit board is exposed. Then pull the plastic off and make sure that the USB leads are exposed.

Step 2: Tools

Most of the tools should be available almost within hands reach.

Tools
-Soldering Iron
-Solder
-Small Precision Screwdriver (Flathead)
-Reading Glasses (these come in real handy when you need two free hands to solder but they are
optional)
-Electrical Tape
-Desoldering Tool of Choice

Step 3: Desoldering

Dedsolder the points that need to be replaced.

Step 4: Soldering

At this point, your leads should be desoldered and ready to be attached.

Take the soldering iron and solder away. Make sure that you have some way of magnifying the leads. This is where I used my reading glasses. I don't use them, they're my step-dad's. But they magnify the leads pretty well and make them a heck of a lot easier to see.

Step 5: Reassembly

Reattach the two halves of plastic that you pried off in step 2; making sure that you don't wiggle the circuit board during reassembly. Then wrap the plastic and circuit board in electrical tape until you can make a suitable housing for the board.

Step 6: Test & Relax

Make sure that you test the drive after reassembly. You want to check for any shorts. If there are any, disassemble the drive and find the shorts repeating steps 3-6 until fixed.

This was bugging me all day. If it has or happened to you, you know the feeling, and when you're done you can relax. At least until you have to make a new housing for it. Which is a different Instructable almost entirely.

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    31 Comments

    I have an afterglow headset and it connects with a USB connector, a family member tripped on the cord. I took the drive out, and it seems a little bit loose. when i try to use it, the USB connects but when the headset connects to the USB it loses coneection to the system

    Sounds like the wire may have been ripped off the PCB somewhat. These instructions are gonna be similar to what you need to do but when you finish soldering check the connections for continuity to make sure nothing is shorted. It should be obvious what came disconnected when you open the casing. I'd recommend filling the open space inside with hot to prevent any future disconnections.

    Repairing a thumb drive? Is that just to try to get the data off? or? Otherwise wouldn't it be easier to buy a new one... Frankly we have never had a call requesting thumb drive repair, so would be curious as to how many really go through all this?

    Wow. Haven't seen this one in a while.

    I had to do it to get the data off it. It had a cracked solder joint and I saw it as opportunity to show other people how to fix it. It isn't something that would be very common and I think I just had a bad drive.

    sorry if this is an obvious question but how do you go about desoldering?

    But, judging from the tone of your writing, I presume that you were, in fact, being sarcastic.