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Broken Flash Drive

Discussion in 'Troubleshooting and Repair' started by blksith0, Jun 1, 2011.

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  1. blksith0


    Jun 1, 2011
    I dropped it and now there is no LED indicator light lighting up. And it will not show up in My Computer.
    I managed to strip it down to this.

    So the first thing I notice is that this chip is loose.

    And on the underside, it has 4 metal contacts, so we know that it goes there in that missing spot.

    However, it could orient either way, and I've tried holding it there myself and plugging it in, but to no avail. :(

    So, now I'm stuck here. I really need to recover this.


    (Original Pictures)
  2. (*steve*)

    (*steve*) ¡sǝpodᴉʇuɐ ǝɥʇ ɹɐǝɥd Moderator

    Jan 21, 2010
    OK, the first thing is, don't plug it in and randomly connect that component. You could damage it and that will be the end of it. (hopefully you haven't done that already)

    The next thing is to get everything onto an anti-static surface (or at least one which won't accumulate static) and carefully examine the board and the component.

    Use tweezers to handle the component and try not to touch the metal contacts.

    Are there any markings on either side?

    Are the connections on the other side regular, or is one offset?

    Can you identify under magnification if any marks on the connections and the pads match (e.g. a piece of solder on one matching a missing piece of solder on the other)?

    In the end, you're going to have to reflow the solder to fix this, and the risk is that you will disturb components on the same side of the board, or worse, cause components on the other side to fall off.
  3. davenn

    davenn Moderator

    Sep 5, 2009
    it looks like the crystal oscillator.
    As steve said its going to be a really tricky job and if you dont have access to reflow gear. You are going to need an extremely fine tipped soldering iron.

    Unless you can see the type number on it and find that data for its pin connections, it is pretty much a waste of time.
    ... buy one of the same model and open it up and see the orientation of the osc.
    at least that solves one major problem :)

  4. (*steve*)

    (*steve*) ¡sǝpodᴉʇuɐ ǝɥʇ ɹɐǝɥd Moderator

    Jan 21, 2010
    Yeah, presuming that the device has markings to indicate orientation.

    The photos are so blurry it's impossible to tell at this point.

    I repaired a USB drive where a similar chip had become lifted at one end (due to someone bending the drive while it was in the computer). It was possible to reflow the connections with a tip having an approx 1 to 1.5mm double flat tip. It took 2 tries though.

    As long as you can see some of the pad, you should be able to melt the solder and hopefully the solder further in will melt too. It is far more tricky with both ends (4 corners) to solder.

    I recommended the drive I fixed be discarded after the data had been removed.
  5. davenn

    davenn Moderator

    Sep 5, 2009
    uh huh

    definately not a job for a newbie or the faint hearted ;)

    I work on a fair bit of SMD gear both for hobby and at work. Its definately a challenge

    have a good day mate

    Last edited: Jun 2, 2011
  6. kwoolsey94


    Feb 14, 2011
    Best bet is to chance of re solder the led back on so you can make sure the relay is complete . Recover data then replace with new flash drive.
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