Windows 8 and 8.1 Forums

PNY 16GB Flash Drive no longer being recognized

  1. #1

    Posts : 1
    Windows 7 and 8

    PNY 16GB Flash Drive no longer being recognized

    Hey everyone! I have a PNY 16GB Flash Drive that I've had for a few years. There are a lot of important pictures and documents on it, and I am unable to access it.

    When I plug it into 1 of my 4 USB ports in my Vaio laptop, it is not recognized under Computer as a storage device, but it does show up as "Unspecified" in Devices and Printers. The flash drive lights up when it is plugged in, which I assume means that the connection itself is alright (moving/bending the flash drive does not help).

    I have tried this flash drive on multiple computers to no avail. I have used the troubleshoot wizard that came from right-clicking on the "Unspecified" device under Devices and Printers, and it always fails to successfully install the driver "USB Mass Storage Device." I have also gone into Device Manager and uninstalled the USB Drivers.

    Is there anything else that I can do?

      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  2. #2

    You can save the flash drive but probably not the data on it.

    Try this:
    Plug the flash drive in.
    Unplug all other flash drives if any are plugged in. (ideally only usb device should be the broken flash drive.)
    Download, unzip, and run the exe found here.
    Copy and paste the output of the program and post it here. Then we can move on to step 2.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  3. #3

    Central IL
    Posts : 3,468
    Linux Mint 17.2

    Dead drive. Most of the small sized ones are mfg with cheap parts.

    You could try it with a Linux Live DVD. If nothing. It is dead.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  4. #4

    Quote Originally Posted by broe23 View Post
    Dead drive. Most of the small sized ones are mfg with cheap parts.

    You could try it with a Linux Live DVD. If nothing. It is dead.

    Not true.

    Usually all that needs to be done is to reprogram the microcontroller and "reinitialize" the nand. Surprisingly, something so low-level can only be done from Windows. (:
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  5. #5

    Welcome to the forum.

    Flash drives are the least reliable of modern storage media and cannot be trusted for primary storage of important files. Add to that the possibility that they may be lost, stolen, or physically damaged. They should be used primarily as a transport media for files stored elsewhere. All files of any importance, wherever they are stored, need at least 1 backup copy. Files of particular importance should have 2 or backup copies. Fail to do this and sooner or later you WILL lose important files.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  6. #6

    Posts : 214
    Windows 8.1 Pro x64

    LMiller7 said exactly what I was coming in to post. Flash medium is volatile, and should never be used as a back up medium. Unless you are willing to spend upwards of $1000, that data is probably gone. You tried it on multiple computers, so that eliminates it being just an issue with one computer.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

PNY 16GB Flash Drive no longer being recognized
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