A client came to us with a dead thumb drive that had a whole semester’s worth of notes and school work on it. Windows gave the old “you need to format this disk” message when you inserted it. Also, for some reason, it would mount an 8MB partition (it was a 2GB thumb drive). Our onslaught of Data Recovery programs failed, and something just didn’t add up.
There was a physical short somewhere on the teeny little circuit board, and little physical manipulation did the trick. After carefully flexing the board and giving ti another try, the original volume mounted without issue.
We immediately pulled the data off and retired the thumb drive!