Question Counterfeit USB drive has zero capacity. Any way to recover files?

Clay201

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Dec 6, 2007
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Unknowingly, my girlfriend bought one of those USB drives from eBay that's been rigged to appear to have more capacity than it actually does. She put some MP3s and some Word docs on it; the latter were not saved on any other device. Then, one day, she plugs the drive into a printer/copier at a photocopy place and suddenly it shows 0 storage capacity and 0 files stored. I've tried Checkdisk and three different data recovery programs. Nothing has worked.

We don't care about the drive or about the MP3s. We'd just like to recover the Word docs. I've Googled and Googled and, as far as I can tell, there's nothing more I can do.

Before I start pricing professional data recovery services, is there anything else I can try? Can I mess with the firmware on the USB drive? Can I crack the thing open and retrieve the chips and then... uh... do something with them?

I would appreciate your advice.
 

DSzymborski

Glorious
Moderator
Yeah, it's a specialized firm or bust at this point (and it's likely bust). The problem was two-fold. Buying the dodgy USB was the first problem, but it was a poor backup plan that made the files either unrecoverable or expensively recoverable and that would be problematic even if this was the best flash drive ever made. As bignasty suggests, important data needs to be in multiple places; there's an old rule of thumb that for important data, you want at least 3 copies in at least 2 different storage mediums and at least one stored off-site.
 

DSzymborski

Glorious
Moderator
As it fills past the actual space, is simply overwrites what you had 'saved' before.

Those Word docs are gone gone gone.
And that's the big problem! You essentially need the Word docs to be the last thing written and only in actual space.

OP, it's a bit like losing the keys to your car. Most of the time, you can find your keys. But if you never actually had a car, you can't find the car keys. This was the equivalent of throwing a ball of paper into a campfire and trying to get it back five minutes later.
 

Clay201

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Dec 6, 2007
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They are gone. Never put all your eggs in one basket. If data is important it should be in atleast 2 places.
Yeah, all my stuff is on Google Docs. But my GF can't access any cloud apps or cloud storage from her work and, well, she got a bit lazy about backing the files up to her laptop at home. It happens.

We'll probably find early drafts of some of those files in emails we sent to one another.

Thanks for the advice.
 

tony_parker

BANNED
Jan 15, 2019
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Well, there might be chances that your USB drive may got corrupted. Recovering data from a corrupted drive is not so easy until & unless you’re having a reliable data recovery software. There are many data recovery software options available online & in market but how many of them are really worth?? Here, I suggest you to go through the below blog once & try the given methods to recover your doc files: https://www.stellarinfo.com/blog/usb-drive-is-corrupted-and-unresponsive-recover-files/

Hope it will help.
 
Mar 16, 2019
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There is something called MassProduction Tools made by different manufacturers that can aid in the reflashing of the USB. It was flashed to make it appear to have more capacity than it does.
Download ChipGenius and note the chip PID and the VID. There may be a link that shows up to the Vendors MassProduction tool but ChipGenius is developed by a Chinese guy and the link may be to a site in Chinese that may need Translating or need registration to access some site features or not.
You can go to flashboot.ru and navigate to the list of manufacturers that offer MassProduction tools and see if one is available. It is possible to re-flash the USB non-destructively (as far as content) and have it's correct capacity show. At that point it may be possible to recover any content that wasn't written over.
Just as Recovery Tools differ in how good they work/how well they were made, I understand some MassProduction Tools work better than others which could depend on the tool and/or the drive.
 

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