Can only read USB flash drive for one minute

By plfoley ยท 9 replies
Sep 1, 2005
  1. I have a Sandisk Cruzer Mini 256 MB flash drive. It was working before, but now, when it is connected to a PC, the PC can detect the USB device, but I read a try to read it, I usually get a "Please insert a disk into drive..." error. However, when I reboot the PC with the flash drive inserted, and then try to read the drive, I can actually see the data for about one minute, but then the drive becomes unreadable again, and I start getting the "please insert a disk into drive..." error. I tried to copy the data out to my hard drive after rebooting, but the flash drive doesn't seem to stay readable long enough. I was thinking of trying to reformat the drive, except the data seems to be there.

    I have tried the flash drive in several PCs and on both XP and 98, and I have reinstalled the driver, but it makes no difference.

    Any advice would be most welcome.


  2. El Presidente

    El Presidente TS Rookie Posts: 40

    If you still have a warranty for it, try sending it in to Sandisk. It sounds like something may be wrong with the device internally.
  3. RealBlackStuff

    RealBlackStuff TS Rookie Posts: 6,503

    You probably corrupted the key by removing it without first STOPping the device.
    That's the green arrow pointing down in the system tray.
    Leftclick that, then click on 'Stop the device' text that comes up. The PC should say 'Save to remove'. Only then should you take it out.
    To format it, go to Disk Management, rightclick it there and select format (FAT32).
  4. Neuron

    Neuron TS Rookie


    USB flash drives are hot swappable, have low voltage consumption, and install their drivers on the fly, thus they dont need to be stopped. Flash drives come formatted as FAT 32, but you can also format some of them (not most) with NTFS if you dont want to pay or use their security software. In your case, take it back and exchange it for another one, its a hardware issue.
  5. jobeard

    jobeard TS Ambassador Posts: 11,168   +986

    Well, yes and no. There is a probability of an I/O to the device at the very
    moment of disconnect, thus corrupting the media. STOPping the device
    ensures buffers are flushed and corruption will not occur.
    {you reap what you sow}.
  6. Red_Spank

    Red_Spank TS Rookie

    USB Flash Drive not saving correctly

    I am new to this "flash drive stuff", so bear with me. I just recently bought a PNY Attache 512mb Flash drive from Wal Mart. I used it one time, and everything worked out. I could save, rewrite, add new data, everything was fine. But then I went and plugged it into another computer to work on the same data that I had stored on my drive and it had problems saving. I keep getting an error that says it was unable to save, or save it in another location, and then all the data on it gets wiped. I unplugged the USB device, then plugged it back in, and the original data was there. This really sucks because I need this to work for college so I can take my homework home and complete it there.

    Please help me identify the problem and solution, if any.

  7. Neuron

    Neuron TS Rookie

    Comp differences

    Other than your hardware, what is different between your two computers? Operating system differences? What program are you using to save this data?
    Are there different versions of this program on either computer?
  8. jobeard

    jobeard TS Ambassador Posts: 11,168   +986

    Using the computer that has access to the data on the Flash,
    mount the flash drive and then
    CP->Admin Tools->Comp Mgtm->Disk Defrag
    The regular HD will show up formated as NTFS (at least it should be:)
    the USB Flash should be FAT for FAT32
    notice the CAPACITY, my 256mb shows as 246 (the usable portion)
    yours should be similar.

    If your file system is not FAT, or significant capacity is lost, you need to
    repartition the device. BEWARE, reports elsewhere note that XP is not
    very good at this so use Partition Magic or do the work on Win/98.

    btw: ALWAYS use the task bar tool to STOP the device before you just
    yank it out. Why take the risk of corrupting the device ?
  9. Neuron

    Neuron TS Rookie


    Before you go an do all that (which may or may not be necessary), look at the small odvious things first. More information is needed to diagnose your problem.
  10. plfoley

    plfoley TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Thank you very much for your replies! I'm sorry I didn't answer earlier - I've been out of the country and didn't have much access to email.

    I'm definitely considered formatting the flash drive, but the primary concern here is saving the data, which i can see for an instance after I reboot the PC. (Then the drive goes unreadable.) Is there any way to save the data before reformatting, partitioning, etc?

    Again, thank you very much for the replies. I apologize for the delay.

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