USB stick not responding on Mac

By kapalili
Mar 11, 2009
  1. I inserted a USB memory stick into my Powerbook G4, and it was fine, as always. Here's the problem: someone yanked it out while a (Word) file was still up and running. I don't think it got damaged, it wasn't a particularly forceful yank. Now I stuck it back in, and the computer's not reading the stick. The icon isn't showing up, and I can't get to my files.
    Is the file lost? How do I get the stick to work?
  2. jobeard

    jobeard TS Ambassador Posts: 10,836   +896

    bummer! most likely you lost the partition on the stick and everything on it :(

    can you access a PC? use the Disk Mgr to verify the health of the partition.

    hard lesson: on a Mac you must EJECT the device via the ^ arrow on the name OR
    drag the device name into the trash

    on a PC, dbl-click the little green arrow in the system tray and Safely Remove the device
  3. SNGX1275

    SNGX1275 TS Forces Special Posts: 10,740   +417

    Any possibility you were using the ublio release of NTFS-3g? If so I think you are SOL unless you force mount it. I think the ntfs3g user guide tells you all about the risks involved and how to do it.

    If the drive wasn't ntfs formatted and you weren't using macfuse and ntfs3g then ignore everything I've typed.
  4. xehqter

    xehqter TS Rookie

    First you need to determine if its physical damage or filesystem damage. Most flash drives use FAT16 or FAT32 so:

    1. Plug the flash drive into a PC and try to access it in My Computer, if you get messages like "USB Device Malfunction" or "Insert Removable Media" you likely have physical damage. If you don't see a drive letter in My Computer, right click on My Computer, goto Manage, click on Disk Management, if you don't see the flash drive there its likely physical damage.

    2. If you see the drive letter in My Computer right click on the drive and choose properties / tools. Under error checking click Check Now & Start. That should fix any file system errors.

    2. While the flash drive is removed, On your Mac, go into Applications / Utilities / Terminal and type dmesg. Insert the flash drive, wait 5 seconds and type dmesg again, then paste whats changed here. (Mac people feel free to correct me, i'm going off my FreeBSD playbook)

    If its physical damage and you care about the data you need to send it to a company that specializes in NAND level data recovery of flash drives, in the USA you have: ~$175 (shameless plug for my company) ~$450
    OnTrack ~$3000
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