This client’s SanDisk Cruzer USB flash drive had a problem. In Device Manager, Windows told the client it had encountered an unspecified error and had stopped the device. The flash drive, which the client had used to store documents and lesson plans, would no longer show up on any other computer. To retrieve their files, the client brought the failed flash drive to the USB drive repair specialists in Gillware’s data recovery lab.
USB Drive Repair Case Study: Error Code 43
Drive Model: SanDisk Cruzer Micro
Drive Capacity: 2 GB
Operating System: FAT32
Situation: Windows showed error code 43 when the client plugged the flash drive in; the drive would not detect on any machine
Type of Data Recovered: Documents and lesson plans
Binary Read: 100%
Gillware Data Recovery Case Rating: 10
When this client plugged their USB flash drive into their computer, they received a message telling them that their USB device had malfunctioned. The client opened the Device Manager to investigate. There they found the Error Code 43 message: “Windows has stopped this device because it has reported problems. (code 43)”
These error messages occur whenever the hardware reports to Windows that it has some kind of indescribable problem. Windows doesn’t really know what’s wrong with the device. Neither does the device, really. The error code 43 message generally means one of two things, though. Error code 43 pops up when the device really does have a physical problem. But it also can appear if something has gone wrong with one of your computer’s device drivers. In this case, updating your computer’s device drivers, updating the BIOS, or repairing the operating system can often fix the problem.
The client in this USB drive recovery case had tried all of that to no avail. It appeared their flash drive had sustained physical damage. USB flash drives, despite their portability and convenience, can be fragile. It doesn’t take much to stop a flash drive from working.
Inside your USB flash drive, you’ll find four components: the flash memory chip, controller chip, circuit board, and USB plug. In many modern flash drives, these components have all been locked together in a solid little rectangle of epoxy called a “monolithic chip”. But many older flash drives have all of their components laid out, making them much more fragile. And no part of the drive is more fragile than the part connecting the USB plug to the circuit board. One wrong move can damage or sever the connection between your computer and your data.
This client’s USB flash drive had failed at its most vulnerable point. While the USB plug hadn’t bent noticeably or snapped off altogether, even a slight bump had been enough to damage the delicate points connecting the SanDisk flash drive’s USB plug to its circuit board. One of our expert electrical engineers with years of experience in USB drive repair had to carefully re-solder the severed leads to regain access to the flash drive’s memory chip. This delicate process can easily be done improperly by an unskilled or untrained person and leave the device in even worse condition, which is why these cases are best left to the experts at a professional data recovery company.
The USB recovery experts at Gillware Data Recovery successfully recovered this client’s data after making repairs to their broken SanDisk Cruzer flash drive. Once our skilled electrical engineers repaired the damaged connection between the drive’s USB plug and circuit board, we could access the data on the drive’s flash memory chip via USB. Our USB flash drive data recovery technicians successfully imaged 100% of the flash drive’s contents, fully recovering its filesystem, directory structure, and all of the files on the device. A test for corruption showed that all of the user’s critical documents functioned perfectly. After showing the client a list of results, we rated this USB drive data recovery case a 10 on our case rating scale.
Unfortunately, your USB flash device is all too vulnerable to breakage. While a slight bump likely won’t bend the USB plug or tear it from the rest of your USB device, it can bend or break enough of the plug’s delicate connectors to make the device malfunction when you plug it into your computer’s USB port
To prevent these kinds of data loss, take care when using your USB flash drive. Try as often as possible to make sure you are only using your USB drive to transfer data from one computer to another, and not as a means of permanently storing data. As always, the best way to avoid the pains of data loss is to have a sound backup strategy in place.