View Full Version : Fried USB Drive

10-20-2006, 09:02 PM
I've fried 3 USB (ram on a stick) drives in the past week. One of my computers seems to keep killing them. Other than avoiding the ports on that system, does anyone know how/why they would be killed.

I've seen this happen a work occasionally as well.

Anyone know test methods I could do on the cheap etc? Other items do not receive the kiss of death.

I'm thinking I need to run a full diagnostic on the USB ports. Maybe they are putting too much juice out etc.

10-21-2006, 06:03 PM
Try using a USB port exapnder/adapter with over current protection. Some of my users at work had problems with Cell phone cradles damaging the USB chip.

10-21-2006, 09:02 PM
They are'nt the low quality, "USB 2.0 Fullspeed" or "USB 1.1" sticks are they?


10-24-2006, 04:21 PM
Thanks guys.

It was 2 generic and one Kingston. I'mm off to do some research and experimentation. Also I want to check out the USB on the mobo with my multimeter.

10-25-2006, 09:34 PM
If you right click the properties of your usb hubs in devicemanager you'll see system controlled voltage settings. See if they aren't set too high.

11-06-2006, 05:02 PM
Well I've checked the device manager, usb root hubs etc. All 5ma. The dcv on the connectors is 5v. I'm afraid to toast another one... three have been RMAed recently. I guess I'll get a 4-5 pack of 512s and try again... lol. I did notice one of the rails on the ps runs 6.72 and not 5....

12-31-2006, 08:13 PM
The tech people here probably already know this but for those who dont, USB sticks come formated as FAT32. If you format them as NTFS it will double (or better) the write speed (read speed remains about the same).

512mb generic stick tested(10 mb test file):

FAT32- write: .11 mbyte/s, 66 sec.
FAT32- read : 7.2 mbyte/s, 1.5sec.
NTFS- write: .40 mbyte/s, 26 sec.
NTFS- read: 6.5 mbyte/s 1.5 sec.
NTFS- a 102mb file transfered to the USB stick in 45 sec.
NTFS- a 102mb file transfered from the USB stick in 3 sec.

BTW cherryripeboy, how did your experiments go?

01-01-2007, 09:02 AM
Well after all that, we've come to the conclusion something is not happening correctly on the motherboard. One of the rails constantly has a high reading on the mobo status software. We've tried two other PSUs and no change. We have not dared to put another memory stick in the unit. Also there is a bit of instability with the mobo. Ram passes fine, but it would occasionally reboot. We replaced the chipset video with a card, and it has stabilized. So while it works there are still issues with it.

I really need to get that 5 pack of memory sticks, but right now I think the mobo is going to be replaced.

Thanks for the info on the NTFS and Fat readings. Pity I do not work in a NT only environment, for a lot of users though that would be a good solution.

04-01-2007, 06:54 PM
Oddly enough the smaller ones never burnt out, but the mobo was exhibiting other strange behaviour, so I'm decommissioning the unit. A few people have had the rails reading incorrectly and other issues with the same mobo.

12-04-2007, 11:48 AM
I have zero knowledge of the USB specification but I think I recall reading something about an update for nVidia chipset drivers to lower voltages sent to the USB port. Does the suspect computer use the nVidia chipset?

12-04-2007, 10:12 PM
Yes, good point.