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The Cruzer Blade is a USB 2.0 flash drive released by SanDisk.

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Can the data on this cracked SanDisk flash drive be recovered?

I have this SanDisk flash drive that has been cracked. I am wondering if there is any way to retrieve my data. I have found a couple videos that show recovery experts attempting to solder it where the wires may be broken or switch the nand and the connector chip. Has anyone ever had this performed on their SanDisk and if so, how likely is it to actually work?

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It’s risky! Without the proper tools, either method also requires good micro-soldering skills.

Is the data that valuable to pay someone a fair amount to give it a try?

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@tgrant2009 its not showing the 2 images

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Your best bet sadly is not repairing the traces; it's badly damaged and will likely short. What you will need to do if all else fails is get another drive of the same capacity, desolder the flash from the donor and move it to the other drive (note the donor will never be usable again unless you can pull it off twice, so backup the donor to a new drive first if it's not unused!!!). Pull the data off to another drive and erase anything you use to "recover", and then destroy it.

However, as @danj mentioned this is not a beginner's job. It is still possible but best done by a data recovery lab unless the data is not valuable enough to send off.

You need to get a 16GB donor drive (016 gives me the info needed). The rub is most retail stores only sell 32GB minimum now so you may need to buy it online. Check on Amazon: https://a.co/d/6Ugyhfl

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I do already have a donor sandisk flash that's the same size.

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@tgrant2009 Should be good then, but you're going to need a new drive to replace it unless you can resolder the NAND TWICE without damage. Also, find a drive with a normal connector and not this thin garbage. This happens a lot to these "thin is in" drives.

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@tgrant2009 get yourself a USB cable, chop the end off. Then solder the wire directly to the broken drive. Plug your cable in, hopefully have the drive being recognized and pull all of your files off ASAP. Then discard the drive. To solder the wires, use the holes at the end of the traces. Use something like a scalpel to gently scrape the masking away until you get to the copper. GENTLY! Ground and the+5V is where you are having to go past the "crack" to solder it. The data line traces look like they are still intact.

Can it be done. Yes. Just take your time and solder carefully :-)

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Update (01/28/2023)

If you connect a USB wire to the traces, and it should fail, you got a second chance by transplanting the IC. It is easier to solder a few wires to the traces than to transplant that IC. The board looks well enough to solder an "extension" wire to it.

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My skepticism on the PCB is how severe the damage is. These drives should only be used for "disposable" data due to this issue.

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@nick yes. That is why I would minimize anything but soldering. The traces look good enough to solder to. Replacing the memory is great but it is not as easy as soldering a wire to the traces. If anything happens during the soldering or it goes south, then I ' d go with the transplant. I am old and lazy, so I like to do things the easy way :-)

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@oldturkey03 Also I wish these nightmare drives went away. I have a 32GB drive on my keychain for sneakernet purposes and mine has a real connector, not this bad design. Sometimes Sneakernet is faster then the cloud.

I will not touch these bad design drives, even if it weighs my keychain down by a few ounces more.

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I dunno, guys, it looks doable to me. You only need the four connections between the main part of the board and that connector. What I see is that most of the area where it's broken is ground plane. It looks to me like the main power (+5VDC) trace is broken and could be patched over fairly easily.

What you'd need to do is scrape off the solder mask (the green coating) from the circuit trace on either side of the break, then lay a short piece of wire over the trace, bridging the gap. Solder the wire down on both sides and your power line should be restored. I marked in blue the approximate length and placement of the wire; the solder mask should be scraped off down to the metal trace all along the length of that wire.

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T Grant, can you post a similar picture of the other side? The two data pins that are going to be needed go through a via to the opposite side of the board, so I can't tell if they're still intact or not.

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@dadibrokeit - A few of these are very fine traces barely thinker than a thick hair! And as the fiberglass is weakened it will flex ripping the patch.

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@danj Well, maybe, but that's why I wanted to see the other side. The ground trace on this side is still connected to the pin and the repair for the power trace doesn't look all that difficult.

This repair only has to last long enough to plug it in once and recover the data, so I'm not all that concerned with the broken fiberglass at this point.

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Hello, perhaps you already solved the problem, from what i see that is not so hard if you have soldering skills, it can be somewhat easy to recover this. The problem in my opinion is mostly on the second picture those two broken traces, go to a electronic repair tech that have good skills it will be solved. (EDIT seems the +5v is missing too on the first picture the pin to the left that needs to be restored before all

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T Grant さん、ありがとうございました!
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