USB Memory Stick Repair

Repairing the voltage regulator.

Hardware repair of the memory stick sometimes works, providing you look for the right things.

If there is 5 V entering the chip and you are sure the USB plug terminals are making good electrical connection, then the next place to focus is the voltage regulator. A typical memory stick will often have a surface-mount 3.3 V regulator, which powers the microcontroller chip.

My friend Rufus is very heavy-handed and he often pulls the memory stick out without even checking if it has completed. The surge in electricity can often kill the voltage regulator.

A voltage regulator should have +5 V at the input terminal and +3.3 V at the output terminal. The middle terminal will often be ground. If there is +5 V entering the component but no 3.3 V coming out, then it has very likely failed.

If the voltage regulator is open circuit, as is often the case, then injecting 3.3 V from an external power source, with a common ground, often gets the device working long enough for data recovery. If the device is short, then it will need removing. Replacement 3.3 V voltage regulators are very cheap on eBay.

This type of repair is a complicated task and if you are not an electronic engineer, then you should take it to a data recovery firm.

This Article Continues...

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