How Not To Fix A Flash Drive

Within 10 hours the other day, the dog ate the cord on my headphones, and my daughter knocked my computer off the table. Headphones: just popped another cable on them. The computer, however, landed on a flash drive, which was plugged in. Which bent the USB portion, and broke it off…

…so I cut it open and started wiring leads to it, the idea being to just wire the leads back to the connector. 1st mistake: The leads would be to brittle, and just the mechanical force of plugging it in would break the solder joint. 2nd mistake: I wired up every connection (only needed for USB 3.0 operation) when I could have just wired four (for USB 2.0). I didn’t know this…

…3rd mistake: In doing this with a 45 watt Iron, I melted the fuck out of most of everything…

…So I put it on a breadboard, used alcohol to try and clean up the flux. Many of the connectors had melted (below?) the plastic, so I started sanding it down. I tried what I could to remove PCB plastic (alcohol, sanding, even modeling glue). But to no avail. Though I managed to get power, I could not get get the DATA i/o, manily because of how bad I fucked up with so much heat.

So yeah, that thing is dead. And I guess the lesson is to research first, and keep in mind, heat x connectors. And try and do the least amount of soldering work possible.

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Llamatism is a collection of things, a cabinet of curiosities, and reports from explorations on things, by Gary Llama.

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