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

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Broken stem on pcb SanDisk Cruzer Blade

Hello

Recently my parent’s flash drive had been physically broken and cannot receive power. I took off the plastic case and saw that the PCB of the flash drive and the stem were together. The physical damage of the drive has a line going across where the PCB and the stem head meet and does go across a few traces on the PCB. This is my first time dealing with something like this and I’m wondering what I can do. Any help would be really appreciated. Thank you!

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3 Answers

Most Helpful Answer

If you need to gain something on it you might be able to patch it together long enough to get your data. Otherwise it likely won’t hold up very long as a useful drive.

The tools you’ll need are not cheap! As you need a good micro-soldering microscope, a fine tip soldering iron with solder and some patching wire.

Basically, you need to solder a small jumper wire across the severed traces.

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After some research, I saw someone transferred the memory chip from the PCB to an identical PCB board. For tools where would I get these parts? I don't know how to solder but I wanna try to get the data off of the drive and that's it.

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If the data is important then patch the thumb drive. If you just want to play around then give that a try. You still need the same gear for either.

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I remembered this YouTube which will explain a bit why transferring the flash chip to a new PCB is not easy either! StrangeParts - A Boy and His Microscope - A Love Story

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Your best bet with the exteme amount of damage is to transfer the flash to a new PCB, but the USB controller needs to match and it may take a few drives to find one that does. But, it’s easier then repairing these thin PCB USB drives that lack a dedicated connector one can easily replace without needing to match the contoller model.

It still requires expensive tools, but you’ll find it’s easier if you have a matching drive to transfer the flash too. If you’re just going to transplant the NAND flash, get a hot air rework station, a soldering iron, good solder and desoldering braid to remove the flash from the bad one, and then swap it over.

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In response to @danj - Here is an example of a damaged USB I repaired to get the data off (I know it’s not the cleanest job, but it worked!)

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I scraped off the coating to reveal traces on the board and tinned them with solder. Then attached the appropriate wires from a USB charger wire that I cut and stripped back. I agree with Dan that this is only to get the data off - I do not use this USB drive anymore because it is so easily damaged.

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