Now, whenever I plug it into any USB port, Windows pops up a "USB Device Not Recognized" error. I have tried it with several Windows XP computers and it is the same.
The device does not show up as a drive in My Computer or Windows Explorer. When I open up Device Manager and look under "USB Controllers", there's just a item called "Unknown Device."
I have years of important information stored on that flash drive, and I do not have backups of much of it. I am mostly concerned about being able to copy the data off the drive...is there any way it can be done in this situation?
I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but it sounds like she's dead, Jim. Or, awful close to it.
If a thumb drive is consistently showing up as an unrecognized/unknown device on multiple computers, then it's normally a good indication it's headed towards greener pastures. Now, there is a chance you'll still be able to get some data off of it, given that computers at least confirm that a device has been plugged it, which means that it can still get power (to a degree)
My advice (dependent upon how crucial your data is) would be to take the drive to a local computer shop (avoid BB/Geek Squad) for an attempt at Data Recovery. Hit up your local Yellow Pages and ask if any shops in your area offer such service. Otherwise, you may have to ship it off to a data recovery specialist, such as Drive Savers
They been in the business for quite sometime. They're the best at what they do. I've (unfortunately) had to send off a couple hard drives from a server belonging to a long-time client for data recovery on a completely dead drive. It wouldn't have been necessary if it weren't for the fact work had been created that day and wasn't backed up yet. The data was recovered successfully and the business is still booming.
USB flash drive showing "USB Device Not Recognized" is a common problem we have seen when the USB flash drive malfunctions. If you data within the drive are crucial then i suggest you not to play with your USB flash drive but contact data recovery experts. The link i have found can help your recover all your lost data and fix your USB flsh drive.
Also folks if the USB is in reality a Solid State Drive (SSD connected via USB) the other website has been launched to help with this specific type of drive. Solid state drives are connected these days via a USB 3.0 external enclosure, and can act in the same manner as a USB, if this is your issue you can check in at http://www.Recover-SSD.Com