How resistant are USB flash drives to static electricity?

Hi, I just bought a new USB flash drive. I have been working on PCs for years but until now I have never really had a USB drive. My question is: how resistant are USB drives to ESD damage from static electricity? Do I need to worry about grounding myself everytime I pick it up?

And secondly, if I were to 'zap' my USB flash drive with static electricity somehow, how would I test to see if it is still working? Is it sufficient to just plug the drive in to the PC, format it, and make sure I can write/read to it?
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  1. That depends on the drive, but generally it's not a good idea to shock it ^_^. Some models are marketed solely on their resiliency. You should check out the wikipedia entry to get a general idea of the parts inside

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/USB_flash_drive

    Generally, the smaller a process used to make the components the more sensitive they are. If anything I'd say you're likely to break the controller in which case it may still be possible to access the data on the flash chips providing you are skilled and patient enough.
  2. But if I accidentally shock the drive, and I want to make sure the drive is still working, is it enough to just format it, copy a file to the drive, and make sure I can read a file from the drive?

    Is there some other test for USB drives to make sure they are still working OK?
  3. In general USB flash drives are very resilient to static discharges. If you don’t believe me get a cheap USB flash drive and deliberately try and destroy it with static, I bet you can’t.
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